Posts in Creatives

Letterpress in the heart of the beast

published by Fran Shea

The car was packed and I squeezed myself between a card rack, a change box, some stuffed animals and one dozen boxes. I was just lucky there was room for me at all. Okay? OKAY?

Jen and I have gotten pretty good at setting up for a show. It goes like this: I ask Jen which cards I should put where. She tells me. I do it. She dismantles what I did and does it a different way. It’s very efficient.

All the big names (in printmaking) were at MCBA on Thursday for the Mid America Print Council Conference Press Fair. Jenni Undis (of Lunalux) and I put on our roller skates and got into a battle – it ended with lots of hair-pulling and some teeth (hers) on the floor. It was worth it because I earned the title of “Letterpress Queen.” Maybe next year, Jenni. Maybe next year.

A fair wouldn’t be complete without, at least, one doppelganger:

still-stalking-you

What a pleasant stalker!

OH, ALSO: Miss Amy Jo was there! Good Lord, her work makes me love her. I’m sorry you had to hear that, Miss Amy Jo. 

A long, long time ago there was no Tanek. Only empty space.

published by Fran Shea

I loved when Mom would get out the Scotch-tape and add my latest work to the dining room wall.

fran-andy-dining-room-wall

I’m not sure if one day she ran out of paper or tape – but she also let me paint right on the windows and the refrigerator.

I spent the last 10 weeks art directing Tanek’s new website. It was very similar to painting on the refrigerator except without paints or a refrigerator. I worked on the project with my old boss. Don’t confuse this old boss with another old boss I had at the Leeann Chin in Richfield, circa 1989.

You can go look at the new Tanek site. It’s not painted on the fridge or hanging on the dining room wall but it’s still super awesome. You can really build with the masthead blocks! … Actually, that gives me an idea… build something cool, take a screen grab and e-mail it to Zeichen Press – WHY? I’ll pick the best one, send out some fancy letterpress cards to the winner and publish it on the blog.

HEY! This is fun!

Potato-Guns and Make Magazine

published by Fran Shea

The other day, I needed to learn how to make a potato gun. It doesn’t matter why. Anyway, I made my way to the MAKE Magazine blog – If you haven’t been – I don’t know what to say. It’s not like we can’t be friends. It will just never be more than that.

So, they are doing this Maker Business Series and I thought, “hey, I make things… I own a business…” The potato gun would just have to wait. Sorry Edmund. …I sent an e-mail to someone named Gareth (Jen keeps referring to Gareth as “her” – I don’t have the heart to correct her) and told him about Zeichen Press – he responded and then it turned into an interview and… Go read it!!

Je m’appelle Françoise

published by Fran Shea

If I were getting married I would design and letterpress print my own invitation.

What am I saying?? No, I wouldn’t. I don’t even send out the Christmas cards that I design and letterpress print. WHAT??!! I know. This is a blog post and a confession.

Anyway, Minnesota Bride included  one of our wedding invitations in a nice little spread they called “Vintage in Vogue.”

See?

minnesota-bride-logo-450x173mn-bride

2. Inspired by the couple’s romantic first meeting in the city of love, designer Fran Shea blended imagery from Paris with a vintage postcard theme to create a classic yet distinctive invite. Using letterpress printing and a unique accordion layout, this design evokes an aura of chic French elegance. Zeichen Press, 612.432.1943, zeichenpress.com

°°°Creatives Better Bring it in 2009 or How Not to Get Outsourced°°°

published by Fran Shea

Hey!

I’ve got your stimulus plan right here: (picture me pantomiming using and flushing a toilet)

WHAT?! I KNOW! It’’s nuts, but don’’t worry, I have a plan. What? You are a “creative” and not one of those money-grubbing-pencil-pushing-number-crunching-suit-wearing-folder-filing-douche-bags? Oh, well. Never mind. Your bulging, overdeveloped right brain will miraculously begin its emergency production of U.S. currency.

Oh, silly me. Or, “Blee, blah, blah” as my mom would say. That was MY bulging, overdeveloped right brain trying to find a creative solution for something that is far too complicated for my shriveled left brain to comprehend. Doctors say that my left brain is all that actually remains of my parasitic conjoined twin.

But that’’s not important.

Listen, what IS important is this: Stuff as much potable water and canned ham as will fit in a canvas bag and hitchhike to the least populated area you can find. It will probably be a shopping mall because nobody has any money”.

I’’m just kidding.

Don’’t bring the canned ham – that’s gross. Bring one of those shrink-wrapped holiday sausages. Okay, where was I? Why do I think it’’s important to go to the mall to see the people NOT spending their moola? BECAUSE, you – The Creative, need to inspire the buyer to buy and should see firsthand where the people are milling about, imagining shelling out their hard-earned dough. This economic pickle will do something interesting for the creative community: It will separate the men from the boys, like a giant, emotionless colander. All you timid, cowering, insecure creatives will slip through the holes.

Don’t feel bad, your “”creative thing”” could win you the title of The Most Awesome Pictionary Partner.

But, the rest of you… YOU need to bring it.

Bring.

It.

Show us what you’’re made of! There was a time when men labored their entire lives on a single artistic work. We have a word for those people: Dead. And also, dedicated. Know your market and drive your original, imaginative spear right through that teeny-tiny part of their brain that whispers, “I like that.”

NOW, if you are a creative that does NOT need to earn a living busting your creative butt- ignore all of those crazy words above. YOU are a purist. You design and make and create because you can. If I were Oprah I’’d say that with a ton of energy and enthusiasm, “BECAUSE… YOU… CAN!!” Do you feel me? Knit, sew, draw, paint, print, cook, write – whatever your medium, do your thing – don’’t let the staggering, smelly, urine-soaked economy drag you down, don’’t be discouraged! This is your big chance to wear depression-era clothing and squeeze blood from a stone! Visit your local thrift stores for materials, scour Craigslist for deals, fish your local pond for dinner!

My brother, Zak, goes to great lengths to keep his money from The Man. (Offshore accounts, blee, blah, blah) Salvaging wood from broken-down barns, buildings, docks, whatever – and transforms them into stunning pieces of furniture, ornaments, frames, and toys. (Shameless, nepotistic plug: click here to be lathered in images of wooden beauty)

It must be genetic because My Grandpa was all about recycling WAY before it was even a thing. He made his living as a plumber and knew copper more than most men know their wives. (But who can really KNOW copper? Right?) Door pulls, garden arbors, oven racks… the whole damn house was held together by copper.

Are you picking up what I’’m laying down? I’’m giving you examples from my own life that you might find something relatable in yours. That makes you, the reader, feel closer to me. We should totally go have coffee and talk about how we’re going to rock 2009.

Right on.