Retired Hallmark Artist
Date started at Hallmark: 1965
Date started at Keepsakes: 1987
Hometown: St. Joe, Missouri
Dozens of aircraft, starships and other Keepsake Ornaments adorn uncounted Christmas trees thanks to the artistic talents of Lynn Norton. Each of those ornaments owes a debt to hours of study, years of interest in the strange new worlds of speculative fiction—and coloring books.
Lynn, who logged nearly two decades with the Keepsake Studio before his retirement in 2006, says his lifelong interest in art began when he first picked up a set of crayons.
"As a child, I remember that I didn’t like the flat appearance of coloring books," he says. "My parents tell me that I started to add shading and details to make the designs look more realistic. At some point, I was more easily entertained with blank paper so I could create my own designs."
When Lynn begins creating a Keepsake Ornament, he researches the subject of his work until he is comfortable with his mental plan for sculpting it from beginning to end. He draws inspiration not only from his fellow Keepsake Artists but from his childhood memories of time spent in front of the TV.
"Being the first generation to be introduced to television at an early age, I was entranced by the imaginative sets and props that were constructed to bring stories to life," Lynn says. "As crude as they were, the science-fiction artifacts of the early 1950s still inspire me—especially when I get a chance to sculpt one of them."
That said, it may come as no surprise to learn Lynn’s personal favorite among his Keepsake Ornaments.
"I have to say that the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" space-station ornament is still my favorite. It was the most challenging sculpture for me and the Keepsake engineering staff," he says. "My idea to offer it with docked miniature starship ornaments turned out to be a winning combination with Star Trek fans."
A few years into his official retirement, Lynn counts himself lucky to be continuing his association with Keepsake Ornaments from his home studio in Leawood, Kansas.
"It's been a pleasure and an inspiration to share the collectors' passion for decorating and celebrating," he says. "All this couldn't have happened without them."