- Who are you? What is your business?
My name is Patrick Smyczek and my business is Beast USA. I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’ve been screen printing and drawing for about 12 years but 3 years ago I started Beast USA.
- What is YOUR most favorite handmade item that you own?
I love supporting makers that I find unique and inspiring. Last year I was able to acquire a piece of furniture from a local woodworker and it’s absolutely stunning. The piece is a night stand made from black walnut with mahogany and leather accents. The grain of the black walnut has the most unbelievable varieties in color. The legs are tapered and chamfered giving the table a timeless elegance. It’s an honor to have something that was made with such care and consideration.
- What is your ‘pie in the sky’ dream with your business/art?
In my business I’ve been focusing mainly on hand drawn and printed cards. The cards are multi layer screen prints and the process is a labor of love. This year I’ll be making at least 2 new designs a month while trying to get into more awesome stores like Gather. My dream is to have cards in stores all over the country and hundreds of unique and creative designs.
- Where do you draw your artistic inspiration from? I’m fortunate enough to live four blocks from lake Michigan and when I need a break I usually get a jog in along the lake. There are trails for about 5 miles through parks along the shore and it’s by far my favorite place to clear my head.
My ideas usually start with the seed of something that is enough for my imagination to run with. My work typically depicts cool animals, things that are patriotic, mythic creatures and generally things that I think are awesome. My goal is to make something in a way that gets me excited in every step of the long process. When I start a drawing it’s many hours before that drawing is a finished screen printed card. If I can’t stop looking or thinking about the drawing, I know that there’s probably other people that will also enjoy it.
- Share 3-5 links that everyone who loves handmade should know about.
I’m lucky to have some amazing colleagues that continue to inspire and push me to keep on making. Below are links to their websites
- Tell us something a little bit different about you!
Besides making awesome handmade cards at Beast USA, I also do specialized electrical work for Wire Wright in Milwaukee. I’m part of a team that installs battery monitoring equipment for industrial and utility companies. In the last 3 years it’s taken me to Hawaii, South Korea, Jamaica, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Kansas City. It’s very different than printing cards with unicorns and dinosaurs but I love it.
Welcome again to Maker Monday!!! This Monday I’m introducing Patrick from Beast USA! I found Patrick while perusing the list of vendors at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago before we first opened, and fell in Love with his designs! Once a primarily t-shirt maker, we now carry Beast USA cards – and they’re some of our favorites!! Without further ado, Beast USA!!