Peggy McGrath of WhoDrew, Designing a Career in Stationary

I’ve always enjoyed sending postcards. It’s just so fun! Personalized written correspondence, it just seems to mean much more. Beyond the note itself there’s the art that comes with it and the time to pick it out. I bet most of your postcards live on your fridge, no? What do you get more excited about, an email or a postcard? “Oweh! Look! I just got an email in my inbox!” Yea, no one says that…

Postcards, greeting cards, save the dates, invites, etc. If you’re not the best writer or communicator of those things called “feelings” then it certainly behooves you to go the extra mile in picking out a design that says what your words can’t. When the stationary is one of a kind, it speaks volumes. With that, get to know the wonderfully talented Peggy McGrath of WhoDrew. Peggy’s passion turned hobby is now shaping into a business creating custom, you guessed it, stationary…

How’d it all start?!
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. My Mom and Dad are both creative. They are always mid-project, and I feel like there is nothing they can’t do when it comes to home improvement! Seriously, last week they found an old barn with their friends and they are going to literally knock it down and use the shiplap wood in their family room! What?! Growing up, I remember always trying to help out with their projects, and this has sparked my creativity. I am so fortunate to have parents that have supported an artistic career from the beginning.

Where has your creativity taken you?
I went to the University of Cincinnati for the DAAP (Design Architecture Art and Planning) program, and studied fashion design. After six internships that allowed me to sample different parts of the country, it was easy to see that NYC was where I wanted to move after college. I moved to Manhattan in 2011 and have been here ever since. I have worked for almost five years at American Eagle as a designer for womens’ shirts. I love my job and still get excited seeing the product that I have designed on girls across America/and the world! It has been extremely rewarding. I am heading to India next week for the ninth time! It is amazing to see the full production picture and work with our vendors side by side.

WhoDrew Peggy McGrath

WhoDrew, Peggy McGrath – Calendar

So how did WhoDrew come about? Anyone else involved?
In 2014, I illustrated a calendar for my mom as a Christmas present. Each month was a different fashion illustration. I loved working on this, and it reminded me of my favorite class in college – Watercolor Illustration (taught by Margie Volker-Ferrier). I realized how much I missed illustrating. I quickly invested in some new supplies and turned my kitchen table into a mini workshop. For a few months, I drew as a hobby after work and on weekends. Then it emerged into a business idea, Whodrew! I started a website and launched in February 2015.

WhoDrew Peggy McGrath

WhoDrew, Peggy McGrath’s studio

Favorite coffee shops in town? Prefer to brew at Home?
I am scared to answer this question honestly because you are going to hate my answer… I only drink decaf!! Eek. The caffeine makes me jittery and my drawings look shaky! However, I am still obsessed with coffee. For me, it is not a morning routine but an afternoon treat or a night-work-session addition. I love going to Irving Farm on the Upper West Side. They have these salted peanut butter cookies that are amazing. They are about to open an Irving Farm on the Upper East Side, a few blocks from my apartment. Yessss! I also frequent Two Little Red Hens on the Upper East Side. I love the traditional country bakery vibe & the maple scone they have in the winter months is delish. It sounds like coffee is my excuse for pastries! For Whodrew, coffee is frequently included. My followers get excited about coffee dresses on Mondays, or the coffee mug by my work desk late at night. I also enjoy sketching and researching at coffee shops.

Those are some great spots! And totally get that caffeine needs to be consumed responsibly 🙂 

What’s it like being an artist in Manhattan? Inspirational? Challenging? Not what it used to be?
Inspirational! There are so many talented artists here. Always surround yourself with the best in the league, right?! It helps to make you the best you can be!

WhoDrew Peggy McGrath

WhoDrew Peggy McGrath Save the Date Stationary

Couldn’t agree more! Your designs are AMAZING! So fun! So wonderfully done! What all do you create? Special Day Invitations, Greeting Cards, Postcards?!
Thank you! Since this business is new, I am very open to most projects. Mostly, I draw fashion illustrations of women. That is my favorite. I draw brides in their dresses, which has been a popular gift idea. I also have started doing custom invitations for parties, wedding Save The Dates, announcements etc. The products on my website (whodrew.com), include notecards and prints, but the custom orders and collaborations have opened up new doors.

WhoDrew Peggy McGrath

WhoDrew Peggy McGrath

What’s the first thing to know when picking up a paintbrush or trying your hand at art?
Don’t just dive into the final. Warm up your hand… draw straight lines for a few minutes. Don’t judge your work until the end. Definitely, don’t expect your first try to be a masterpiece. Like anything else, practice makes perfect!


In addition, any words of advice to offer aspiring artists? Or creative entrepreneurs?
I would say, focus on the experience and not the final product. If you enjoy creating, then continue. The final product will come naturally.

What do people love most about WhoDrew?
My Instagram feed. I try to post every day. Follow!  @Whodrewnyc

WhoDrew Peggy McGrath

WhoDrew Peggy McGrath

Favorite moment with WhoDrew thus far?
A stranger just emailed me yesterday and said they googled the Whodrew logo on the back of a “beautiful notecard” they received and reached out to compliment me on my “lovely work.”  I didn’t know you could google it 🙂 and I loved the thought of my notecards making someone’s day brighter.

Any challenges?
My biggest challenge is time. I only work on Whodrew at night and on weekends, since my priority is American Eagle design. I have custom projects lined up for the next few months!

What’s next for WhoDrew?
I want to expand my website. I have several ideas for additional products and card collections.

What’s next for Peggy McGrath!?
I am open to new adventures, but I am not planning it out. Someday down the road, I imagine having a Whodrew stationery store.

 

To follow along with Peggy’s production adventures link up with the WhoDrew Instagram and Website! Also, Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Hint, hint…

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