Studio Stories: Meghann Rader

Banner featuring Meghann Rader's portrait flanked by two of her intricate invitation designs and a rsvp card, highlighting her bespoke stationery services.
Banner featuring Meghann Rader's portrait flanked by two of her intricate invitation designs and a rsvp card, highlighting her bespoke stationery services.

Forming Connections Between People, An Interview With Meghann Rader

It’s true that her work can speak for itself, but there’s so much more to appreciate about this charming artist. Continue reading our interview with her so you can learn about the pieces she created for our catalog, her creative process, her inspirations, and other intriguing facts.

What inspired you while you were creating the invite collection for Greetings Island?

I wanted to create a collection that was a mix of elegant, magical, and fun– something that I would buy for myself. While I’ve designed a lot of greeting cards, I haven’t designed a lot of invitations and I had so much fun playing with borders and figuring out how to incorporate and highlight the text as a feature within the illustrations.

What do you like about creating stationery compared to other types of art?

I like that I can portray a small story or a moment within a single image. Something meaningful that forms a connection between people. Also who doesn’t love stationery? It’s the best!

What’s your favorite invitation that you’ve designed for Greetings Island and why?

My favorite would have to be “That kind of magic,” which is the child’s birthday card I designed. I don’t often create work in that theme and I had so much fun with it. I just think it turned out so cute and sweet and I can’t wait to order it for my daughter’s birthday!

What kinds of stationery do you love making the most and what do you love about creating it? (Some examples could include thank you cards, romantic cards, party invitations, congratulatory cards, and more.)

I don’t think I have a specific favorite type of stationery. I think it depends on the idea I have. Some ideas are more inspiring and fun to work on than others. I really enjoy illustrating simple scenes with forest animals or figures because it’s the most interesting to me. That being said, I do enjoy creating a good holiday card!

A set of Meghann Rader' invitation designs for Greetings Island, displayed on marble with pink envelopes and a flower pot. The collection includes a bridal shower invitation with a cheering woman, a housewarming invite showing people unpacking, and a baby shower card with forest animals."

Do you have a routine that helps you create art? How did you set up your workspace to be as enriching as possible?

My husband and I both work from home. We have a seven year old in school and a four year old still at home. It’s a bit of a juggling act at times, but we make it work. I save all of my deep thinking work for times when I can be alone to focus. For me, that is the iteration phase, brainstorming ideas, and figuring out the general layout and structure of the artwork. I do have an office, but it’s often overrun by kids’ crafts. Generally, I am happiest in a quiet room with a cozy chair, a cup of tea, and my iPad.

Do you have a favorite medium? Do you enjoy combining specific mediums to make your pieces more dynamic?

I used to work mainly in gouache, but when daycares closed during the pandemic, I had to find a more efficient way of working while my kids were home. Trying to focus and paint with little hands roaming about is not easy. So I made the transition to working on my iPad. I use a program called Procreate to draw all of the artwork and then I finish everything up in Photoshop. I do love experimenting with all kinds of mediums, and I can even do that with various brushes on the iPad as well, but I’ve found that I struggle with having too much choice. When doing client work, it’s easier for me to just stick to a few different brushes that I know will work for me. I save the experimentation for the times when I’m just creating for fun.

What is a typical workday like for you? Are there any habits that you’d like to adopt to become even more fulfilled or productive?

I would say that no day is typical. I walk my daughter to school in the morning and when I get home I go over my to-do list and work through it from most important to least. I try to focus on the work that will make the biggest impact first. I find that my time can disappear so quickly on things that don’t really matter so I have to be very specific about what I spend my time on. I’m not always the most successful at it but I try! I’m looking forward to having a more consistent schedule next year when my son starts kindergarten.

As a realist, what objects or themes do you like incorporating into your art the most?

I get the most joy from incorporating people into my work, usually in some kind of small scene. I just find people the most engaging thing to draw and it’s so fun to see a character come to life before your eyes.

Your characters pose in all kinds of whimsical ways, such as swinging on vines or riding high wheelers. How do you come up with these unique poses?

I’m often looking around me for ideas and thinking about how I can turn whatever I’m looking at or thinking about into a piece of art. Occasionally something will pop into my head when I’m going about my day and so I have a list on my phone to keep ideas when they arrive.

You’ve seen your art transform into mugs, lotion sets, baby clothes, wrapping paper, and more. What was the most exciting transformation and what is the coolest object that you’d like to see your art appear on?

The most exciting transformation so far has been seeing my artwork turn into limited edition, hand-embroidered clutches designed to look like books from the Parisian company Olympia Le-Tan.

I would have never imagined anything like that! A dream project that I am still working toward is illustrating book covers for novels.

What do you love most about being an artist?

I love that I’m able to spend my days doing what lights me up, challenges me, and makes me feel fulfilled. And I love seeing other people connect with and find joy in my work as well.

Which artists inspire you the most as a creator and why?

Although their work is nothing like mine, two of my favorite artists have always been Helen Frankenthaler and Paul Klee. I love the freedom and playfulness of their work. There is a magical and otherworldly quality to it that I love. In my own work, I’m probably influenced the most by Art Deco illustration of the early 20th century. I love the figurative work of Erté, especially the graceful poses and intricate details in his clothing design.

Do you enjoy party planning or attending as a guest more? What’s the most memorable event that you’ve gone to or hosted and what elements make it so special?

I have to admit I’m not much of a party planner. I always start out with high hopes for myself but ultimately revert to being a lazy planner who does the least amount of work possible. As a guest, I’m an introvert and am much happier in small gatherings. I can’t think of a specific event, but the ones that I enjoy the most usually just have a few people who I know well and can have good conversations with. I think the guest dynamic is the most important element to me in making an event feel special.

Artists like Meghann Rader Help Us All Stay Connected

It takes a magical kind of person to fit so much joy into a small work of art and spread cheer to everyone who sees it. If you create invitations with Meghann’s designs or any of the other phenomenal Greetings Island artists, you’ll be able to build up lots of anticipation for your event and bring joy to your guests.

Have a look at Meghan Rader invitation capsule collection for Greetings Island so you can get inspired for your next event.