Shop Etsy

Featured Shop: Lily & Val

Jul 25, 2014

by Valerie McKeehan

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hi, my name is Valerie McKeehan and I’m a hand-letterer and illustrator specializing in chalkboard art. I draw all of the designs for my shop, Lily & Val.

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to create. Although I never pursued any formal drawing or art training, creativity was a big part of my childhood and was always encouraged. I attribute that to my very artistic mother. My father is an entrepreneur and I get my business side from him.

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I graduated from college with a degree in marketing and pursued a career in advertising, but it wasn’t until the spring of 2012 that I discovered my true passion – drawing and illustrating in chalk. By that summer, with the prompting and encouragement of my husband and family, I opened my Etsy shop. After the holiday season that same year, I was able to make Lily & Val my full-time job. Six months later, my husband, Mak, joined me as the full-time business and wholesale manager. We make a great team.

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I’m so inspired by the simplicity of chalk art. It’s literally just dust on a surface, but watching a beautiful design emerge from that dust is rewarding. I begin my designs with a very rough pencil sketch. I don’t like to get too detailed in my sketch since elements and details arise when you put chalk to slate. I never really know how the dustiness will shape the pieces, but this variety produces drawings with character.

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I make art about things that truly speak to me, and I hope my customers feel that connection. To me, it’s the simple things that matter most. Knowing something I created plays a part in someone’s day, adds to their wedding decor, or provides the perfect gift is incredibly satisfying. My goal is to create artwork that brings joy and encouragement.

Follow Lily & Val on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

All photographs by Chasing Eden Photography.

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