2010 Vendor Spotlight: The Great Lakes

We're so happy to welcome Rose Lazar of The Great Lakes to Second Storie for the first time. We've long been fans of her witty and fun hand printed goods.

Where are you and your studio located?
After being surrounded by the Great Lakes for so long, I ha
ve now since moved to Brooklyn, NY. I live and work in my Bed-Stuy apartment.

What was the inspiration for your business name?
The inspiration for my business name came about from living
around the Great Lakes for most of my adult life. I went to school at SUNY Buffalo and was surrounded by Lake Erie and it's wonderful lake effect snow. And from there I moved to Chicago where Lake Michigan was now the body of water causing my winter weather troubles. But, more seriously, I have always had an affinity for nature and its bodies of water and something about the Great Lakes reminds me of cabins, wooded lands, summer days and a great deal of nostalgia all of which is what inspires me.

Do you listen to music while working?
Music is also a big part of my life and creative process. I use a lot of song lyrics as inspiration for my cards and goods so music is always playing. Always favorites are Simon & Garfunkel, Elliott smith, tears for fears, the cure, Linda Perhacs and Roy Orbison. New favorites on repeat as of late are El Perro Del mar, Twin Shadow, Night Gallery, Fabulous Diamonds and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

What got you started in hand printing?
I originally went to school to study painting, but didn't feel as challenged as I would have liked to feel. I took an intro to prints class in my second semester and instantly fell in love. It had all the things I loved to do- science, math, repetition, pattern. I specialized in screen printing and intaglio and now I mostly do screen printing and some printing by hand methods.

hat are your current influences?
I am always watching and listening for inspiration. My line involves a lot of text most of which is influenced by movies, music, books, etc. My art heroes are Louise Bourgeois and Felix Gonzales Torres. I just recently was in the UK and saw an amazing installation at the Tate by Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist, who commissioned a work of millions of hand made and hand painted porcelain sunflowers seeds. It was a sight to see. David Sedaris is an endless source of humor and inspiration for me. The shakers and their handicraft influence me on a daily basis.

What is your favorite part about what you do?
My favorite part would have to be that I get to make whatever I want whenever I want. I love the sense of immediacy
that making a print can have. You can make 1 or you can make 1000. It all depends on the project or your state of mind.

What else is The Great Lakes up to right now?

I just recently did a poster project with a friend called the accidental joke. In our attempt to poke a little fun and humor into people's lives we made a poster that is comprised of a bunch of little drawings based on jokes from when we were kids, everyday awkward observances and misread and misunderstood conversations. The poster was published by Drag City Records and is for sale now!

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