Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holly Cow History (Part Two)

And we're back for another exciting installment of "Holly Cow's World", the only blog all about your favorite colorful cartoon cow and her fun farm friends.  I'm Holly, as you should know by now, and this week, as promised, Dan Radcliffe is going to tell you all about the humble beginnings of ME, Holly Cow.  I now turn the blog over to Dan.

Thank you, Holly.  Dan Radcliffe here.  As Holly promised, the "History Of Holly Cow" or, as I like to think about it, how I created Holly Cow and her friends. 

My wife Denise and I have a lot of country themed decorations in our home.  Now, we have never actually lived on a farm, but we have always liked the comfortable feeling of country style decorations for the house.  Cows have been a big part of that.  Back when we lived in Goldsboro, North Carolina, these and other country-themed accessories were fairly easy to come by, so our house quickly filled with cows, pigs, chickens, and farm related decor.  And of course, being the artsy type, I had to add my own designs to that mix.

One of the earliest decorations I painted for our home was a kitchen decoration on wood, featuring a country couple in their country kitchen.  It has been featured on my Zazzle site  and has become quite popular:
Recipes From The Heart 1

No cows, but a fun design and a fun idea.  The original painting still hangs in our ktchen.  Of course, I couldn't stop with just the kitchen, we had a whole house to decorate.  On November 7, 1993, I finished up this design (I know the date because I painted it on the back):
This is "Millie Moo".  She's a wooden plaque currently displayed in the stairwell of our house, along with a pig, chicken and lamb all painted in the same style.  I liked the idea of the animals looking as if they were made of patchwork quilt material, and that idea stuck with me for a long time. 

Time passed, and eventually, I stumbled upon Zazzle.  For those of you who read and follow this blog regularly, you're probably pretty familiar with Zazzle.  Well, I played around with a lot of different designs, some worked better than others, naturally, but I knew I wanted a cartoon animal that might become a focal point of my shop.  I kept thinking back to the "Millie Moo" plaque in our house, and I thought a cow would be perfect.  I toyed around with some variations of the design, and after a few rough drafts, Holly Cow was born.  This is the first picture of Holly that I ever posted on Zazzle:

I liked the design, I put it on a few items, and it didn't take long to make a few sales.  This Holly Cow design was the first item I actually sold on Zazzle. 

Of course, I needed more designs.  Christmas themed designs seemed to be popular, so I thought I could make one work with Holly Cow.  Here's an early design that, although cute in its own way, didn't "quite" work out the way I had hoped:

Cute, but not exactly what I wanted.  She needed to be a little more animated.  I thought about it, and decided a winter scene in the snow would be fun.  This was the first time I added Holly's good friend, Oliver Duck:

I used this card design to send out to friends and relatives when I first designed it.

The characters were beginning to develop personalities.  The pigs became twin brothers, Oliver the duck became featured in more and more designs,  but it was this design that caught the attention of my customers, and soon became a favorite:

I knew this was the one I wanted to use for my signature design.  The quote has become the driving theme for my shop and my designs.  I want all of my images to convey that same feeling of fun, friendly, inspirational, upbeat positive energy that I think comes through in this design.  I hope when people visit my shop, they leave with those feelings.

Well, Holly Cow soon had a following.  One of Holly's first (and still biggest!) fans, is the multi-talented Victoria Lynn Hall,  artist, photographer, cat lover...  She has told me Holly is her "role model".  I hope Holly can continue to live up to such high praise.  Here's one of her Christmas designs I especially like:
Holiday Dragonfly Fairy Greeting Card card

A big "Thank You" for your continued support of Holly Cow and me.  :)
Another fan of our dear Holly is the talented creative force behind "rdwnggrl" over at zazzle, the one and only Stacy Lynch.  Stacy has been a fan of Holly Cow for a long time; in fact she was one of the first people ever to make any comments on my Zazzle designs.  This snowman of hers always makes me smile:

Thanks to you for being a dear sweet friend of mine and a faithful follower of Holly Cow!

Another of Holly's biggest fans is the ever-snazzy Tricia-Rennea Wilson.  Always a ray of sunshine, it would be difficult to find a sweeter soul.  For your Holiday pleasure, here's one of her perfectly delightful designs:

This one simply makes me smile.  Again, thank you for your continued support and friendship.

Another of Holly's fans is the versatile creative talent, Ruth Jamieson.  From cross-stitch masterpieces, pottery, computer art, photography, this is a talented spirit and one I'm proud to call a friend.  An example of her talent:
A long-time supporter of my work, I thank you for your encouragement and friendship.

There are simply far too many people to mention who have supported and befriended me and Holly Cow -- I wish I could list them all here, but I want all of you to know Holly and I appreciate all you do for us, your appreciation of Holly Cow, my designs, and of course your ongoing friendship. 

As 2012 approaches, I plan to continue with new Holly Cow designs, of course, and look forward to your comments and continued support of Holly Cow's World.  Thank you for reading and following!  ~Dan~

Oh, and one more shameless Zazzle plug, the 2012 Holly Cow Calendar is out there for all of your Holly Cow calendar needs:  ENJOY!
The 2012 Holly Cow and Friends Calendar calendar

Well, what more can I add to that, friends?  Thank you for reading and following my blog, thank you for your support, and until next time, this is Holly Cow for "Holly Cow's World".  Bye!

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