creative chicago // cindy tomczyk

How does Chicago or living in Chicago, rather, inspire your work?

Cindy:The artist community in Chicago is really important to me. It’s a very supportive group and it’s nice to be surrounded with so many hard working like-minded creative types. It helps one stay motivated and knowledgeable. I grew up being exposed to Chicago’s rich history by having a mom who believed in taking us to zoos, museums, and parks as much as possible. I love the neighborhoods too. Being at the mercy of the public transit and my bike, I am able to explore the ethnic neighborhoods, the architecture, and people more. I love the diversity and energy of being in a big melting pot.

Speaking of inspiration, who or what is your current inspiration?

Cindy: As a first generation American, Eastern Europe will always be a constant inspiration for me. It’s like having a crush on a really mysterious guy, if that makes any sense. The culture, folk art, and people are wonderful. The turmoil and restrictions on the people over the decades have resulted in amazing design, art, and strength. Even when I look at young illustrators from Eastern Europe, there is a certain strength and rawness to their work, which I admire. I am currently working on art for a show at Inkling on Broadway in November of 2012 based on family stories and lore of the old country. I also find heaps of inspiration in travel. Everywhere I go, I try to take as many photos, sketches and notes as possible. I recently came back from two trips in a row from Los Angeles and driving around Arizona and Nevada, so expect a little more mid-century, vintage sign themed, and more of an Americana feel to my new line. Last year was very European themed, after driving from London to Krakow, Poland. Traveling takes me out of my comfort zone and being an artist I feel more insightful to the world around me. New places keep me perspicuous and open to the world.

Thanks Cindy for letting us into your creative process, your work ethic is admirable and I can’t wait to see what great things are yet to come from paper parasol press! Speaking of which, Cindy is currently having a giveaway on her blog for one of these darling letterpress state posters. Hop on over there, and good luck!

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