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Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
“At the touch of love,
everyone becomes a poet.”

―Plato
Next Tuesday is Valentine's Day, which means you've still got a few days to come up with a card and/or gift for that special someone in your life. Sure, you could run to the Hallmark store… again. But this year, why not give your sweetheart something truly unique? (For instance, a card made by… you!)

When I tell people I make cards for my family, they typically reply, "I wish I could do that!" The truth is—anyone can. It's easy and it doesn't cost a lot. And here's the best part: It doesn't have to be perfect. So you're not the best artist? No problem. Your poems sound corny? Who cares! The more authentic your card is, the better. Trust me, it really is the thought that counts. And as John Steinbeck once said, “Now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.” So let's begin…
 
SUPPLIES

Make a trip to Michaels or a similar arts & crafts store (you can probably find most of these at Walmart), and pick up the following:
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
1. A fine-point Sharpie and several colored pencils, e.g.: red and pink. I prefer Prismacolor Premier—you can buy them individually. Alternatively, check out the endcap at Michaels for their ongoing $5 special on Artist's Loft Watercolor Pan Sets—brush included. (If drawing isn't your thing, simply swap out the Sharpie and pencils for a glue stick, scissors and red construction paper.)

2. Blank cards and envelopes. I like the Value Pack Cards & Envelopes by Recollections at Michaels, but you can also just take a piece of white construction paper and fold it in half.
 
NOW IT'S TIME TO DRAW!
 
First, draw a bunch of random hearts on the front of the card…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
…or arrange the hearts in the shape of a bigger heart, like this…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
If you find it difficult to draw hearts, simply make a 'V' shape with the colored pencil and then outline it with the black pen.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
If you're cutting the hearts out of red construction paper, fold the paper in half, cut a 'half-a-heart' shape, unfold and glue.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
You can do a million variations of hearts: different colors, sizes and shapes. It's impossible to make a bad heart. As an illustration professor of mine used to say, "Be loose!" In other words, don't worry about making it perfect. Just be creative and have fun.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
On the front of the card, add a line of text. (Keep reading for a list of ideas about what to write.)
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
On the inside of the card, draw a single heart and add another line of text and the date. Then, just sign it and address your envelope.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
WHAT TO WRITE

Nothing I suggest will be half as good as what you ultimately come up with, because the real magic will happen when your card reflects YOUR personality—so be yourself. In the meantime, here are a few ideas to get you thinking…

FRONT: There are many hearts
INSIDE: But yours is all I need.

FRONT: I've fallen in love many times...
INSIDE: Always with you.

FRONT: A hundred hearts would be too few…
INSIDE: To hold the love I have for you!

If those sound too corny, do what I do and use a quote:

FRONT: "I carry your heart with me…
INSIDE: (I carry it in my heart.) I am never without it." 
–E.E. Cummings
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


FRONT: "For those who love with heart and soul…
INSIDE: there is no such thing as separation." –Rumi
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


FRONT: "All you need is love…
INSIDE: but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
–Charles M. Schulz 
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

(Attach a piece of chocolate to the card, or the card to a box of chocolates. :)

FRONT: "When love is not madness, it is not love."
–Pedro Calderon de la Barca

INSIDE: I'm crazy for you! 
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


Or keep it super simple…

FRONT: I will ALWAYS love you!
INSIDE: Happy Valentine's Day!

Anyway, you get the idea. But remember to make it personal. The more unique to you and your relationship, the better.
 
THE PRESENTATION
 
As any chef will tell you, presentation is crucial. Make a late night grocery store run the night before Valentine's Day. The floral department will be open, but empty, after 11 p.m. (unlike on Valentine's Day itself). Grab a rose or inexpensive bouquet, and maybe even a balloon and… voilà!
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
And whatever you do, don't forget to make a coffee run first thing in the morning on Valentine's Day, and write this on the cup…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
By the way, if you want to include a gift, but have waited until the very last minute, here are two links that may help: 29 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts and 15 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself.

Or you could just include a gift certificate—or even better, a 'love coupon'—on the inside of your card, like this…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
Perfectly imperfect. Good luck – and Happy Valentine's Day!

PS: Don't forget to send pics of your creations to The Happiness of Art (deuhlig@deuhlig.com). I'd love to see what you come up with.
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Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
In last week's newsletter, I wrote about the illustrations I recently completed for LifeStyle Magazine. The response to the article was incredible and resulted in a ton of new subscribers, so I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome them to The Happiness of Art!
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
You can read last week's newsletter—Love. Friendship. Coffee!—by clicking here, and other recent past issues can be found here.

Click here to read the articles in LifeStyle Magazine.

The 'Ripples of a Kind Heart', 'Puppy' and 'A Mother's Heart' prints featured in the magazine will be available for purchase in the near future. Stay tuned to this newsletter for updates.

If you enjoy The Happiness of Art, please share it or tell a friend. It's super easy: just click one of the buttons below. Thanks!
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“Shared pain is lessened.
Shared joy is increased.”

―Spider Robinson
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
1. What you can find Mudlarking on the Thames Foreshore in London (this week's recommended link).

2. Take a Peek Inside the Original Grand Budapest Hotel.

3. Here's a nice video about Caldecott Medal-winning children's book illustrator Ed Emberley. He believes—as I do—that everyone can learn to draw. His books show would-be artists how to draw animals, and pretty much everything else, using simple shapes.

4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has made 375,000 images of art free for anyone to use as they please. They're not alone: The National Gallery of Art has made 45,000 images available and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has over 150,000.

5. Enjoy a triple treat this Friday night: an eclipse, comet and full moon! It's called a 'Penumbral Eclipse.' Click here to find out what it is and how and where to see it.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
“We are mere bundles of habits.”
―William James
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
Each month I give away one hand-signed, limited edition Giclée fine art print (matted, but unframed) to a lucky newsletter subscriber. Winners—who are notified via email at the beginning of each month—may select one of the prints shown below.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
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“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
―Pablo Picasso
Until next week…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
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About Me

Hi. I’m D.E.Uhlig. I’m an artist, author, husband and father.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. Years ago I gave my wife a hand-drawn card for our anniversary, and she loved it so much she made me promise to ALWAYS hand-draw her cards. Then our three kids made me promise to do the same with their birthday cards. And when I posted some of my drawings online, people began asking how they could purchase my work—so I created this newsletter. I believe in something I like to call “The Happiness of Art” and I hope it makes you smile.

Official Bio

D.E.Uhlig is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in numerous publications including the Kansas City Star, Christian Science Monitor, University Daily Kansan, Editorial Humor Magazine, and World Policy Journal. Commercial illustration and design clients over the years have included Samsung, Sprint, and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, among others—and his Starbucks RedCup illustrations have been featured on the company's Pinterest and Facebook pages. In 1989, Mr. Uhlig co-founded Uhlig LLC, a leading provider of cross-media publishing and communication services in industries ranging from residential housing to book publishing to cancer care. Mr. Uhlig is married with three children and resides in Kansas City. He is currently working on children’s books, ebooks and apps.

Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.

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