Story behind the tracks
Jill Mahan has always been passionate about art and graphic design. She always favored art classes and creating craft projects. As a freshman in high school, she was awarded the Silver Key for the Boston Globe Art Contest. She graduated from Winnisquam Regional High in 1997 and pursued a higher education at NH Community College-Laconia. After graduating with her associates in Graphic Design, she entered the workforce as a graphic designer in a small print shop in the Lakes Region. After learning as much as she could from that job experience, she applied to a larger four-color print house in Concord. After 9-11, She decided to go to art school to gain even more knowledge of art and in her field and earned her BA in Graphic Design with a minor in Art History at Plymouth State University. During her studies at Plymouth State, she took drawing, painting, photography, art history and graphics classes all while working part time in a print shop in Concord. Upon graduating cum laude in 2005 she returned to full time work creating logos, business cards, brochures, magazines and pretty much anything printed. Most recently she graduated with an Associates in Business Management and an Associates in Accounting in 2017 from Lakes Region Community College.
One year she sent a commercially produced Christmas card to a friend who does his own watercolor painting card every year. He said that she really should be creating her own Christmas cards being a graphic designer and all. The next year she did with a great response from friends and family. The year after that she was spending a lot of time out in the woods hunting with her then boyfriend who loved the outdoors. She knew that she would have to go hunting to even see him in the fall, so she did. Jill noticed the tracks on the ground and how they created a story of where each animal had been and where they went. She took this idea and created her first Animal Track image of a Christmas wreath. Her time out in the woods was very grounding to her. She realized that the animals out in the woods didn’t care what she drove, they didn’t care about the size of anyone’s bank account, all they cared about was living. In 2011, she was granted copyright on four of the original Christmas images from the US Copyright office. From there, she has added general images, more Christmas images and continues to add more unique designs.
She began selling her Christmas cards and photography at Craft Shows in New Hampshire in 2011. Customers appreciated the uniqueness and simplicity of the designs. September 2018, she stepped into selling wholesale and has had her items in over 14 retail shops in New England and New Jersey and is looking forward to steady growth into great shops around the country. She has been featured in the Union Leader gift guide, an article in Laconia Daily Sun, artist of the month at Marketplace New England in Concord, and also featured artist for her sunflower print at the 2019 Sunflower Festival at Coppal House Farm in Lee, NH.