Elizabeth Bruemmer

1. Tell us about yourself! How did you start quilting?

I come from a family of quilters. Growing up, our household beds were covered in quilts made by generations of women in my family. While living in New York City I decided it was time for me to learn this family tradition. On a trip home to Ohio, I sorted through fabrics with my mother, choosing colors and deciding on a pattern. For the next two years most of my time outside of work was filled with hand piecing and then quilting; I had no idea how long it would take.  I learned the process of natural dyeing from the wonderful Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn. My two new interests eventually intertwined and I continue to experiment and learn. 

2. Has DAAP had any influence on the way that you create art?

DAAP taught me core design principles. Color theory, balance, proportion; when I started quilting I realized that all of the concepts I apply to graphic design are also the basis of creating a quilt composition.

3. Do you have a favorite DAAP memory?

We used to have air soft gun battles when we were in studio late at night. It was painful but a lot fun. I also loved to roller skate around DAAP. 

4. Do you see yourself building your personal brand more in the future?

I hope for quilting to be a lifelong passion. I feel lucky to help keep this generations old tradition alive and add my own hand to it. I hope to create quilts that will be treasured and passed on as heirlooms. 

5. Do you have any advice/words of encouragement for people who want to start their own businesses?

Pick one thing you love and work hard to get really good at it. 

6. What do you love most about the maker community?

I love meeting fellow quilters- it's a rare hobby these days so anytime I run into someone that says "I quilt too!" it makes me happy to talk shop with them. 

7. What are some things you like to do to get inspired? Has a certain artist/designer influenced your design process?

I'm inspired by the quilters of Gee's Bend; their colorful, improvised quilts are so uninhibited and beautiful.  My favorite place to visit for inspiration is the American Folk Art Museum in NYC. 

AJ Yorio

1. Tell us about yourself/how did you start making art?

Grew up with my grandma as a docent at the Taft Museum / had childhood cancer (a lot of time in bed) started to make art because of those circumstances.

2. Has DAAP had any influence on the way that you create art?

DAAP (my professors) has had a huge influence on the way I make art / create art. Practically and philosophically. Noel Anderson my printmaking professor was a major influence.

3. If you could go to dinner with any designer/artist, who would it be and why?

I would go to dinner with Aaron Draplin.

4. What would you be doing if you didn't decide to pursue a creative field?

I would be playing music in a band, does that count? If not, I'd be public speaking.

5. Do you have any advice/words of encouragement for people who want to start their own businesses in design?

Be humble / know that failure is always an option.

6. What do you love most about the maker community?

It's sorta crazy how much adrenaline gets generated from deciding to create personal works of art and craft...

6. What do you love most about the maker community?

Camping / driving / church / watching sports.

 

Halie Zulch

1. How did you get started creating art? Did you start at a young age or was it something that you began to do when you were older? Has it changed over time?

For most of my life art was kind of just one of those things that I was good at. I loved it, but it had never been something I worked for.

Only when my junior year of high school hit and that whole college thing became a giant looming reality did my view on art change. I was sitting in art class basically covered head to toe in charcoal and realized that I had been stupid for not coming to the conclusion earlier. Design. From there it got serious quick. I came from science nerd, varsity jock to finally realizing that I was squandering my own art freak potential. My senior year I took five art classes. My life became scholastic submissions. I applied to every art school at the top of everybody’s list. I was determined. I knew it was the right choice.

Now I find myself surrounded by those same kids determined in the exact same way I was and still am. Driven by god knows what to create. I’ve never been happier to look around and see the faces of people I know to be equal in talent, in hard work, in late nights spent, and coffees pounded. Everyday I hear another story of some other DAAP kid doing something incredible and it only drives me further.

2. What are your inspirations / influences that help you develop your style across different projects?

Perhaps out of all others, fashion has been a big influence of mine, especially within these past few years. Its allowance for self expression, for me, is unlike any other. No matter the time, no matter your age, or any other factor you can find something that embodies who you are and who you seek to be. I try to approach my projects in much the same way, finding my own viewpoint within the walls of someone else’s room.

But seriously, what the hell isn't influential or inspirational? For me it is all of life, art, performance, places visited, film, music, even the strangers I see on the street. It’s like a switch I cant turn off. Every inch of life is something I try to draw inspiration from. As far as style I try to stay as true to myself as possible, not asking the questions of how am I going to do this but why do I desire to in the first place? I have always been exponentially more driven when I find deep purpose in something. If its there, your voice will shine through. Style will always change, voice is something bound to the soul of each and every one of us. I think that’s the more important question, often disregarded.

3. How has your relationship with interior design affected your other artwork?

I would say that interior design has not only influenced my other creative endeavors, but also my entire life with it. Perhaps one of the more pronounced of symptoms is my hungry tactility. I am always feeling the walls or other peoples fuzzy sweaters. But more on the notion of creating, interior design has given me a whole new perspective on the spacial quality of all things, places, any object created. For me its impossible to remove an object or even doodle without thinking of the space around it. They are fused.

4. What are your favorite memories of creating art or being in DAAP?

Oh man, there’s too many to pick one. I think a lot of my best memories are framed in long nights. These five years have been an interesting ride, a lot of stress tears and love, but good god, when I look back they’ve all been good.

5. Is making art an everyday task for you?

If I am not creating at surface level, I guarantee I am in my head. Sometimes it just doesn’t boil over.

6. If you had some words of encouragement for someone who is struggling to balance making art or wanted to explore a new method of making art, what would you say?

Do it. Make the time. It has taken me until senior year to finally get my weaving closer to even a part time position in my life, and its a shame I didn't do it earlier. I think it is really easy to get caught up in school and deadlines and forget that you are at school solely to benefit you and not your professor. It’s important to get your work done and do it well, but it should also be equally important to foster your own curiosity. If you don’t, you've just jumped on the fast track to burn out.

Exploration and curiosity feed creativity.

Elijah Wood

1. How did you get interested in jewelry as a medium and what is your favorite part about it?

Growing up as the only guy out of four siblings, I was exposed to a lot of jewelry making.  I didn’t really get into until last year when I thought making jewelry would make great gifts for people. 

2. Growing up, how were you influenced to create art? Does anyone in your family work in a creative field?

My mom is a ceramist and dad is a painter who also owned a small art gallery in Tremont Cleveland at a time.  Currently, both my dad and step dad both work at the local art museum in Oberlin.  My sisters are also heavy into the arts. Everyone in my family has been a huge influence on my creative pursuits because each of them have their own philosophies on the subject.

3. Has architecture/interior design influenced how you design at all?

Architecture has allowed me to think more spatially.  The scale and scope varies significantly project to project which is still somewhat difficult to grasp.  Buildings are hard to draw so learning how to draw them has also been nice. 

4. If you weren't doing something creative, what field would you want to work in?

Garbage man or 7/11 night shift cashier.

5. What are some things you like to do to get inspired?

Talk to other people and learn from others people’s creative perspectives.  Go outside. Watch movies.  Listen to music.  Be uncreative. 

6. What are other forms of art you enjoy doing?

I like to draw, make pottery, and make music. 

 

Liz Ginter

1. How did you get interested in jewelry as a medium and what is your favorite part about it?

I have always enjoyed having a creative outlet outside of classes and sports to use as a stress reliever. I really got into jewelry specifically when I started my first co-op. I had a lot of free time to start exploring. 

2. Growing up, how were you influenced to create art? Does anyone in your family work in a creative field?

Art class was always something I looked forward to back in high school. It was a fun social and productive environment. Once I chose art class over a Spanish class there was no going back. I loved testing my creative ability. Also, My father is an architect so I always felt like I had something creative going for me. 

3. Has architecture/interior design influenced how you design at all?

Yes, 100%. I've grown up going to job sites with my dad and hanging out in his office because he worked at home. 

4. If you weren't doing something creative, what field would you want to work in?

Just from watching Grey’s Anatomy and not knowing anything else about medicine, I would be a surgeon (but not really because I’m not good under tremendous pressure)

5. What are some things you like to do to get inspired?

I am a Pinterest fiend when it comes to finding inspiration. Next best is magazine hunting.

6. What are other forms of art you enjoy doing?

I enjoy doing nail art. It was a strange hobby of mine that I happened upon in high school. Everyone looked at me for having a new nail design every week.

Evan Verrilli

1. How did you get started creating art? Did you start at a young age or was it something that you began to do when you were older? Has it changed over time?

Well, when I was like 6, some dude came into Louis Little Folks (my preschool at the time) and started drawing these airplanes. And I thought it was the sickest shit; I really took to the whole drawing thing, so I’d draw Mickey’s and Spongebob’s and just fuckin’ go to town while all the other kids were chillin’ on the swing set. It just kind of grew from there I guess.

My life has been influenced by the HB pencil, so I kind of cling to it out of desperation and for a sense of solace. The pencil gave me this foundation, so now I just build as a drawer, using like glazing techniques and mark making and color theory and other stuff you learn while painting to make drawings and experiment with the 2D world.

Point is: pencil is king and you never draw like you did when you were a kid.

2. What are your inspirations / influences that helped you develop your artistic style?

For the general art historian: I really like Abstract Expressionism, German Expressionism, Art Nouveau and the Vienna Secession, Folk Art (it’s shitty and wonderful), non-Classical stuff—though unfortunately it influenced everything, and post-modernism (I’m an angst-y white kid); every art museum has something I want to steal/imitate, so I dig most of them. The Album by Edouard Vuillard (see it in person). There are other things too, but that's all I can think of at the top of my head.

For the poet/writer: Nabokov, Salinger, Diaz, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and any other book about love

For everyone else: graffiti, conversation, jazz, blues, folk (Jackson C. Frank), hip-hop, 60’s pop, punk/post-punk.

Basically, I was born with this stupid capacity for empathy, which people either judge as sincere or murderous, and grew up with a general sense of dissatisfaction in how things were done in the world. So put those three things together (passion, drama, and anxiety), and you get an artist I guess.

“Inspiration comes from everywhere.” – everyone you ask

3. How has your relationship with industrial design affected your art style?

Well, industrial design has a fairly specific style which is known as “ID sketching”, which I don’t exactly like, or which doesn’t exactly fit my style of drawing. But I’ve adopted things like perspective, a few shading techniques, quick lines and just general cleanliness, which I sometimes obey, sometimes disregard entirely. Design has made me a cleaner drawer, where every line has more purpose, more thought put into the whole, but also a dirtier artist, where I accept my messy style and let my anxiety take hold do what it wishes with my pen.

4. What are your favorite memories of creating art or being in DAAP?

Probably the wild nights in high school where I sat in my basement and scribbled some shit on a page. I was never happy with any of it, but those classes forced me to confront what kind of artist I wanted to be.

Good DAAP memory: got chased down a hall by a bunch of 4th years holding mannequin limbs.

5. Is making art an everyday task for you?

Yes. Every goddamned minute unfortunately.

6. If you had some words of encouragement for someone who is struggling to bring their art to life, what would you say?

My art teacher in high school made us read a few chapters from this book called The Shape of Content, which is a series of lectures by this famous artist Ben Shahn. I don’t remember the exact words, but the chapter was “The Education of The Artist”, and he put it better than I probably could. My advice is this: “And paint and paint. And draw and draw.”

Handzy

1. Tell us about yourself/how did you start your brand (Do you guys remember the first time you met at DAAP?)

We both transferred into DAAP after both attending other schools for our freshman year of college. We never met during our foundations year at DAAP but on the first day of Todd Timney's class sophomore year he put us in the same group for some sort of type study activity and we've been best friends ever since! After graduation we both pursued different paths. Brittney worked for a year at LPK and Suzy worked at Voyageur Outward Bound School instructing canoeing. In school we always talked and dreamed about opening a cute shop together and it looks like we manifested it! We're both not afraid to take risks and we both knew we had to be our own bosses. Handzy Shop + Studio was born out of that and a lot of hard work.

2. If you could go back and relive any memory of DAAP, what would it be?

If we could relive any DAAP memory it would be our first summer quarter in school. We were all new friends and the weather was warm! We would all go to Burnet Woods after class and have cookouts, or gather our classmates up to go canoeing. It's so much fun being around your friends all the time and going through the same things together. DAAP classmates share a unique bond! In some way we still relive that as we've continued to work together. At our old studio in Brighton we had beach chairs on our roof for some break time sun soaking! We are definitely into the summer at Handzy.  

3. If you could go to dinner with any designer/artist, who would it be and why?

One thing about having a storefront that we've absolutely loved is that we've gotten to meet so many local artists and designers! Being a part of the Covington/Cincinnati design and art community is a huge part of owning a design and art focused shop. Just yesterday we went to lunch with some local designers; James Billiter, Nicholas Moegly and Jessica Jones to chat business and design. It's important for everyone to work together and support each other! We really look up to anyone and everyone who is out there trying to do or make something of their own.   

4. What is something you're super excited about for the future of Handzy?

For us, the future of Handzy feels limitless! In the upcoming year we are shifting our focus a bit to launching an online store. Shopkeeping issomething we both really enjoy and the idea of having to keep track of all kinds of inventory and fulfill orders sounds like a blast to us! We are both very detail oriented. Also, we are starting to advertise and focus on our invitation design services. What could be better than using design for fun and to bring people together!?  

5. Do you have any advice/words of encouragement for people who want to start their own businesses in design?

Honestly, we're still not sure we even know what we are doing most days. One thing we did that has been a game changer in starting our own business was get a free business mentor through the SCORE (score.org) program. Our business mentor has helped us through tons of things we previously had no knowledge of ... like taxes. We have both been great from the start at admitting when there is something we don't know and just asking for help. Ask, ask and ask some more. You'd be surprised what you can get done and accomplish if you rid fear from the asking process. What's the harm in an email anyways?

6. What do you love most about the maker community?

The maker community it such a supportive space to be in! We love it and we have felt nothing but love back from all of the makers we have connected to in our time of owning a business. The creative community in Covington is what really drew us to re-locating here when we decided it was time to open our storefront. It's a little smaller than Cincinnati and we feel like we really know our creative neighbors! We're in good company with Durham Brand & Co., Madison Design and BLDG basically all on our block! We've also met all kinds of people through community events here such as Covington Creates and CBC (Covington Business Council) Connects.

7. What are some things you guys like to do to get inspired?

One thing that really inspires us is going to Target, even if we just need paper towels for the studio. I know that might sound a bit silly but we love to get out of our shop sometimes and just go somewhere! We are often pretty busy managing all of the business aspects of having a shop and studio (emails, accounting, ... you know) that we feel like we have little time to create. We always feel more inspired when we set aside time just to randomly paint and make. Coming up with messages to write on cards is honestly really hard. One of our good friends from DAAP is really funny so sometimes we ask him what he would say for the occasion we are trying to make a card for haha! We both focused on print design in school so having physical, visual inspiration such as books or magazines really helps us. We create and present physical, pictures on an actual plywood board, mood boards to all of our graphic design clients! Keeping that physical board around our studio keeps us in that space when we are designing for our clients.