This artist does something that is a bit different from the others that we have interviewed. Come and meet
Here is our interview with the artist, Suzanne
Briefly describe what you make?
I screen print original designs and drawings that I create and then put onto t-shirts, totes, onesies and hankies. I try to come up with things that speak to me that hopefully speak to others. Some of my designs are image based and a few are text based. A simple onesie with hand drawn trucks or fresh grown flowers can be found in my shop. And contrastly, you can find a simple "Romance is Dead" piece on another shirt that I wrote, designed and printed. You can also find designs that have been test printed onto a shirt or bag. This is where the first print of a screen is tested so I can see how the ink coverage is working. I use the entire shirt or bag, covering it with these tests, so they are mix matched and fun.
What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
Definitely screen printing, which is perfectly matched for my design work. I have a degree from Herron School of Art and Design, which has been around for more than a hundred years! I'm found on my computer or with my sketch book in hand a lot while I'm home.
How long have you been creating craft?
I've been an artist, since I was young, starting off focusing on painting with oils while I was in high school. When I went to college I ended up discovering Visual Communication, which is graphic design, and fell in love. It's amazing how imagery and text beautifully put together can communicate powerfully. It just doesn't have to say something, it can be beautiful, or purposely ugly. This is the power you have as the designer or artist to evoke feelings and send messages. Sometimes it can be a way to work through things personally or celebrate things...visual communication is universal. Everyone has something to say, some people want to hear what you have to say, some agree, and some don't, which is totally fine. We are all so different, it's just fun personally to say what I want to say creatively. I've been screen printing for 2 years.
How did you get started?
I've been interested in printmaking since college. But since I paid for college myself, I was very selective of the classes I took. But my hunger for printmaking grew.
So, using a garden hose and the sunlight, I began teaching myself how to screen print. It took a few months to get the process down and I'm still finding that I'm learning more and more about screen printing the longer I do it. And I have to say, teaching myself the process by trial and error has made this experience more emotional than I would expect. A successful exposure and print made my day! It felt so good to get it right. And oppositely but equally, when I didn't succeed I felt like tossing the screen into the trash! Learning from my own mistakes was very gratifying. I felt like I conquered something that at one point I knew nothing about. How fun is that!?
Where does the name of your shop come from?
Speak For Yourself. It is a bold and powerful thing to speak for yourself. Standing up and speaking up, sometimes that takes guts and can be a scary thing, but I think it is hugely important. Be brave. Also, communication is so important, we can all strive to be open and sometimes just a little more honest. It is a vulnerable thing to do, but I think it pays off in the end. You can be stronger personally and speak up for yourself, others, the environment, disease, all types of things, that's how the ball gets rolling, and if you do it effectively, you can change things!
What would you most want people to know about your work?
My work is something I'm compelled to do, I'm passionate. I like to have fun. I love beautiful things. I'm honest and I think my work is too. I love what I do, it can be scary making things for other people, but it's exciting when people appreciate it or can identify with my work.
What words of advice do you have for other artists?
Keep your chin up! I think it is difficult for some artists [obviously me :)] to continue putting yourself out there and seeing what others think of you and your work. Art is subjective, and sometimes what your saying people disagree with or don't get the feeling behind it. If you're a sensitive person this can be challenging, but if you can stay positive, that is the key.
Great interview. Come and see this shop! Then come back and leave a comment!