a visit with: Dan Varenka of Hey Buddy!

Over the next few months leading up to our November market, Tuesday through Thursday we'll be showcasing one of our 2012 market artists, their work, and a little peek at where they make the magic happen. We hope you'll enjoy this new series, where we'll ask the same questions of each of our makers. 

You'll get to know a little bit about our talented makers and what inspires them, read about their favorite ways to recharge their creativity, and learn what experience has shown them to be an invaluable piece of the puzzle in selling their work. Come November, won't it be great to walk into a room filled with inspiring, familiar faces? We think so, too!

This morning, we're visiting with screen-printer extraordinaire, and returning Second Storie vendor, Dan Varenka...

a visit with:

- Dan Varenka - 

What first inspired you to create/make what you do now?
My mom got a phone call from Mrs. Miles, my first grade teacher, letting her know I was a charming, delightful student but that I was distracting the other kids by teaching them how to make paper sculptures instead of us working on our math worksheets. Thirty years later I picked up screen-printing because I had too much going on in my life and my mind was always racing. Focusing on printing normalized everything for me. I suppose making stuff just feels normal. At least more normal than doing math worksheets and stressing.

Your advice for someone just starting out
and wanting to sell their work?
Although you are awesome and special, take a step back and think about your work in the grand scheme of things. You deserve to be paid for your time, but did it take you longer to make X than someone who has been doing this for a decade? Maybe that's too harsh...let's just sum up with "Be humble."

- his studio -

Three things or people who inspire you?
It's not really a suggested method for making stuff, but I tend to favor serendipity. While I'm waiting for inspiration to fall in my lap I love to pore over old printed matter.

- his work -

Favorite way to take a break/recharge your creative batteries?
Baking is always good for a break. Always. I also like to talk with friends when I'm stuck...like an IM koan. Much inspiration and encouragement has come from talking with friends about everything except "work."

Get to know more about Dan here:


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