Meet Shawn Braley

Meet Shawn Braley

Hi there, I'm Shawn Braley from Shawn Braley Illustration and I have been with Cardly since the very beginning. I'm from the beautiful green mountains of Vermont, in the northeast part of the United States. I adore animals, (especially cats), playing the drums, traveling, and collecting original comic and illustration art. My greeting card business revolves around my illustrations of realistically sweet looking animals in situations that resonate on a human level. 

Before the internet

I have been doing art for literally as long as I can remember. My grandmother worked at the local newspaper and supplied me with huge sheets of blank paper, pens and pencils. My first memories of being obsessed with drawing was around the age of 4. I wanted to recreate the Saturday morning cartoons that I looked forward to once a week. Since childhood I knew that art would be the only thing I would ever do in some form or another. I am self taught, other than a year of art school. I grew up and came of creative age before computers had entered the medium.

Art and business has always gone hand in hand for me. Since my early teens, I have sold my art for shirts, ads, and posters. I unknowingly developed a unique style that resonated commercially. My career began in earnest while doing political cartoons for the largest newspaper in Vermont, which turned into general illustration assignments for feature pages. I immediately loved telling a 'story' in one image, boiling the article down to its visual essence in order to grab the reader and make them linger on the page. It's something I learned from studying two of my favourite artists, Norman Rockwell, and J.C. Leyendecker. Both of them were longtime cover artists for the Saturday Evening Post. Those covers were iconic in the way that they told a whole story at a glance. 

Why I love Cardly

In 2015 I decided to present my line of greeting cards at the National Stationery show in New York City. It was a big undertaking, financially and otherwise. I was contacted by Patrick Gaskin, owner of Cardly. I don't recall how he found me, but he wanted to meet and talk to me and a few other artists about his new company - and he was coming all the way from Australia to do so!

True to his word, he showed up at my booth fresh off a long haul flight from all the way around the world. His enthusiasm impressed me, but it was the idea that he was investing and employing genius levels of technology and production to showcase a paper product. Paper has always been a huge part of my life. I love holding paper, reading, feeling the textures of different paper, and creating on paper. In an age when paper was quickly losing favor, here's a company that was finding ways to keep it viable, relevant and desirable.

Cardly helps artists, printing companies, tech wizards and mail delivery services on multiple continents. Cardly allows us artists the chance to have our work seen, shared and enjoyed in homes around the globe. I love that it gives people a very unique, interactive and fun way to send greetings, which the recipient will treasure. The marriage of technology and paper is what sold me, and I have been happily on board since day one.