Artist: Shayna Norwood
Location: Chicago, IL
Medium: Letterpress printing
How would you best describe your work?
I create high quality letterpress cards and custom invitations with an edge that offer an alternative to Hallmark’s sappy-sweet. Influenced by vintage illustrations I use clean, simple designs and print every card by hand.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by old mechanical tools, vintage objects, collectables and type. The Vandercook and Chandler price presses that i print are from the midcentury and have fascinating cranks and levers and gears. I love the tactility of it all.
How did you get started as an artist or craftsperson?
I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist. Right out of high school I went straight into art school to study painting. Since then I have explored many different mediums before finally landing in book arts and letterpress printing.
When and why did you start selling your work?
Because I have always wanted to be an artist, it only made sense that I start selling my work as soon as I could. I had my first art show while I was living in Los Angeles in 2001 at which I sold some pieces. That was when I was working in multimedia collage and photography. I first printed letterpress cards to send to all my friend over the holidays in 2008. I dropped off any extras a consignment craft shop in my neighborhood in Chicago “”Wolfbait and B-Girls.”” The cards sold really well there and the owners encouraged me to continue bringing in more inventory. The business just grew from there.
What is a favorite piece of art you’ve created that you just can’t bear to part with?
I have a little doll I created back in 2001 (that was a part of the show in LA) called Rebel Ruth. I made her by putting a Pocahontas doll head on an army doll. I painted her hair and gave her make up. She is one of a kind and can’t be duplicated. I could never sell her.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Basquiat, DuChamp, Banksy, Cy Twombly, Matisse, Olafur Eliasson, Swoon