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Maker Monday: Ampersand Illustration

Ampersand Illustration creates illustrations inspired by vintage styles and colour palettes that are influenced by a background in printmaking and graphic design. The small studio occasionally produces paper goods with a focus on slow process and an adoration of print/paper.

What’s letterpress? A type of printmaking using a traditional printing press that involves inking a raised surface (the image) and pressing it into paper creating an indentation. Letterpress printing requires tradespeople to operate the press, mixing inks and creating the final items.

What do you do? I’m an illustrator and printmaker who draws and designs illustrations for paper goods. I produce artwork as well as work with talented tradespeople who create our paper goods focusing on the beauty inherent in the materials and slow process.

Why traditional printing methods? As a printmaker, I value the slow process and the hands that were used to create an item. There are unique characteristics like the bite in the paper that you don’t achieve with digital printing.

What does being a Maker mean to you? When I decided to illustrate a line of stationery I wanted to collaborate with artists and tradespeople beyond myself. I felt supporting the creation process from my designs to working with individual tradespeople and sourcing my materials from Canada was paramount.

How have you developed your skills? A combination of formal schooling and practicing my trade.

Where are you from and how does that influence your work? I’m from the Prairies and they are a constant source of inspiration

How has the pandemic impacted your creativity? It has been difficult, however, it has opened up new opportunities I wouldn’t have pursued otherwise such as the online store (opening soon!)

What themes do you pursue in your work? You will see a lot of my inspiration is derived from nature and the everyday.

What is your favorite thing you've created and why? The letter writing sets. My hope is that more people will be inspired in putting pen to paper and write a note to a loved one—whimsical thoughts or just to say hi.

What is your dream project? Illustrating a children’s book.

Do you accept commissions? Yes, email or message me.

What type of art do you like to consume? All kinds!

How do you know when you've finished a project? This is a tough question! Sometimes you have to step back and take a break before you know if it’s done.

What are your long term goals? To connect with more independent stores across Canada who would carry my paper goods.

What story do you want to tell with your work? I hope people enjoy using our paper goods as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them.

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