One of the most well-known artists in America, Mary Engelbreit has sold hundreds of millions of her cards and licensed products. Her whimsical, inspirational, and down-to-earth collections have touched the lives of countless fans around the world.
Despite her early success, she still draws every original illustration by hand with a pencil and pen. Her artwork is modestly referred to as "eclectic traditional," and her signature style has appeared on thousands of products, including greeting cards, books (design, gift, children's, cooking, home and art), calendars, stationery, fabric, crafts, kitchen accessories, dinnerware and other home decor items.
She started her career in the early 1980s when she decided to quit her day job as a graphic artist and instead began creating her own line of greeting cards. She soon became known for her unique style of illustrating simple scenes and amusing quotes.
Her first card designs sold for $150, and she soon began to cultivate a talented staff of creative designers to help her. Today, Mary Engelbreit & Company is an internationally recognized and award-winning company with a nationwide magazine, retail and online stores, and nearly seven thousand licensed products.
Many of her earliest surviving drawings hang in a St. Louis studio that was once her childhood bedroom. They feature stick figures and crayon on Big Chief-style artwork, accompanied by words that would seem to describe any kindergartener: Drawn by Mary.
The girl with the big hat and glasses, based on her grandmother on Mary's mother's side, is the only character in Engelbreit's oeuvre to receive her own name. She is a character whose physical characteristics and audacious attitude are firmly rooted in Mary's spirited personality.