It's the first day of the Ann Arbor Art Fair and we thought it was a great opportunity to highlight one of our favorite Ann Arbor artists, Alisa Bobzien! We’re all about her awesome prints and beautiful invitation suites, her hilarious cards, and other fun goodies (read: Michigan and Midwest themed T-shirts, cards, coffee mugs, and more). Plus she's an awesome person!
We also have to admit – we just can’t get enough of her fluffy (and incredibly photogenic) cat Sol…we’ve been following his adventures on Instagram for quite some time now.
Alisa was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer some of our must-know questions. Everyone, meet Alisa!
How’d you name your brand/company? Trial and error. I tried a few different names out and ended up hating each of them after a few months, so I just decided it would be best to stick with something I know I will be happy with long-term and that allows my business to evolve without limitation. So my business name is just my name.
What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on? I've been lucky to have a lot of really fun projects since I started my business, but the one that kept me up at night (in a good way) was the custom coat of arms invitation suite. It just tapped in to an aesthetic and motif that I really love. I also have a special place in my heart for the Grass Widow Whiskey label design for Two James Spirits. There were some particular challenges that I struggled with during the design process, and I really had to push myself. In the end, the design turned out great and won an award for packaging design at the American Distilling Institute.
If you had to tattoo one word on your body, what word would you choose? Meow, in blackletter. Good idea.
What’s your signature cocktail? My sisters and I invented a signature cocktail named "The Babysitter", which is a packet of orange Emergen-C dissolved in a tumbler of cheap red wine. But that's only for really desperate times, my go-to cocktail is anything with lime and ginger.
Stripes or polka dots? How wide are the stripes and are the polka dots scattered randomly or on a grid? These are important factors.
What song is on repeat on your iTunes right now?Peace Signs by Sharon Van Etten and Blank Maps by Cold SparksIf you had to describe your work/style in three words, what would those words be? This is a hard one. If I can hit clean, smart, or funny I am happy!
If you could have a weird Freaky Friday experience for a day, which designer would you want to switch bodies with and why?Jared Flood, the knitwear designer and founder of Brooklyn Tweed. I love the idea of spending my work day knitting in a light-filled studio. Less computer, more yarn! Or Louise Fili. She recently gave a visiting artist lecture here and talked about how she spends a lot of time traveling around Italy documenting typographic signs and keeps a fridge full of gelato at her studio for meetings.
What advice would you give to 20 year old you? Prioritize personal projects, learn photography so you can document your work, lettering is going to be a huge a thing in a few years - learn it and practice it!
If we challenged you to a game of rock, paper, scissors, which would you choose? Why paper, naturally!