Annie Axtell is the woman behind the beautiful moon calendar we now carry in our shop. Annie describes herself as an art mom-in-training, in the throes of laying down roots in San Francisco. This past year, alongside Annemarie Munn, she co-founded Ladybones Print Collective, a community studio recently re-located to the Dogpatch neighbourhood in San Francisco. In addition, she is currently working as the Print Shop Manager for an SF-Made company called DODOcase, so she splits her time between studios.
In her work, Annie Axtell is constantly trying to find a balance between keeping creation fun and trying to create with purpose. She sets herself the challenge to strive to put things out into the world that she knows will be used. “For the most part I’ve moved away from illustrations,” she says, focusing instead on mark-making, “on how I can do more with less. How I can push my image making into a fun and meditative experience.”
A native of French Canada, born and raised in Quebec, she made the big leap across the better part of America to San Francisco in the spring of 2011. After completing an undergraduate degree in printmaking at Concordia University in Montreal, she came to California and did an internship at the San Francisco Center for the Book, where she began to find a print community that is far more vibrant then the one she left behind, one that she continues to lives in, cherish, and grow.
"Printmaking is where it’s at! Its the tit's! namely because of the safety found in making multiples. The freedom to share work without losing the original. My brain is also intensely process orientated; in printmaking you do all the thinking and planning and then you get to execute your work. In the process there is immense satisfaction and also space for surprises that I could have never planned for, which is the magic of printmaking."
On her Moon Phase calendar: “So many of my loved ones have deep connections to the moon or are astrology enthusiasts. When I moved from Montreal to San Francisco back in 2011, that winter I drew the first of the moon phase calendars. It was an easy way to reach all of those closest to me from afar. What started as a gift for the new year has turned into a yearly production. Since I redesign the calendar each year, and I am a great procrastinator, it’s usually a last minute dash, which usually gives the piece wonderful imperfections I could not have planned for! There will most definitely be a 2015 moon calendar coming.”
"Last year I founded Ladybones Print Collective with Annemarie Munn; it’s a print shop that strives to be a hub for printers, radicals, artist, bookbinders and folks with hybrid projects and people who just want to get inky! We have a beautiful SP-15 Vandercook letterpress on which we crank out all kind of magic. We are here to build community, to share advice, to offer affordable individual instruction, press rental, print project management, letterpress production and more. The print shop just moved into a new space located in the Dogpatch, and in the next few weeks we hope to be back up and running, teaching Intro to Letterpress workshops and hosting classes and events led by our talented friends. We're here to do things and make stuff. we believe in high contrast, splash colors, friends and family, new worlds, radical times. We're exploding. Come print with us."
*all photos courtesy of Annie Axell