Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Bada-Bing Crafter Interview with illegible ink

illegible ink

Describe your business and work:
The name behind my work emerged from the fourth grade experience. When learning cursive, my teacher gave me a C+ on my report card, noting that I was “taking liberties with her cursive, making it too creative and therefore, illegible.” Years later that creativity remains thankfully intact and proves that one teacher’s “illegible” liberty-taking is very much a creative gain! I've been printing since 1998, using both traditional and modern printmaking techniques to
communicate through beauty and color, delicate lines, quirky patterns and whimsical images. I use a variety of media to create my finished prints and card sets, including handmade papers, water-based printing ink, watercolors and soft pastels.

How long have you been a crafter or designer?

I guess you could say I've been formally printing since Kindergarten. My first framed print was of autumn leaves and it still hangs in the entry way of my parents house! Since then it has been joined by mushrooms, gerber daisies, snapdragons, pansies and a whole zoo of animals. I've joked with my mom she needs to add price tags so when they have get-togethers, she could work on some additional sales. I would give her a commission!

How did you get started with your craft?
For a long time I used to commute 2 hours each day between Baltimore and DC (and yes, that was using public transportation). Too tired to print in the evening and usually recovering from the week on the weekends, I decided to quit the commute, settle down and get involved
in my community. So, 15 months ago I started working at Arts Every Day- a local non-profit dedicated to bringing arts education, arts experiences and arts integration to Baltimore City students. With the whittled down commute, our rowhouse dining room became the illegible ink print shop. (You would be amazed at how well a small printing press can quickly turn into a rolling buffet.)

What are your influences

Inspiration comes from a variety places including vacation photographs, local produce stands, books on library sale racks, and talking with fellow Charm City crafters during happy hour. I have always made prints with someone in mind - whether it be family or friends. A couple weeks ago a co-worker and I were talking about fortune cookies and I turned that idea into a really fun print.

Do you have a particular item featured?
A favorite item would have to be my "Animal Farm" series. George Orwell probably did not intend for a kid-friendly linocut series to be named after his 1945 political satire, Animal Farm, but I couldn’t help being inspired. This retro-infused series is more about carefree, barnyard fun than creating a “Horn and Hoof” nation. Individual linocuts are printed on 5x7" decorative paper and are priced at just $6.00. Each animal looks great in a simple IKEA frame or paired in larger groupings. I can just imagine the conversations my kitchen creation is having while I'm cook dinner!

What do you like best about spring?

Springtime is all about new-ness (ideas, materials and prints.) It means fresh smells, testing recipes, spring cleaning, and more green (in our patio pots as well as my skirts)!

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