Another year is in the books! The 93rd Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® theme design was unveiled last night at the annual host and sponsor, Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury (SVWC), who graciously offer their facility and create an amazing atmosphere for the event. Big thanks to SVWC and all of their staff for the hard work and countless hours.
Each year is always a challenge to create and design the theme artwork. A committee of select members including myself, the reigning President of the Festival, and others meet in late August, early September to discuss the title. Once a title is established it becomes my challenge to match artwork to the title. In some cases, it takes several discussions to agree on a title, but this year … “Forever Apple Blossom” … was unanimous within an hour of our first meeting. Fast forward to November 13, 2019, several sketches, concepts, hand-drawn illustrations, the final theme was officially presented to the public.
The thought process behind the design was to maintain some traditional elements including blossoms and Festival colors of pink and green. But also to incorporate something that said “forever”. And what better way to say forever than the iconic and recognizable infinity symbol. So began the process of putting those elements together. Personally I battled back and forth as to whether I should create the artwork digitally or by hand. Ultimately I decided it was best to keep it organic, soft yet high contrast, with a bit of a surreal feel – and to tackle the artwork by hand. The first illustration went well, but after a review of a work-in-progress, it was decided that the style and overall design just wasn’t the right feel for the theme title. So it was back to the drawing board – literally. The second concept sketch was a hit, and including the first illustration, 60+ hours later the final product was complete. The choice to integrate gold into the design as the forever symbol was to compliment the pink and green and to provide a touch of class and elegance.
Timelapse of the Original Artwork
It is an absolute honor to have created Festival themes for what is now my 17th year! It’s hard to fathom how quickly those years have gone by, and how each theme had its own set of challenges. I’m looking forward to many more and hopefully will still be creating designs as we embark toward the 100th Festival … and beyond!