Janet Wecker-Frisch

March 29, 2010 in General

Smiling snowmen, funny frogs, grinning garden vegetables… these are just a few of the characters you’ll discover in the wonderful, whimsical world of Janet Wecker-Frisch.

tinytailorsbirdies_smallJanet shares her art with the sewing world through licensed fabric and embroidery designs from her company, Tidings of Great Joy, LLC. Over the years, sewers, embroiderers, and especially quilters have fallen in love with Janet’s vintage-inspired characters and unmistakable artistry, and Janet has loved connecting with the people who use her drawings to create their own art.

Janet was born with a natural drawing ability, a talent that was encouraged by her artist father. As a child, Janet was always drawing, finding inspiration in vintage children’s books, and learning from her father’s training and critiques.

“It’s just a part of who I am,” Janet says, adding that, like her father, she eventually drew to love other art such as sculpting, painting and photography.

In fact, it was Janet’s love of sculpting and painting that led to her licensing adventures. In the early 1980’s, Janet created her company Tidings of Great Joy, LLC, named after a line from her favorite holiday special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. For 20 years, Janet sculpted and painted Christmas ornaments and sold them at art shows in St. Louis, Missouri. These ornaments soon became highly collectable.

About 10 years ago, a customer took one of her ornaments to an agent, and Janet soon began licensing her artwork for products such as dishes, decorations, wallpaper and more. However, Janet has found a real home in the sewing and quilting world with her gorgeous fabric designs.

“It’s the most fun industry to work in,” says Janet, who loves attending events such as Quilt Market whenever she can, “Just such a warm, more personal industry. I really enjoy it.” Janet puts a lot of care in designing artwork specifically for fabric and loves hearing feedback from quilters, as well as quilt shops and companies.

“I try to think about how the fabric will be used,” Janet says, adding that she loves seeing what quilters have created using her fabric lines, either in person or through emails and pictures.

In fact, Janet loves seeing what everyone can create, especially children. A page on her company’s website is dedicated to artwork that children send to her. Janet says that it reminds her of when she first fell in love with drawing and inspires her to keep drawing for fun.

“I have a granddaughter and niece who are both artists. Watching them develop and running into these little kids who love art just reminds me of what it was like as a little girl. When kids have that in them, it can’t be oppressed… they just draw all the time.”

ttbuttonbirdies_smallJanet’s art is still inspired by her childhood favorites: vintage children’s books and nature. She has a large collection of books, citing illustrations by Harrison Cady and Garth Williams as her favorites.

“When I was growing up, I was always attracted to the illustrations and would pour over them. I have a lot of fond memories from childhood, things from within that need to come out” she says, “I also happen to live in the woods, where there are a lot of creatures running around.”

Janet’s love of animals and vintage illustrations are beautifully merged in over 20 lines of fabric featuring her fun characters. Her favorite characters are the frogs in “Tiny Tailors” and several characters from the newest line, “Animal Alphabet Games.” Janet adores her characters and loves meeting people who feel the same way.

“A retailer met me and just started laughing about one of the characters,” she says. “Sometimes I laugh as I’m drawing them – I just get a kick out of them and I think they’re really funny – and it’s so nice to meet people who get it.”

“The best part of this licensing experience has been all of the connections with people, Janet says, “It’s connected me with so many people around the country and even around the world. It has been a real pleasure.”

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To see and purchase designs created from Janet Wecker-Frisch’s wonderfully whimsical artwork, visit the Amazing Designs website.

2 responses to Janet Wecker-Frisch

  1. Thanks for interviewing Janet. This is a lovely article.
    I am a huge fan of her darling artwork!

  2. Janet…. I LOVE your fabrics and have made many baby/toddler quilts for family and friends and have the stash to do at least 4 more! Your artwork is FAB and I got such a kick out of seeing your Mason jars full of buttons. I have 4 sitting right by me here in my studio!! We’re of a same mind; if only I had your artistic talents! Sadly, my website is SORELY in need of updating…. can’t get my husband to take the time. He’s the MAC Guru!! Guess I’ll have to learn myself!! Dennie

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