Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx with Maryink

I first discovered Maryink a couple of years ago when I saw first saw them at Crafty Bastards , where I snapped up one of their Folkloric Deer totes (it’s just one of my many, many totes…I know I really have a problem). Anyway, their natural & Scandinavian inspired designs really resonated with own design sense and I became an immediate fan.  So, I am just super excited to be able to share my interview with Mary from Maryink with you today.

Before we get to my interview though, I wanted to mention Pikaland’s new interview series called Pikaland’s Blogger Q + A. Amy interviewed Ez from Creature Comforts to kick-off of the whole series…now there’s two of my favorite bloggers.  Head on over and check it out after you read my interview with Mary. 😉


1. What’s the name of your business, what do create and sell and how did you get your start?

The name of our business is Maryink. We (Chris Sittel and Mary Helt) make screen printed apparel, accessories and housewares. We started making our line in 2004, and Chris has been screen printing a lot longer than that. The printing all happened in Sarasota, FL, in Chris’s amazing old live/work space. The designing and day-to-day business would go on in Brooklyn, NY, in a teeny-tiny studio apartment. Now, we run the business out of Nashville, TN.

2. What are your inspirations in your art and in life?

In our line, we’re inspired by nature, flea market finds, and simple design from all fields. In our life, we’re into playing/listening to music, traveling, thinking about places we wish we could travel to, and making crafts beyond what we currently do with Maryink. We also admit to loving video games—Chris loves the shoot-’em-up ones, and we both adore Little Big Planet.


3. What three things can’t you live without?

iphone, seltzer, cats.

4. What does indie mean to you? You can give a literal definition, choose to be a little esoteric or a combination of both. 😉

We take indie to mean production on a small scale, literally, as opposed to large scale. As for what it means in a visual sense, there is definitely a certain something indie implies. An indie product appeals to those of us who appreciate a unique, modern, and handcrafted look you can’t find everywhere. It’s an aesthetic that bigger corporations are using, which I have no problem with, since it means access to better design for everyone.


5. What are you reading, watching and listening to?

This week, I’m reading the latest volume of “Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip” before I drift off to sleep. Listening wise, lately it my favorite bands are The Knife, Vive la Fete, Stereo Total, and Dungen.

6. What’s one thing you’ve learned as an adult that you wish you knew when you were a kid?

Well, I haven’t mastered it yet, but I’m learning how to type online. It’s been really hard for me to learn, and it’s a skill I really wish I had learned 20 years ago. I had the chance to take it in high school but scoffed, thinking it was a waste of time. As a result, I’ve paid the price with thousands of hours of hunting and pecking.

7. What’s new? Any new plans or products that you want to share?

I have a book coming out in the spring. It’s called Complete Jewellery. It’s a book with various projects that the reader can do it home. Jewelry isn’t something people associate with us, since we’ve put it on the back burner for the past couple of years. It’s coming out in UK first, with a later US publication date. On the screen printing side of things, we’re currently working on new designs to be released in March. We’re also looking forward to a new website in the coming months!



5 thoughts on “Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx with Maryink

  • January 29, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Yay, thanks guys! And thanks so much for featuring us, Jen, it looks great.

  • January 28, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Yay Nashville! 🙂
    Great interview, y’all~

  • January 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Beautiful screenprinting. i love their designs and style. Will definitely check them out. Thanks for the interview.

  • January 28, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    YAY!! I love Maryink! I got two of her tote bags a couple of years ago (orange with blue planes and blue with light blue Matryoshka) and she is how I discovered etsy. Ah what a life changing discovery. 😉

    I love her stuff!

  • January 28, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Aaaaww, thanks Jen! 🙂
    Lovely interview by the way — I can almost imagine their studio. Such wonderful screen printing goodness!

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