The summer of 2022, I moved home to Utah for a few months.
During that time, I wanted to pick up linocutting. I had done it once before in high school, and attempted to remember the steps I had learned.
I moved to NYC in June of 2021 having never even visited before. While I fell in love with the city and the energy, I also felt a little lost. I didn't feel like NYC was home.
In September of 2021 I moved from my Bed-Stuy sublease where I had been rooming with a girl I met on Facebook (stranger danger I KNOW, but Kyla ended up becoming one of my besties). I found myself in the Upper West Side with one girl I had known from college and another girl that was a friend of a friend. Within the first month of living with London and Camden, I started to feel at home.
We quickly formed little traditions. Euphoria each Sunday. London making tea every night. Camden making us recite affirmations from cards in the kitchen. Going to Jacob's Pickles the night anyone got home from a trip.
When I found out that my dad had terminal cancer, they were my rock. As I lay on my bed crying and unable to move, they did my laundry, packed my bag, made me eat, and let me know even if everything else was falling apart, they'd be there.
I spent the summer of 2022 in Utah, trying to make memories that would last a lifetime with my dad. I loved it and am so grateful I could, but I found myself now homesick for NYC. I missed tea time (even though I refuse to drink hot drinks). I missed sharing Peanut Butter cups with whoever went to Trader Joe's that day. I missed Saturday morning debriefs sitting in the hallway.
This was my inspiration.
I know a little tote bag doesn't adequately express the gratitude I have for everything my roommates have done for me, but I hoped it would at least show I was thinking about them and I love them.
While designing these bags, I wanted to pick small symbols of items and experiences that made me think of my girls.
Dumplings from Joe's.
Chopsticks from Kazunori.
The disco ball in our living room.
Ben and Jerry's Tonight Dough.
Since stamping is inverted, in order to create the stamp, it must be transferred and mirrored onto the rubber block. I sketched the designs on parchment paper with a pencil, transferred that pencil onto the rubber block, traced those lines with a Sharpie to ensure it wouldn't fade. I was not prepared for how long this step took me.
Cutting the stamps was as therapeutic as it was nerve wracking. The tools sliding through the rubber was satisfying, but one wrong cut and I would have to start over. Some were easier than others. The subway symbols were fun as the blade whipped around the circle. The Ben and Jerry's Tonight Dough on the other hand...
After all the stamps are cut, it's time to start stamping. Roll paint on the roller, roll the stamp, press, repeat. Repeat. Repeat.