OOAK Maker Spotlight: Stephanie Cheng
Canada's largest handmade show is just around the corner and we're getting super excited to meet the makers and browse all the unique goods! This year, Toronto's One of a Kind Christmas Show (OOAK) features the work of 800+ Canadian vendors - many travelling from all corners of the country to be part of the fun!
In anticipation of the show opening next week, we've teamed up with OOAK to present the OOAK Maker Spotlight series - a glimpse at the story, process and preparation of 7 select participating vendors. Take a peek inside the creative life of Stephanie Cheng.
Stephanie, your work is awesome! How did you get into designing & print making?
I studied fine arts in CEGEP, where I was first introduced to screen printing, and graphic design in university. After taking a decade to work odd retail jobs and travel, I started designing a lot of gig posters and naturally fell into screen printing them for bands/dj’s.
What sort of themes inspire your work?
Sports and popular culture are my true loves! Those two themes are constantly represented in my work but lately I’ve been inspired by the female form and strong women. The future is female!
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
I research a lot of vintage advertisements and poster art, which has a heavy influence on my overall design aesthetic. I like to sketch everything out on paper first, then I’ll finesse the artwork in illustrator before printing everything by hand.
We'd love to learn a bit more about how you prepare for a show of this scale. When did you start planning and preparing for OOAK?
My prep usually starts in June, I’ll start thinking of new product or artworks. By July/August I’ll have sketches and drawings finalized and then it is a mad dash to print everything in September and October. I think the majority of my time is spent making to-do lists though...
Walk us through a bit of the prep work you’ve been doing for the show.
Re-printing stock and crafting new product are the large bulk of my prep. This year I decided to build a new cash desk and poster bin to jazz up my booth. My woodworking friend has been gracious enough to show me the ropes. I’m happy to report I am a horrible woodworker and am better suited to the role of assistant.
Why is shopping small important to you?
Shopping small is important to me because I know the money I spend goes right back to my community. It helps keep my carbon footprint low and there is more transparency in how the product I consume is made.
For more of Stephanie's work: stephaniecheng.ca, or meet her in person at the show!
We've got two sets of 2 tickets to give away! Join us Wednesday November 23rd on the @makersmovement Instagram feed for contest details.