Featured Artist, Print & Be Merry

Letterpress Invitations


February’s artist features belongs to Lori from Print & Be Merry! I first met Lori in 2010 when I purchased a print from her Etsy shop and asked if I could pick it up locally instead of having it shipped. She exceeded my expectations by dropping it off at my door! A few short years later we reconnected through the local art scene in the Fox Valley and she helped me find a letterpress of my very own. Needless to say that press only saw ink 3 times while in my position so I sold him a year or so ago.

When Joe asked me to marry him I knew exactly who to go to for my longed for letterpress invitations. I designed the set and Lori so graciously took me on as an assistant for the day while we printed away ~ it was an amazing experience! Wedding invitations are just a small bit of what she sends out across the world every week. Her work has also been featured in Better Homes and Gardens,  Pregnancy and NewbornLucky Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Pottery Barn blog, HGTV blog, Buzzfeed and Flavorwire… just to name a few!

Recently Lori moved into The Draw and has work featured in the Feather & Bone gallery as well. She is taking on new projects every day and I’m so excited to see what she comes up with next! Take a moment to read some words straight from Lori and enjoy her beautiful workspace ::

Name:   Lori Vandenberg

Business:  Print and Be Merry

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up and why?  A farmer’s wife.  Although I didn’t grow up on a farm, my grandparents and many of my relatives were farmers.  I spent a lot of time on the farm, especially during the summer and I’d go along to bale hay or help in the barn.  I like being outdoors and nature and I love animals. They work very hard, utmost respect.  I don’t know if i could do it!

What does a typical day of work look like for you start to finish?  Check my website, package orders and reply to emails.  Then off to my “day job” working in the nurse’s office at an elementary school.  Afternoon kickboxing and strength training class keeps me energetic.  I am also a mom to 2 boys, ages 10 and 12, and much of my weekdays are spent helping with homework, sports, and their other extracurricular activities.  I go to my studio later in the evening or on the weekends.  I often work into the wee hours of the morning printing.

Any favorite projects you’re currently working on?  Rather than quotes/sayings, more abstract design elements.   I just recently started working on one of a kind abstract letterpress pieces, incorporating different design elements and experimenting with new printing techniques. I also have grand plans for printing parties and gatherings in the near future!

How do you use social media and what is your favorite way to connect with your audience?  I’m typically a very private person so it’s all very new to me. I’m not the best at it but I’m willing to learn get better.

How do you find inspiration?  I love  interior design and pulling color ideas from fresh styles. Moving into The Draw has allowed me to meet many other artists, musicians, photographers and designers.  It’s fun to grab inspiration from collaboration and bouncing ideas off each other.  

Who or where is your go to for creative criticism when you are questioning your work and why?  I ask others thoughts but usually know what I want and go with what I feel.

What was the best piece of advice you ever got?  Go with your gut.

What’s your secret for productivity?  Organization! Messy work spaces are just recipes for disaster or wasted time.

Who are some of your other favorite creatives to follow?  Andy Warhol, modern bright and bold colors.  The local art scene has also been so great, I find a lot of inspiration from musicians, folk music in particular.

Anything we missed that you would like to share?  I’m always on the hunt for letterpress equipment. I have pieces from companies who closed their doors, rummage sales in the deep woods of Wisconsin or pieces listed on Craigslist after someone was cleaning out an old garage or basement. I’m willing to look at anything, you never know what you might stumble across!

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