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The Artist Mr. Christopher Radko talks about ornament artistry

The Artist Mr. Christopher Radko of Heartfully Yours chatted about the ornament artistry profession.

The Artis Mr. Christopher Radko
The Artist Mr. Christopher Radko. Photo Courtesy of Heartfully Yours
The Artist Mr. Christopher Radko. Photo Courtesy of Heartfully Yours

The Artist Mr. Christopher Radko of Heartfully Yours chatted about the ornament artistry profession.

He revealed his inspirations as an artist, and being a part of the digital age; moreover, he shared how he uses technology in his daily routine.

How did you get into the ornament artistry profession?

I got into this entirely by accident. Our 12-foot-family Christmas tree crashed, and my grandmother blamed me because I bought a new tree stand, which broke.

All her favorite ornaments were shattered, and she told me I ruined Christmas forever because she had ornaments on the tree from when she was a little girl.

So, I set about trying to replace some of our beautiful heirloom treasures but I found that no one was making them anymore.

The following spring, while visiting some family in Europe, my cousin introduced me to a glass blower. The next thing I knew, I was back home with a suitcase full of ornaments I designed, and all my friends and family wanted to buy them from me.

So, I sold them and I ordered some more, and I decided this was going to be my hobby; selling ornaments on my lunch break from an agency mailroom. Little did I know that hobby would turn out to be my full time job.

From Elton John and Bruce Springsteen becoming fans and patrons, to Oprah getting word and having me on her show, I was suddenly filling a gap that everyone was feeling the need for.

30 years later, 15 since selling my previous company, it’s amazing to be filling that gap again with my new company Heartfully Yours

What inspires you each day as an ornament artist?

My inspiration is really the desire to bring joy to people. The ornaments are my vehicle to bring joy to all these families. I’ll never meet them in person, but I know that a bit of my heart will be on their Christmas trees through the ornaments. 

What are your plans for the future?

All my designs are created in very limited quantities.  Some as little as only ninety pieces.  They all come with a tag and a number. Each year, about eighty percent of the designs are brand new, so I’m always creating something new and fresh and exciting for people to add to their collections. I will keep doing this as I move forward.

How does it feel to be an ornament artist in the digital age?

There’s something timeless about Christmas. Even though we’re living in a digital age, people still have a real Christmas tree at home, with ornaments. It’s something where they don’t want just a virtual Christmas tree, they want the real thing.  

I think that’s why the younger generation responds to my ornaments as well. How fascinating that in this day and age you can still have something that is handmade in Europe, primarily by small families and by great-grandchild that are continuing the tradition their family members before them started.

How do you use technology in your daily routine as an ornament artist?

My work is a combination of drawing the designs with the help of the computer as well.  I’m lucky.  Coming up with new designs is probably the easiest part of the company for me, the ideas just flow in. 

What is your advice for young and aspiring ornament artists?

There’s a lot of hard work involved with running a business, making ends meet, making deadlines and lots of coordinating.  So, it helps if you’re able to wear more than one hat. You can’t just be a creative, you must be business oriented as well.

The secret is to love what you do. When people see that you really love what you do, they pick up on it, and it’s easier to sell something if you love it and believe in it.

Then your work becomes your play, and you don’t mind working the weekends or past five on a Monday because you love it.

What are some of your latest projects and/or designs?

This whole collection of 2023 is my second year with Heartfully Yours already, and there are over 200 brand new ornaments. We have a catalog and a website so people can see them, and I’m actually working on the designs for Christmas 2024 right now.

What does the word success mean to you? 

Success is a sense of being in your groove and doing what you feel is your life’s purpose. I definitely feel that I am there. There’s nothing else that I’d rather do. There’s no other career that I’d like to try out.

This is something I’m deeply passionate about and it’s not something that they teach you in school. Of course, you must work hard no matter what, but doing something that you really love, and that you’re meant to do, from deep inside you is important.

Even more than that, if it makes a difference to other people, too me that’s success. 

What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?

I thank them for their enthusiasm about my new company.  It means a great deal to me. I’m grateful for their support. I haven’t been making ornaments since 2007 so I’ve been away for a long time.

Now I’m back, and I was worried that no one would remember me, or care.  I’m really thrilled that Christmas comes back no matter what, and they still want beautiful ornaments, and they’re thrilled to see what I have to offer now. I feel like I have a great purpose to live out for the next 20 or 30 years. This really means a lot! 

To learn more about Heartfully Yours, check out the official website, and follow them on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 20,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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