Continuing with our interview series, I'm excited to feature the very talented Eva and Kirk Jorgensen of Sycamore Street Press whom I've been a fan of for years. Eva has amazing taste (you see it reflected in their work) and just check out who inspires them. Here's our interview, but first a little info: Sycamore Street Press' studio and presses are located in the beautiful Heber Valley, tucked in the mountains of Utah, near family, and wildlife. They create unique products with a commitment to green and sustainable materials.
Tell us a little bit about you. Where did you train or study and what led you to the path you currently are on?
I grew up watching my mom paint and my grandmothers sew and do needlework. I always loved watching and learning from them, and I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be an artist, illustrator, or designer of some kind. I ended up getting my BFA in visual art from Brigham Young University and my MFA in Printmaking from the University of Utah. Upon graduation (in 2007), I found a letterpress, set it up next to my kitchen table, and started Sycamore Street Press right away while also working in a local stationery shop. 6 months later, I was doing SSP full-time, and a year after that, my husband Kirk joined me full-time as well.
What's your main focus currently and/or how would you describe your current design aesthetic?
Right now I'm really into traditional, small repeating patterns like calico that became popular again in the 70's and early 80's. Overall, my aesthetic is a bit eclectic, but always drawn towards things that show evidence of the hand. Folk, bohemian, earthy, simple, rustic, colorful, and cozy are all words that come to mind.
Love your work - can you explain that design process?
My drawing style is very linear and influenced by antique printmaking techniques such as engravings and wood carvings, but then I try and give it a simplified, colorful, contemporary edge as well. I draw everything by hand with pencil and/or pen, and then my team and I bring it into the computer to add color and sometimes adjust layout. I always run everything by Kirk. He has a good eye and isn't afraid to tell me when something isn't working.
What designers/makers/architects, etc do you look up to, are influenced by or inspire you?
Just a few...
Jockum Nordstrom (drawing style that is both naive & elegant)
Matt & Julie Walker (the natural, lovely way in which they see the world)
Kevin Russ (his vision of the American West)
Carl & Karin Larsson (the way their home & family life became their most important work of art)
Kiki Smith ( just like Poppytalk's tagline: beautiful, decayed, handmade)
David Shrigley (hand lettering, drawings, & sense of humor)
Josef Frank (fantastic color & pattern)
Emily Henderson (love for vintage, fun, & color)
Andy Warhol (early illustrations & ideas about art & business)
Nikole & Lance Herriott (attention to detail & wonderful collaboration)
& most of all, anonymous folk artists across the years and globe
Where else do you pull inspiration from?
I'm inspired by so many things -- travel, good food, film, fashion, the online creative community, my family, the beautiful mountain valley where we live...
Any sneak peeks or plans you can share of new or future things on the go?
Here's a peek at some of our new gift wrap & gift tags for spring. It will be up in the Sycamore Street Press shop soon! (Sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know.)
Website url: http://sycamorestreetpress.com/
Shop url: http://sycamorestreetpress.com/shop/all.html
Blog url: http://sycamorestreetpress.com/blog/
(Note: The Bee's Knees card as well as the valentine cards on the bulletin board image were designed by Sycamore Street Press team member, Stephanie Ford). Also visit Sycamore Street Press at our market this month here!
Thank you Eva and Kirk!