November 20, 2018

Humble Twig is a small design and print studio in Helena, MT, that provides a wide offering of design services, printed goods, and creative support. Humble Twig designs are Montana inspired and made to evoke the proud spirit of the Big Sky State, often featuring beloved icons like the Meadowlark, common trees, and other wild things. Most products are made and printed completely with USA made materials—hand drawn and printed by the care of my own hand.

WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO?

Humble Twig developed out of my unrelenting tenacity for screen printing. As a design student in Bozeman, I enrolled in the newest Screen Printing course. Design was already an exciting subject for me, but screen printing seemed to be the keystone element that really influenced me as a young designer. A small group of us really threw ourselves into the subject, spending hours and late nights in the studio, blasting dubstep and practicing new printing techniques. We were the Dead Poets of our Screen Printing class. After I graduated, I kept finding ways to continue my printing practice, eventually figuring out how to convert a small apartment bathroom into a temporary, full-functioning dark room. While the business is more design-based these days, my work is still influenced by screen print posters and gritty things from printed past.

HOW DO YOU WORK AND MAKE THE GREAT THINGS YOU MAKE?

When I'm making my own work in the studio, versus working on a project for a client, I revert to my own raw intuition. I've lived in Montana for nearly my whole life, and still this great state can take my breath away. My desire to share those moments usually serves as inspiration for my work. I'm so fascinated by the different characteristics in regions and towns that Montana harbors; I like to think that my work celebrates their hidden richness. I start with pencil and paper, eventually moving onto my computer to refine my drawings. Once I'm happy with a design, I'll prepare it for printing. I create stencils that I expose my screens with in our tiny bathroom-turned-dark-room, and then I take to the studio and print! Depending on what I'm printing, I'll finish the product with a heat set, scoring/folding, stamping, or signature. I love that these things pass through my hands every step of the way.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?

I started screen printing as a design student as MSU in Bozeman. I owe everything to my amazing classmates and my professor that instilled a great sense of curiosity and passion in printing things by hand.

 

WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?

Plain and simple, Montana. I take a lot of pride in being a multi-generational Montana native, and I've created a self-imposed responsibility to help capture and document the spirit of this wonderful place. Of course, my illustration and printing style is influenced by some of the gig poster greats like the Barry Ament (Montana Native!) & Coby Schultz, Travis Bone, Jeff Kleinsmith, Robert Lee & Mark McDevitt.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AS AN ARTIST AND BUSINESS PERSON?

'm proud of the perseverance I built in Humble Twig. I had a lot of help and support along the way, but often times it was myself (and my dog, Bodhi) wading blindly through the legalities of starting an official business, researching and skimming internet forums on setting up a bare-bones screen print studio from scratch, and finding the best material suppliers. And now I get to give all that hard work back to the community I love so much.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR SUGGESTIONS FOR
YOUR FELLOW ARTISANS AND MAKERS?

Be wiling to accept failure as an outcome when you're working in any process, and practice good patience. I've had my best lessons come in the failing moments of a new endeavor.

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