St. Louis Post Dispatch: How did Mary Engelbreit get so woke?

St. Louis Post Dispatch: How did Mary Engelbreit get so woke?

“This is WAY more than Democrat/Republican,” she wrote in response to a follower upset by one of her recent posts. “This is moral/immoral. You can be a Republican and not support Trump. But if you do support him, you are  supporting a white supremacist, uneducated, lying, grifting, racist, narcissistic, evil sexual predator, and all of your ‘Can’t we all just love one another?' is meaningless and insulting to all the people Trump seeks to disenfranchise.”
Mary featured on HerMoney Podcast Reading St. Louis Post Dispatch: How did Mary Engelbreit get so woke? 4 minutes Next KMOV | St. Louis Proud: Mary Engelbreit

Walking into Mary Engelbreit’s studio is like stepping into one of her storybooks — a whimsical, bright space brimming with preciousness and a sprinkle of sass. Eight decorative birdhouses are perched on top of a short wall by the entry. There’s a nook with a checker-print sofa and images of Scottish terriers on the throw pillows. A cheerful quilt hangs on the wall above the sofa, and a cacophony of dolls, figurines and stuffed animals are crammed on the shelves nearby.

The artist who created this licensing empire, with more than 13,000 pieces of usable art including calendars, books, tea sets, ribbons and fabrics, is a 67-year-old St. Louisan calling out her own sheltered world of cuteness.

Engelbreit enters her 2,800-square-foot Central West End workspace wearing a printed floral scarf and red framed glasses, appearing every bit the Midwestern grandmother you might expect.

That is, until the conversation gets political.

“Now I’m focused on how many senators are willing to sell their souls to cover up for this moron,” she says during a recent visit. If there’s any doubt about who she’s referring to, a scroll through her Instagram feed makes the subject of her ire crystal clear.

“This is WAY more than Democrat/Republican,” she wrote in response to a follower upset by one of her recent posts. “This is moral/immoral. You can be a Republican and not support Trump. But if you do support him, you are  supporting a white supremacist, uneducated, lying, grifting, racist, narcissistic, evil sexual predator, and all of your ‘Can’t we all just love one another?' is meaningless and insulting to all the people Trump seeks to disenfranchise.”

But tell us how you really feel, Mary.

•••

By the time Engelbreit sits down at her desk, she knows what she’s going to draw. An idea has been percolating, and she’s ready to get into her flow. She starts sketching in pencil, erasing and adjusting as she draws, usually on 8-by-10-inch paper. She uses colored pencils to make the drawing pop and does all the shading and details by hand.

“You’re constantly making decisions,” she says. “It definitely changes as it goes.”

Once she has the sketch down, she goes over the pencil lines in pen and ink. Then, she adds the flat colors with markers. Lastly, she shades the entire image with colored pencils. Her desk is surrounded with containers filled with hundreds of pencils and markers grouped by color.

But tell us how you really feel, Mary.

•••

By the time Engelbreit sits down at her desk, she knows what she’s going to draw. An idea has been percolating, and she’s ready to get into her flow. She starts sketching in pencil, erasing and adjusting as she draws, usually on 8-by-10-inch paper. She uses colored pencils to make the drawing pop and does all the shading and details by hand.

“You’re constantly making decisions,” she says. “It definitely changes as it goes.”

Once she has the sketch down, she goes over the pencil lines in pen and ink. Then, she adds the flat colors with markers. Lastly, she shades the entire image with colored pencils. Her desk is surrounded with containers filled with hundreds of pencils and markers grouped by color.

It might take five to six hours for a single drawing — longer if it’s for a calendar.

Her artwork changed forever the day police fatally shot African American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The morning she heard about the shooting, in August 2014, she felt compelled to draw. Years earlier, her son Evan had died when he was near Brown’s age. She and her husband adopted his biracial daughter as their own. Brown’s death triggered those painful emotions — and her anger.

The image that emerged that day was unlike the lighthearted drawings for which she’s known. A black mother held a black child in her arms, a tear falling from her eye. She looks at a newspaper that reads: "Hands up! Don’t shoot!"

Read Full-Article