One of the things I’ve come to love over the years is typography. Ever since I started blogging five years ago, grown to appreciate the art and beauty of typography, from the simple and sleek to the ornate and chic. Well, it’s safe to say that Arianna from Paper Jam Press has found an awesome way to creatively express her love of the art form. The San Francisco-based artist loves immersing herself in the process of creating, and her latest collection features classic lyrics from rap and rock songs. The letterpress prints are simple, but don’t let that fool you — they pack a powerful punch. Each poster is hand-pulled through a Vandercook letterpress and set with turn-of-the-century Gothic wood type and are even available as temporary tattoos and wall decals. Read on for more behind-the-scenes scoop and her tips for finding your creative muse even on a budget! xoxo
Tell me about Paper Jam Press. What’s the inspiration behind its launch?
I started the poster project about 6 years ago while living in NYC. I’m a trained graphic designer and found the majority of my client work focused solely on digital thinking and digital execution. Something about all those hours dedicated to looking at a screen left me feeling uninspired. I had this urge to make something real, that I could hold in my hands, and give to another person. So, I thought, I’ll take a class, learn something new and see where it goes. I decided on letterpress for no other reason than I wanted an excuse to touch ink and paper again. The first day of class you’re given an assignment to set the type and print any phrase you’d like. I have to say it was daunting, almost as if I’d been mute and suddenly had the ability to speak. I thought for a minute and remembered seeing phrases stenciled on the sidewalk of San Francisco’s Mission District several years back. The phrases were some sort of love letter or declaration to the universe and included “Love me til my heart stops.” I loved the project so much I even kept a photo I’d taken of one of the phrases on my desk for years. When it was my turn to pull the letters from the type case and print, those are the letters I chose. After I stood back and looked at them alone on the page I had just made, I realized how powerful a few well chosen words could be.
Your shop features so many inspiring finds. What inspires you the most?
Gosh, everything. I love art, design, creativity and making. Anyone who has the courage to create anything at all and share that experience with others for entertainment, pleasure, judgment or otherwise is committing an act of sheer bravery. My standbys for finding projects, ideas, and art that inspires me would be Swiss Miss, Colossal and PSFK.
What are your top 3 tips for shopping online and finding great deals?
I love scoring a good deal but don’t think I have any tips other than Googling for coupons before I place and order.
How can people still be creative on a budget?
Creativity doesn’t have to cost a dime. All you need is to muster up a bit of courage to try and to be generous with yourself if you fail. I don’t think you need anything fancy to do that. In fact, creativity is an act self-expression that can really benefit from limitations. It’s the limitations that force you to innovate and discover.
What is your favorite piece in your shop and why?
It changes all the time. Right now, my favorite piece is Today Was a Good Day. I’ve made some changes in my life recently and am reflecting quite a bit on just how special each and every moment is.