August celebrates American Artist Appreciation Month. We wanted to highlight some of the artists that commit their time and talent to create memorial art to help grieving families honor their loved ones.
Janine Carrington — La Caja Comics
Janine Carrington is a special kind of comic book artist. Instead of telling tales of superheroes, she puts her talents to use creating one-of-a-kind stories about everyday people and what made them special to those they loved.
Her company, La Caja comics, specializes in comic book memorials. She interviews families to get an idea about the personality of their loved one. She then takes that information and creates a custom memorial giftbox, complete with a unique memorial comic book story, photo appendix, illustrated portrait cards, and a USB flash drive with digital copies of all her memorial products.
Learn more about Janine and her work here.
Tytus Cornejo — Priceless Portraits
Tytus Cornejo, funeral director and owner at Cornejo | Day Funeral Home & Crematory, spends his life serving his community of Wellington, Kansas. When not at work at his own funeral home, he spends his time volunteering at a nonprofit funeral home that focuses on helping families facing child loss.
In order to provide special mementos to these grieving parents facing an unimaginable loss, Tytus sought out his high school friend and illustration artist at Priceless Portraits. Together they worked to create stunning illustration portraits of each child as a keepsake for the parents.
Learn more about their work here.
Other Forms of Memorial Art
Memorializing our loved ones through art isn’t new — but there is an increasingly unique number of ways to do so. Below are some other inspiring ways families choose to remember their loved ones through art.
Kansas artist Vaughn Evans specializes in turning cremation remains into cremation glass — beautiful handmade glass marbles.
Painter Adam Brown uses cremated ashes — mixed with paint pigments — to create custom portraits of the deceased.
Using Your Local Artists
This Artist Appreciation Month, partner with your community artists to offer families something special. Take, for example, this funeral home that partnered with a local artist in Ohio to create custom urns for families.
To partner with an artist in your area:
- Network with local artists. Attend local art shows, community events, or use social networking sites like LinkedIn.
- Talk to local community colleges or universities in your area. They might have a list of resources that you can use to find local artists.
- Put out an ad or ask around. Place an ad in the local paper requesting work from a local artist. Or try simply asking around on social media for recommendations.
- Use professional organizations. Americans for the Arts, for example, has their pARTnership movement that is dedicated to providing “businesses and arts organizations with tools to make meaningful collaborations — partnerships that not only support a healthy, creative, and artistic community, but also give businesses a competitive advantage.”