I am so excited about this feature artist partly because I am lucky enough to be related to her (my cous). She is a letterpress printer/designer who lives in scenic Idaho with her fly fisher guide husband and 3 beautiful children. What a life!! It’s fun to get a sneak peek into her creative environment, plus be sure to comment to get a chance to win some of her goods. If you haven’t been introduced to letterpress yet, watch out its easy to become an addict. This craft has made a come back in a big way. Take note if you don’t want to be left in the dust !
1. When did you first realize you were creative?
I think since I could walk around the house I decided that a crayon or pen was a means to express myself. At the tender age of 3, I was mad at my mom and subsequently took a pen to her china cabinets in the living room. There was this linen in the cabinet doors instead of glass and I thought it would make a lovely home for a spider drawing to scare my mom. Scare her I did with that lovely scribble, and then I got sent to my room! I think that was premonition of the career path in artistry to come.
2. What drew you to letterpress?
I was a young bride and really wanted letterpress wedding invitations. However the place that I got a bid from was for close to $10k for a set of 300 invites. Clearly out of my budget I was determined to figure out to have letterpress for myself and be able to make it for others at a more reasonable price. Having just finished my art foundation in college I transferred schools, applied for their BFA graphic design program and got my degree. The rest is history, I bought a press and am primarily self taught as far as printing is concerned, however I have developed my design style over the years and was quite influenced by m amazing design professors that helped mentor me along the way.
3. How do you think your kids have benefited from watching you do what you love?
I think it helps them learn that they can do anything they want in life regarding career choice. I’d go to panels during my college years and ask about freelancing and having my own small design business with my family around me. I was told that it wouldn’t be possible without working for a large firm and establishing connections there first. I wasn’t willing to give up my younger years to a large firm and was determined to make it work. Make it work, I did and now am proud that I have interns pining for a position every semester and a few employees to lighten my work load.
4. Where do you see yourself in regards to your career in 10 years?
I’d really like to obviously grow my business to a wholesale national level. Right now I have clients all over the world and it’s just a matter of now getting my ready-made product out to them for everyday purchasing in their local stores. I’m all about supporting buying local and would love to have my product in stores that specialize is unique letterpress goods that are hand grafted and designed with love. Benefits and 401k would be awesome but it’s more important to me to enjoy my work than to be a work-horse just for benefits.
5. Where do you pull inspiration from?
Usually it’s my clients if its for custom work. They are the inspiration behind their brand and identity as well as printed collateral. For my collections and everyday goods it’s more about what I’m going through in my mind at the moment. Things all around me jump out to me and I think, “that would make a really cool project!”
I’d love to expand my letterpress medium to foiling and embossing as far as printing technique goes, but as for printmaking? I am a letterpress snob and feel that there is really no other printing method that compares.
7. What advice do you have for other Mother’s trying to launch a creative career?
All I have to say is dive in and don’t look back. Learn good accounting or it will slow your initial growth (and the time it takes to cut you your first paycheck), and promote yourself shamelessly. Confidence is the first thing people look for in hiring out work especially art related work. If you have kids, start small and evaluate your goals to always keep your wants an wishes regarding work and family in the right spot. Lastly, don’t ever let anyone tell you it can’t be done. I’m living proof that it can and the odds were quite stacked against me! It also helps to have a really enabling and supportive husband, they are super fun to have around!
To enter the giveaway for these great bugs & butterfly card set just leave a comment below, tell us what you would have printed up for your self. Be sure to check out Adrienne’s great etsy SHOP & fabulous business at DINGBAT PRESS. Winner announced on June 30th!