CHASKA, Minn. — Maddy DePaul has been drawn to art for as long as she can remember.
"I’ve always been an artist ever since I was young. I don’t remember a day that I didn’t want to do something creative," she says.
It was that love of art that led her to quit her 9-to-5 job and launch Gray Duck Art.
"Gray Duck Art I would say overall is a company that is inspiring people in Minnesota and now nationwide to get creative," Maddy says.
Gray Duck Art started by offering "paint your pet" classes and has most recently branched out into offering pet painting kits.
The concept is simple. You submit a photo of your pet. Local Gray Duck Art artists draw a sketch of your pet and then ship you a painting kit that includes the sketch, paint and paintbrushes.
"It’s a paint-by-numbers style so it’s really successful and fun," Maddy says.
Maddy says sales of their pet painting kits have doubled since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and that they've sold kits in all 50 states.
"Right now I think it’s especially cool that you can take a break from everything else that’s going on and when you’re creative I think you’re kind of in the zone," Maddy says. "Creative confidence is my goal. Trying to get people to discover that they do have a creative bone in their body and they can paint."