Golden Valley Artist Showcases Minnesota Pride with United Goods
This weekend, hundreds of artists will show their work at the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis. One of those artists is a Golden Valley digital illustrator with a business called United Goods that specializes in state landmarks.
From her Golden Valley home, Christy Johnson isn’t afraid to show off her home state pride.
“So these are the state icons I make,” Johnson says as she holds small, framed digital illustrations of Minnesota landmarks. Examples range from the Paul Bunyan statue to the Gold Medal Flour sign.
United Goods Features Landmarks Throughout the United States
Welcome to United Goods, Johnson’s business featuring digital art of state landmarks throughout the country.
From her downstairs studio, Johnson creates digital drawings of landmarks that become small, framed art for homes and cabins across the country.
“What I started off doing was Minnesota [landmarks], and then I started doing art shows in other states, so then I had to draw for other states,” says Johnson. “I’m up to 43 states right now.”
As a graphic design major, Johnson never imagined her interest in drawing Minnesota landmarks would result in a full-time business.
“I liked drawing them,” says Johnson. “But to have people connect with them so much has been really rewarding. It’s fun to see their reactions when they come into a booth at an art show.”
It’s truly a home grown business. Johnson’s dad makes the frames; her mom paints them.
Johnson sells more than 80 Minnesota designs online. She also has candles and pillows too, but it’s when she travels to art fairs that Johnson gets inspiration for other states.
“This is the notebook that I bring to art shows that I write down ideas people give me for things that I should draw,” says Johnson of her small, black notepad.
Among the scribbles on the note page, Johnson has Wisconsin suggestions to draw a water tower in Milwaukee and House on the Rock.
State Pride Swells on United Goods
Wisconsin and Texas landmarks are among the top sellers for Johnson.
“People in Texas love their Texas landmarks, and they’re very proud of their state like Minnesotans are,” says Johnson.
The top seller, however, is Minnesota, and this business owner’s heart is rooted in home.
“Every time I think I’m done with Minnesota state icons then I think of a new neighborhood I haven’t touched yet or somebody gives me a suggestion at an art show,” says Johnson.
It can take Johnson up to 16 hours to design a landmark for her United Goods website.
She has also done a few custom international landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower.