To My Dear Friend has recently been published and is now live on Amazon (link below)! A true collaboration between my good friend Deirdre (Dee) Shupe (author) and myself, Karen Burton (illustrator), To My Dear Friend reaches across the months and miles to express feelings from the heart to some of the most important people in our lives. It is comprised of a delightfully illustrated collection of over fifty original sayings that span 94 colorful and cheerful pages ranging from playful to sophisticated, joyful to poignant.
A few pages from the book To My Dear Friend:
I met Dee more than 20 years ago. She always has such a sunny disposition and is fun to be with. We discovered that we both have an entrepreneurial spirit and have tried on multiple occasions to dream up a business to do together to provide something for women that would bring a smile to their day. She is involved with her own fashion design business focusing on women over 50 and has commissioned me several times to create repeat patterns to print on fabric. I also have another online business for which I wear all the hats – web design & development, product photography, marketing, customer service, etc. (Visit Rendezvous Gallery to see some amazing items from talented U.S. fine art & craft artists.)
Fast forward to about a year ago … I was acknowledging how Dee has a special way with words – always looking on the bright side; yet, also saying things in a lyrical and beautiful way. I had recently done the cover and interior artwork for Aliyah Jackson’s poetry book Planting Gardens on the Moon and was ready to try my hand at creating an art book. Coming out of the pandemic, feeling optimistic and wanting to reconnect with friends, it all came together for Dee and I to do a book for friends by friends. By pairing my art with Dee’s lovely words, we wanted to create a colorful celebration of friendship that could help people take time to think about and connect with their friends.
Once we started down this path, we couldn’t stop. We really collaborated in many ways – each of us being a sounding board when needed, a cheerleader, art director, editor, etc. Sometimes Dee would write a sentiment to go with a particular illustration or I would create a piece to go with one of Dee’s existing sentiments. We realized that if we could capture the awe and admiration we have for each other as friends, then perhaps that would come through for other friends to share and enjoy.
Dee: “Hey, we may have started a new book genre with the whole artist-writer collab!!”
To My Dear Friend is such a lovely gift for dear friends, sisters, moms, aunts, grandmas – anyone you cherish and adore! In this art book, your friend will find notes of gratitude, encouragement, and love that will lift her spirits and bring smiles as she feels your connection. For birthdays, hostess/bridesmaid gifts and especially just because, here’s an opportunity to reach out to a friend and let her know she’s on your mind and in your heart!
Now that To My Dear Friend is published and out in the world – we’re hearing and reading comments that fill us with joy and gratitude. People get it. Our intention of creating a beautiful, happy space where people can take time, enjoy art and think about their friends, and then easily connect with them by sending them a copy of To My Dear Friend is being realized. We are so grateful to be able to help people feel good.
Karen Burton is an illustrator, designer, and photographer – inspired by her view of the Blue Ridge mountains from her home and studio in Virginia. She creates colorful, uplifting illustrations and surface pattern designs suitable for home decor, textiles, stationery, tabletop, publishing, and other products. Available for commissions, licensing and other custom projects. She has lots of future plans and dreams: illustrating a cookbook, creating illustrations for food magazines or culinary packaging, having a gallery show featuring her large-scale floral portraits, and seeing more of her art on all types of surfaces.
More of Karen Burton’s art and illustrations: