Hildy Hassman

“I remember as a child being fascinated with the illustration in children’s books," local artist Hildy Hassman said. "One of my earliest memories is looking in my crayon box and taking out the colors that I thought looked good together. I carried them with me and looked at them when my family went on car rides. I was about 6 years old.”

Color has been her inspiration since. She started honing in on her art when she attended Pikesville Senior High School. Hassman took a three-period art class. Hassman was good at pencil drawings and her teacher encouraged her artistic abilities. Hassman was nominated to be in the Baltimore County one-man art show. Ten other students from other schools participated.

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After graduation, Hassman attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. She majored in visual communications and graduated with an AA degree in graphic design.

“I loved the school,” she said. “I received a rounded education in honing my strengths. While studying logo design, I learned how important every little detail is.”

Hassman also learned how design can help convey an idea. “I loved the fact that they taught us how to get the art camera ready. There were no computers. We drew the logos by hand,” she said.

After graduation in 1981, Hassman moved back to Baltimore and worked in many advertising agencies. Eventually, she rose to the position of Creative Director of an advertising agency. Then she moved on to be a freelance graphic designer. That business has morphed over the years to become a business of preserving client’s memories in a unique way.

For example, Hassman does a custom piece of artwork for real estate agents to give their clients. It is a personal touch that makes the agent stand out. Sometimes, Hassman does an illustration of a home a family is leaving. Hassman might add their pet in the window or a favorite sports team flag in the yard for a special memory. She has created a special illustrated personalized poem for a real estate agent to give as gifts.

Hassman also enjoys crafting. She began to do crafts when her children were small because she could do a special artistic activity with them. She made flour dough clay items and later used Sculpey, polymer clay, to make framed 3D art, vases and jewelry.

Hassman returned to painting some 15 years ago because she put a studio in her house and had a place to work. The new art studio motivated her to experiment with her artwork. She began to do house paintings and pet portraits on commission.

Hassman was fortunate to have a piece of her artwork selected to hang in the new Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore. A friend saw her artwork on Facebook and recommended her. An image of two cats looking out a doorway was selected.

“I am pleased that my artwork will brighten up the day for children and their families,” she said.

Hassman decided to do watercolor because she thought it was challenging. “I decided to own it,” she said.

One of her most interesting watercolor paintings is titled the “Cups of Four Seasons,” depicting stacked coffee cups, each depicting one of the four seasons.

She also does commissions for weddings. For example, Hassman works with old books. She folds the book into the date of the wedding and folds another book in to the initials of the bride and groom. They are embellished with paper florals and cute personalized titles for the books. One couple used a "Tale of Two Kitties” as a title since they liked cats. It becomes something they can use in the wedding and it is a keepsake.

Another interesting commission Hassman completed was for Jenni Kleinman Berebitsky who wrote a book titled “ALS Saved my Life Until it Didn’t.” The book is about Berebitsky’s journey of living with a joyful attitude despite having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Hassman designed the cover of the book with an image of a sunflower in a wheelchair. The book is for sale on Amazon.com.

Hassman participated in arts and crafts shows for eight years in the Carroll County area and Baltimore City. She enjoyed meeting people and sharing her love of color.

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“I love the fact that I can express things in a fanciful way without using words. We do not realize how much color affects us and our emotions," Hassman said. "I am intrigued how powerful it can be.

She likes the quote “Color is the spice of life.”

Says Hassman: “Color makes us feel.”

Visit Hassman’s website wheretheartisbyhildy.com or on Facebook. Reach her via email at artbyhildy@yahoo.com

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