Since this journal post, we have stopped selling letterpress cards. We continue to print packaging for our range of vintage lighting products using letterpress and personalise notebooks using mechanical typesetting and letterpress.
In addition to her illustrations, Ana is also an interior designer, creative consultant and writes a monthly column for Vogue Brazil.
We caught up with Ana for a quick interview in advance of the launch of the Prelogram Re.Cover greeting cards, designed by Ana and printed by Prelogram. The first collection features 1950s screen legends given the inimitable makeover. The cards are available individually or as a set of four.
Thanks for being interviewed Ana. How did Re.Cover start?
I was in New York when this happened. I lived there from 2010 to 2014. I used to do meetings via Skype during which I would doodle on magazines. I liked the result and posted pictures on Instagram that were very popular. I saw it as a way to give new meaning to magazines that would be thrown away otherwise.
Then some friends who own a gallery in São Paulo invited me to exhibit the covers and they started to get wider attention. The idea grew out of a principle that has permeated all my work for a long time – to recreate, revisit, recompose – in the form of manual interventions on fashion magazine covers. At a time when the printed press is facing a crisis, I find it a playful way to re-signify these publications that, usually, would end up discarded.
I always loved to draw. And for this work I use Sharpie and DecoColor markers. It all began in a very organic manner, unpretentiously, and ended up gaining a more defined shape, as people’s interest picked up.
There is playfulness to your work with your use of found objects and bright colours. What, or who, has influenced this?
I love to make as much use of my creativity as possible and in many fields. I recognise that it’s a privilege to be able to work creatively and I would like to continue doing that. Re-inventing myself is as much part of the process as understanding my own personality and constantly searching for things that keep me growing.
I have always loved drawing. Back when I was a kid I wanted to become a painter. I grew up with design being a prominent element – it’s something that’s been passed on from my family. My parents owned a fabric store for decorative fabric, my mom is an architect, my grandmother worked in the same business, so I’ve always been part of this environment. At the same time I became interested in fashion and graduated with a degree in the field. Mixing fashion with interior design has been one of my main goals ever since. My mom is is a huge influence on me too.
What is a typical Ana Strumpf day like – is it non-stop with young twin boys and working for yourself?
There’s no typical day for me in terms of work. But besides my work, I try to do a routine at my personal life as much as I can, otherwise I go crazy. I love having breakfast with my kids in the morning, I’m always at home by the end of the day to give them a nice bath. Max and Noah are my routine. The rest is crazy busy.
When are you happiest?
With my family, for sure.
When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Believe it or not, a painter. And before that, a ballet dancer, but I had no skills for that lol!
You studied fashion at Parsons School of Design in New York City, what was that like?
I studied the fashion business in Brazil and after that a couple of continuing education courses at Parsons and FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology – also in New York City], but these focused more on fashion design and illustration. It was a good balance, but to tell you the truth I was happier to be in NYC than to be in class!
Tell us about Strumpf Ketchup, how did it come about and where can we buy it?
This is a new, small, but growing family business. My father is a great cook and he came up with the recipe of the artesanal ketchup in 2014, after a family trip to london. He tasted an artesanal ketchup in a restaurant there and came back with the idea of making his own. But it all started organically, with tastings among friends… But now after a bit more then a year it’s a hit here in Brazil, specially in SP [São Paulo], we are selling in lots of supermarkets and in a few restaurants too. The Ketchup comes in three flavors, rustic, very very spicy and – my favourite – smoked. It is produced at my family’s small ranch in the countryside. You can find it here: www.strumpf.com.br.
If we came to Brazil on holiday, where should we visit?
There are so many beautiful places, but I would go to Bahia in the northeast of Brazil, and just relax on the beautiful beaches!
What’s next for Ana Strumpf?
I’ve just designed a wallpaper collection for a Brazilian company called Branco (‘white’ in Portuguese) which believes in the transformative power of wallpaper! I’ve created a forest design and a collection of kids designs. I’m very excited, the website was launched this week. I hope you like it!
All images © Ana Strumpf.