Q+A with Brooke Bowen | Fresh Pressed Prints

When Brooke Bowen of Fresh Pressed Prints signed up to be featured I didn't really know her that well, yet.  I had seen her adorable shirts floating around Instagram, and thought they were so cute, especially the "Rollin' wit da Pollies" tee. Now I know what a talented artist she is in her own right and that makes me love her and her company even more! You seriously HAVE to see her awesome time lapse videos in this post and read more about this creative mom boss!

Q. My hometown is...
A. I grew up in Northern California but recently moved to Utah.

What inspires you?
So much inspires me. I am a huge advocate for life-long learning so I am constantly perusing books. I am constantly looking through books on artists and different art processes and am very inspired by that. I also am the Mother to three very different boys who are the inspiration for my hard work but not necessarily inspiration for my ideas. I look back to my childhood and what intrigued me at young ages mixed with my view as a Mother for many of my ideas.

Go behind the scenes of Fresh Pressed Prints with these time lapse videos of Brooke in Action!

What's your creative process like?
So many people assume that I can just sit down and whip out amazing creative works and call it talent. It is so completely different than that for me though. Creating a new line can be very difficult, because I am taking an intangible idea and trying to make it real. I have an idea on the message I want to convey and then I start sketching ideas. So many ideas are really bad. So I keep sketching these bad ideas until I get frustrated. I spend almost every waking (or mind aching) moment thinking about these ideas. It keeps me up, but I know that it takes a certain amount of hours of work and thought before that work turns into a usable idea. Then I hit that amount of hours of work and then the ideas come almost all at once. I then redo each design several times until not only are they good in their own right but also wonderful together as a series. For my Spring/Summer collection I have about 20 drawings, 6 sketches that were terrible ideas, 4 that were nice but didn't have the right feel to fit in the series, 6 that were redone and reworked for my shirts, and 4 completed ones that were put onto the shirts. I also took those ideas and expanded them further into fabric designs and other objects that further convey my message. It takes three to four weeks to complete a vision. I do like to add fun objects afterwards that I keep mostly exclusive to pop up shops.

What's your business all about?
I am an artist and a teacher at heart. I love to teach children about art very much, but the satisfaction is seeing their minds turned on in understanding and stimulating their creativity. My goal with my shirts is to spark that imagination and creativity. Even with my latest series it is amazing to watch how it affects how my boys see the world. Seeing bugs and shovels on their own clothes they have been more excited about the bugs they see outside and digging holes. I hope that my clothes will suggest to these young minds to observe and play, since doing so is learning.

Onesie by @freshpressedprints
When and how did you start your business?
I started my shop July 2014 last year. As an artist I learned many different printing process at my university and the one I didn't learn was screen printing. So wanting to learn all printmaking process I read many books before trying it out. I started screen printing swaddling blankets for my friends' baby showers for a couple years before deciding to try doing some shirts for my friends' kids and my own boys. I loved the whole process of making shirts for my boys and really wanted to share my ideas with the world, so I opened Fresh Pressed Prints.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
I have had to overcome many challenges, but I am not close to where I want to be. I definitely feel like I am still in the trenches fighting each day to keep my little shop open. Looking over the last 9 months as well as into the immediate future I feel like the biggest challenges are finding my audience and sticking with it. So many shop owners that stick with it through the difficult days are the ones who are successful.

Shirts by @freshpressedprints
The thing that surprised me most was...
that Fresh Pressed Prints would take on a life of its own. It is almost like another person, with its own vision and its need to grow. It really is amazing.

I'm most grateful for...
the opportunity to draw and paint. Before I started this business my art was suffering. I love being a Mom but finding time to pull out my paints, finding a group to paint with, or finding a model was nearly impossible. It was the hardest when I would pull out the paints and be constantly interrupted by young children. Designing shirts are so completely different that it is easy to take a step away and knowing it was easy to pick back up again. I have been able to get more art into the time I have now with three kids then I was able to with two.

Shirt by @freshpressedprints
My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...
Be in it for the long haul. Keep your vision of what you want your business to be at the forefront of your mind and hold onto that vision when the hard days come. Don't expect to boom overnight, and don't expect to be bringing in money for at least the first year.

Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?
My designs are much more evolved then the ones I was doing when I first started, but I wouldn't do anything differently. It really takes many many hours of work and designing to get successful designs. Each one of those hours led to so much experience that is worth more than my business.

Shirt by @freshpressedprints
My favorite colors are... Green and blue. And coral. And Burnt Umber. And sienna. Teal is one that I have to have in every room in my house. I have so many favorite colors!

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...
Jingle Bells. My two oldest boys' favorite song that is sung year round at our house.

Shirts by @freshpressedprints
Currently streaming...
Ms. Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Mysteries at the Museum, which I wish they had more seasons on Netflix.

My favorite sip-able treat is...
Vanilla Coke, though it is a rare treat.

Shirt by @freshpressedprints
If I could pick a super power it would be...
Magical Cleaning Powers (I hate cleaning)

The actress that would play me in the movie of my life would be...
Cate Blanchett because I get compared to her all the time. Or Ellie Kemper because of the way she plays innocence and happiness.

My favorite childhood toy was...
Beanie Babies

If I had the whole day to myself I would...

Best book ever...
Persuasion by Jane Austin. I always dismissed it through high school in favor of Emma and it's twists and turns of discovering love. As I have gotten older I have loved Persuasion more and more as I see the magic behind an enduring love and loyalty.

My Woman crushes are:
Definitely some of my favorite women artists. Mary Cassatt and Minerva Teichert are a couple that I would love to sit with and pick their brain. Unfortunately they aren't alive. Rose Datoc Dall is one who I absolutely love and am so lucky to know.

Follow me at:
Instagram: @freshpressedprints
Facebook: www.facebook.com/freshpressedprints
Shop: www.freshpressedprints.etsy.com


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