I’m Shannon Kennedy, and I’m a graphic designer, screenprinter, and owner of a paper goods line called The Paper Cub Co. I live and work in Long Beach, California.
Many of my card designs start in my sketchbook, where I’ll define the layout and imagery — then I do the actual designing on my computer. When hand-lettering is used, I’ll draw it first, then scan it to refine the sketches in Photoshop. The entire piece is finalized in Illustrator, and because I hand-screenprint my designs, my process is pretty technical. Each color layer gets its own film that’s printed in solid black, and then it’s “burned” to screens. Once the screens are good to go, I hand-mix the inks according to Pantone swatch matches and cut and score the paper, then print each card by hand. I love being able to design and print my own goods for The Paper Cub Co. and for my home and gift line, Sass & Peril, because I’m very particular about quality.
All printing methods have their own amazing qualities, but I receive feedback that my screenprinting inks are wonderfully saturated and bold. Screenprinting is a high-quality printing method, so you won’t get peeling or fading, which makes my cards suitable to be framed as art. Screenprinting is a centuries-old craft that’s been used by artists such as Andy Warhol and Charley Harper and dates back to the Song Dynasty in China. I believe that the fine art of screenprinting shouldn’t be limited to art prints and textiles.
Etsy gives me the opportunity to not only support myself and my small business, but also to network and connect with other craft-focused entrepreneurs and lovers of design and printing. It’s also pretty cool to know that my products are being shared and adored across the globe. You cannot beat that type of exposure, and Etsy has absolutely helped me to get to that level.
My business has changed my life in so many positive ways. I always felt this entrepreneurial fire burning, but I didn’t fully acknowledge it until I became dissatisfied with my former position in the corporate design world. Once I discovered Etsy, I knew it was time to take the first steps toward creating my own professional opportunities. The road wasn’t easy by any means, but I’ve never been happier and more open to new possibilities. As nice as steadiness can be, I want to keep raising the bar for myself and take pride in what I make and not just coast along to earn a paycheck.