About the Cards

When I first tried pedaling my art after college, no one knew what to do with it.

Editors and gallery owners didn’t know what to call it or who would buy it. I did find steady work in children’s publishing, but over the next 15 years, I was still hearing the same story. I could sell conventional illustrations, but I could not convince my editors to use the images I found much more interesting and authentic.

I sent work to greeting card publishers and was fortunate to be distributed through several publishers. Still, I was surprised by which pieces art directors chose and was often a little let down by the layout and text, which were completely out of my control. The cards were successful, but my frustration continued. In 2001, my favorite card publisher asked me to create a “large body of work”, suggesting the possibility of an entire line under their name. I worked happily for months with serious excitement and sent in what I hoped would be my big chance.

My fat portfolio of forty plus images complete with concept, text and (I thought) subtle humor was completely rejected. Not only that, rather than buy this unique collection, they asked me to mimic another artist’s style! Nothing could have been more insulting, confusing or horrifying.

On the night I got this news,

I stomped out into the january snowdrifts, marched out of earshot and let fly a few primal screams.

My thinking was, the quirkier, the better. I wanted this to be a line unlike any other. Reaching an unserved unseen customer was my complete raison d’etre. I didn’t print a single card. If this did not work, there would be no piles of unwanted cards in our cellar. The first stationery show in New York was a shoestring affair. The centerpiece of my booth was an arbor with twig tables made by wonderful friends.

I made a gold leaf and copper wire display for my sixty dummy cards and plunked down my catalog. Those were four nail biting but exciting days in New York. We had no orders the first day, but got lots of curious looks. The second day, the orders started piling up, coming from brave small stores to large respected retailers! When the show ended, we scurried home to figure out how to print and deliver all the cards we had sold!

PATIENCE BREWSTER CARDS was the most exhilarating and satisfying adventure. Eventually our whole family was involved.

Our fabulous customers across the US and around the world kept us and everyone around us (our friends and family were put to work as soon as they drove up our driveway) very busy for a dozen years. I am so grateful for every customer and every step along the way.