I am excited to finally share the work of Squid Ink Kollective in the first Living Wage post. They are a creative husband and wife team that has combined talents of drawing, design, printing and sewing which they use with mighty force to bring the world awesome handmade goods. Full disclosure: Brian (1/2 of Squid Ink Kollective) and I went to high school together. He was a fantastic artist back then and I am inspired by what he and his wife have created together.
Let’s get to it:
Tell me about yourself and what you do.
I make prints, draw, paint and make stuff for the streets. I work with my wife Lynnea Edwards. She is a rad seamstress. She does our interweb design and management, and pretty much runs the business SQUID INK KOLLECTIVE (.com).
What is your daily schedule?
We wake up around 8:30 and have some tea. I will ride my bike across town (Austin) if we are not on the same schedule. Or we will drive together to our spot on the east side. I have an office/studio at Industry Printshop and we have a Squid studio a few blocks from there too.
What is your work space like?
Both spaces have big windows and nice light. All our printing is done at Industry where our equipment lives and works. And the Squid headquarters houses all of our inventory, sewing machines, fabrics, and a huuuuugggee work table. We both work at each space.
Do you support yourself solely with your art or do you have a second job?
We are half way there. Lynnea works for us full-time, and I have a supplemental job as the production manager for Industry Printshop where we make commercial textiles, rock posters, art prints and such. And we do lots of live printing events.
How and when did you decide to take the leap and start your own thing?
2007 was the year we went for it. We decided we could do it for real and just took the leap. It has been tough but awesome.
What do you like best about your job?
I love making stuff and being creative for a living. It is super rewarding to be putting that energy into the world, and if someone likes it, it is incredibly humbling. There are sooo many amazing and talented people in the world!
What is the biggest challenge in making a living from your creativity?
Sticking with it even when it is hard. It seems super easy to get a fall back position to bail yourself out of a financial crunch, but we try to make sure we can’t. That way we have to make it work, but it can be a real challenge.
Do you have a “proudest moment” so far with your business? What about a biggest failure?
Proudest moments so far are being recognized and friended by Etsy.com admin and the awesome staff there, and doing some work for them! As far as failures go…printing an edition of posters with a typo in them…twice…ughhh.
Do you have time for other creative outlets?
Riding the bike and hanging out with friends are up there. We really like the night swim at Barton Springs and tend to go a lot in the summers. Otherwise having a business is more than a full-time job, so we work all the time.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Right now it is in silly animals, nature in general is pretty awe-inspiring. I really like people and the plight of coexistence in urban areas, and people watching.
What advice would you give other people who are trying to make a living from their creativity?
Don’t give up, it is harder than you think it is, but don’t abandon the dream. People just are not willing to put in the work and pay their dues, but if you are then you can do it!
Squid Ink Kollective shop on Etsy
Like ‘em on facebook
Thanks Brian for giving LMAL a glimpse into your life!