Commercial Art - Bear Designs
At the time I created my bear designs, Harry, my husband, and I owned Trekker Designs, an apparel decorating company, and one of the things we did was to screen print our designs onto apparel products and novelty gifts and sell them to our wholesale clients. One of our biggest wholesale clients was the Black Bear Diner Corporation. We did approximately two dozen designs for Black Bear Diner, and quite frankly, none of these designs would have come into existence if it wasn’t Black Bear Diner being such a good customer and an especially good opportunity for us. Black Bear Diner had a unique approach to their diners by incorporating a small gift shop near the entrance of each diner and stocked each shop with black bear gifts and novelties. T-shirts, mugs, teddy bears, hats, plus dozens of other items enticed their customers to spend money on more than just food and tips. Black Bear Diner carried our T-shirts, sweatshirts, embroidered hats, mugs, bandanas, totebags, notepads, and notecards. Plus, we printed and embroidered their employee apparel. Unlike many restaurant chains that have a corporate logo as their imprinted employee apparel, Black Bear Diner allowed their employees to wear any of the designs that were for sale in the gift shops, so it was great advertising for our bear T-shirts.
I had so much fun creating those designs, and I was well rewarded with the abundant sales of our bear products. My favorite bear designs were the semi-realistic bears doing human activities -anthropomorphic bears – like Trekker Bear, Harley Bear, and Bearelling Along, but I enjoyed trying new bear ideas and designs, so I made a collection of diverse bear imagery. Sadly, our service to Black Bear Diner eventually faded, and with opportunity gone, there was no incentive to create new bear designs. While it lasted, making all those bear designs was a golden opportunity for me to share my collection of bear art.
Includes description and a story behind the artworks if I have one.