Interview with Julie of Bow and Arrow

I would like to introduce you to Julie of Bow and Arrow.  She makes beautiful letterpress cards and I was lucky enough to sit next to her At Bust Craftacular 2008 in December.  Hopefully she will be my booth mate for Renegade Summer 2009.  I gave some of her cards to people in my office for the Holidays and many compliments ensued.

So, meet my friend Julie...

Where do you make your work?
I design my cards on the computer in my home in Brooklyn usually while watching bad TV or listening to music.  I print my cards at The Arm in Brooklyn.  Dan at The Arm is the most helpful person.  Please contact him  if you are interested in on letterpress projects here.

What time of day is most productive for you to work and why?
I have a full time job so I usually get to work on my cards late at night or on the weekends.

What materials do you use and most like to work with? Where do you get them?
I get my plates made at  They are so helpful and fast.  I print my cards on Cranes lettra paper which is available at  I use their paper because it is 100% cotton which is tree free.  In the future I hope to do more research on printing on different kinds of eco friendly paper.

What does your workspace look like?
Sadly as you can see my workspace is just a desk and a laptop.  I dream of having my own studio in the future.  I also have an amazing storage unit I store all of my art supplies in.

Julie's Desk.

Where does your source material come from?
I love to pull inspiration form old magazines, record covers, garage sales, and flea markets.

What kind of images inspire you?  Do you keep a sketchbook?
I do not keep a sketchbook but I have always wished I was organized enough to keep one.  I work on many versions of a card before I pick the one that works best.  Below are examples of cards, the first one had to be reworked because I was worried the lines would be too thin and would not print well.  I had to redraw the pattern so it would look better when being letterpress printed.

Rejected Design.

Final Design.

How long have you been working in your medium? Are you trained?
I graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a major in graphic design.  I do not have professional training in print making.  There is so much more I'd like to learn.

What techniques and processes are your favorites?
I love the design process but sometimes it is hard to get motivated to print because it can be very physically exhausting.

The Press.

What is special and inspiring about living where you do?
I love living in Brooklyn, there are a lot of stores here that inspire me.

What is a normal day like for you? How many hours a day/ week do you actually get to focus on creating new works?
I am bad at setting aside a specific time for working but I usually get to spend a couple hours a week and a fully day on the weekend coming up with new designs.

Who are your favorite designers?  
I am forever inspired by the work of Florence Broadhurst and Marimekko.  I love looking at designs from the 50's, 60's, and 70's.

"The Unicorn in Captivity" found at The Cloisters.

Do you go to museums? What is your favorite art related place you like to visit?
I love the MET and The Cloisters.  At the Cloisters "The Unicorn in Captivity," is one of my favorite pieces of art.  Everytime I go to the Cloisters I find something new to be inspired by.