I’m a book cover artist…. a photo-illustrator to be exact. But that’s another story, not the one I really want to share with you now.

About 20 years ago, I was very excited about an idea I had of creating photographs that moved. Not videos per se. But rather still images with just a touch of movement. I wanted to create these images, frame them and hang them on the wall just as you would a photograph. I thought it was a great idea, but back then I didn’t have the equipment, the know-how or the resources to make it happen. I just knew this was a great idea and I just kept in safely stored in the back of my mind.

You never know when or where inspiration is going to hit you.

For me it happened at a concert in 2011. The stage set and costumes combined with video was amazing! That night, after the concert, it hit me! I was finally going to create my “photo-animations” and play them on digital frames that would be enclosed in hand-made mixed-media wooden frames and mounted on the wall. Each one would be a unique piece even though the image was digital and could be reproduced over and over again.


Suddenly I found myself completely consumed by this new project. I received an email about an Artist’s Showcase in the Spring of 2012, and I scrambled to create about 12 pieces for this show. It was challenging to say the least! So much to do, so much to learn, so many obstacles to overcome. But my excitement about the project outweighed the problems. And even though the pieces were held together (on the back) with duct tape and superglue, I was able to exhibit them at the show. My intention was not to sell them but rather to see what the response would be.

As it turns out, the response was overwhelming! Never, in my entire career as an artist, had I ever seen people so excited and enthusiastic about my work! People couldn’t understand why the pieces weren’t for sale. I promised that I would go back to my studio, work out some issues and create quality pieces that I could feel good about selling. I ended the show with the names of about 30 people on a waiting list who wanted to buy the work when it was ready. Not only that, a gallery owner from mid-town Manhattan wanted my work in his galleries. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.

I created a website for my new project which I named STILL ART IN MOTION.

There was going to be another artist’s showcase that fall and I decided that I would create a series of 15 high quality pieces for that show. Again the response was amazing!  My work was featured on one of the press releases for the show and the publicist expressed interest in promoting my work.

After the show, I moved the pieces to an informal gallery where I have my studio. In this setting, the digital frames remained turned on 24/7.


While some played the videos just fine, others would fail after only a few weeks. I was mortified! I could not sell pieces that might only last a few weeks. Sadly, I had to notify the interested gallery owner that I was having technical difficulties and would not be able to give him my work as we had arranged. And I had to tell the publicist and the people waiting to buy my pieces the same thing.

After all the time I had invested, not to mention the expense, I had hit an obstacle that just seemed impossible to overcome. I tried to find another source for digital frames that could play these videos continuously, but I just seemed to hit one dead end after another. To put it simply, I was too discouraged to forge ahead.

I decided that I would have to find a company or a group to team up with. I couldn’t handle the electronics part of this project. It’s simply not my expertise. I put my project on the back burner for a while. Not giving up entirely, but decided to take a break until I could figure out a solution. And now, three years later, I’ve been watching this idea coming to fruition throughout the world, as I knew it would. I still have not given up. I’ve actually been forming a new plan and a new direction for my “photo-animations”. The only thing missing has been the digital frame.

Recently, I received a random email with an article about framed digital art. And that is where I learned about Meural

OMG! Could Meural be the answer? Did the solution just fall into my lap??!! (or should I say my email inbox?). I contacted Meural immediately with a million questions about their frame. I was impressed that they responded right away and were willing to take time from their very busy schedules to answer all my questions.  The Meural is not only elegant, but it also beautifully displays and complements the art that is displayed within it. I can’t wait until the frames start shipping later this fall!

Debra Lill