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Obama family’s White House holiday card is L.A. artist’s design

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When the Obamas wanted an artist to create their annual holiday greeting card, they turned to someone whose work they knew and trusted. Mark Matuszak is an artist, illustrator and concept designer based in Los Angeles who has worked for the first family before, creating illustrations for the White House interior design.

Matuszak said in a phone interview Thursday that he was contacted a few months ago by the White House social secretary, who asked him to create this year’s holiday card.

‘They wanted to do an inside shot, something home related,’ said Matuszak. One idea was to focus on Bo, the Obama family dog. ‘So we thought, let’s put Bo in front of a fireplace.’

Matuszak said the holiday card is the White House’s first to be completely digitally designed. (In the past, he said, presidential holiday cards were based on photos, watercolor paintings or other analog forms.) The artist said he researched images of Bo and then created the original design using Photoshop.

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The image, seen above, places Bo in front of the fireplace in the White House library with a poinsettia and other decorations. The inside of the card features the presidential seal along with a holiday greeting: ‘From our family to yours, may your holidays shine with the light of the season.’

The card is signed by the President and first lady, their daughters, Malia and Sasha, as well as Bo, the family’s Portuguese water dog.

Matuszak said he has worked as a concept artist in various fields throughout his career. Originally from Pennsylvania, the 47-year-old artist resides in the Hollywood Hills. Here’s a full view of the Obama holiday greeting card...

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-- David Ng


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