Our Modern Market series looks to highlight some of the best makers and artists from the Twin Cities and beyond. Each one of our vendors embody the Midwest’s unique take on modern living. These artisans are woodworkers, jewelry designers, leather workers, culinary artists and graphic designers.
redshoes26 brings the iconic and the less iconic pieces of every state to the forefront of her illustrations. Each illustration provides an opportunity for people to own a piece of their state or city that they hold most dear. We all have landmarks that awaken memories that we hold on to forever and redshoes26 lets us bring them into our homes.
Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background?
I grew up in North St. Paul, MN, and went on to graduate from St. Cloud State with a degree in Mass Communications/Photojournalism. I worked as a writer/editor/photographer for more than five years, including four at Mpls. St.Paul Magazine, before deciding to go back to school. I graduated from The Art Institutes International Minnesota with a degree in Graphic Design, and have worked as a graphic designer and artist ever since. I spent five years designing exhibit graphics for the Science Museum of Minnesota before leaving to work for myself full-time. I still write and edit on a freelance basis, but the majority of my time is put into the illustration and graphic design work I do with my business, redshoes26.
Tell us more about redshoes26 and the origin of the name.
I make digital illustrations of U.S. landmarks, which I call State Icons. Each one comes in a small frame that is handmade by my parents. Cute, eh? My dad is a woodworker, and when I couldn’t find the right frames for my tiny illustrations, he said he’d make them for me. That was about six or seven years and more than 9,000 frames ago. Over time, my work has expanded to include zip pouches, note cards, pot holders, candles, and more—all of which feature my State Icon illustrations.
As for the name, that came from my days at St. Cloud State. I played on the softball team all four years, and my nickname there was Redshoes because I wore red cleats (all of my teammates wore black). My jersey number has been 26 since I was a sophomore in high school, and I’m—for lack of a better word—obsessed with that number. So, when it was time to name my business, there was no doubt I’d call it redshoes26. When I started, I was doing custom wedding stationery design, small-business branding, and greeting cards. Over the years, my business shifted and I was making State Icons almost exclusively. So, the name doesn’t really have anything to do with the work I do today, but it describes me, so that’s the name I use right now. There are plans in the works to change my branding, but I haven’t been able to decide on a name. It’s too hard when it’s your own…it’s much easier thinking up brand names for other people!
How do you go about creating new pieces?
I currently have illustrations for 30 states, and I will eventually have some for all 50. The struggle is trying to add drawings to the states I already have while also adding new states to my collection. I try to trade off every other time I sit down to draw. I will never run out of landmarks to draw, which is the cool part. People suggest things when I do events, and I love that. I have a notebook *filled* with ideas of landmarks to draw next.
Where do you go to get inspired?
I go to my overflowing notebook of landmark ideas.
What makes the Midwest, and specifically Minnesota, unique for artists?
I think the maker community is really tight and supportive here. I can’t say what it’s like in other states because this is what I know, but I just think the North/Midwest/Minnesota is really supportive. I feel like we’re a family, us makers.
What makes shopping local special?
It helps fuel the local economy, and supports small-business owners. It’s win-win. I try to only buy things made in the U.S.A., and local when possible. And I also make sure every item I use to create my work is made in the U.S.A. It’s very, very important to me.
Who are other makers in your community that we should know more about?
Made By Michelle Brusegaard (MBMB), Wooden Spoon Editions, Vandalia Street Press, Karin Jacobson Jewelry, The Elixery, MAI, 3jag design, Skipping Lilies, Blue Henn, Fast Mary’s, ANDA, Lanona Shoes, Leatherworks MN, Oh Dier, Winsome Goods, Hackwith Design House, Minneapolis Chandlery…and so many more.
What’s something exciting for redshoes26 that we can expect coming up?
I’ll be adding lots more State Icons beginning in January, including new states. And I hope a branding change very soon in 2017!
Shop a variety of redshoes26 illustrations at Modern Midwest’s second annual Modern Market in Minneapolis’ North Loop. The Market will feature a wide variety of vendors that embody the Midwest’s distinct take on modern living. Enjoy local food and drink, from Indeed Brewing and Salty Tart while supporting the Minneapolis maker community!
Thursday, December 15th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fast Horse, 240 9th Ave N, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
$10 in advance / $20 day of