1. What’s your name and title/business name? Where are you located, city, state, country location?
My name is Shelby Rodeffer and I work under the moniker of Finer Signs. I am based in Chicago, IL, USA.
2. What’s your educational and professional background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?
I have a degree in Illustration with a printmaking focus from Watkins College of Art & Design in Nashville, Tennessee, and after college I worked in both of those fields. While working at a letterpress shop, my love of letterforms was fortified. After I left the print shop, I was searching for a career that would use my lettering skills and would give me an opportunity to work within my community, and that’s when I discovered sign painting. From there, I began taking workshops from various sign painters/institutions and I continue to learn more about sign painting and lettering daily.
3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?
Brush and paint of any kind. I like to work really big or really small. I’ve also been making silk banners for the past few years and that has allowed me to become more comfortable with needlework and painting on fabric.
4. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?
I get a lot of new energy from going to museums or art spaces and observing color and toolmarks in other artists’ work. I love domestic crafts and trades, and some of my favorite artists are quilters and potters. Unplugging from the internet is also very restorative for me, and reminds me of who I was back when I was allowed the luxury of being bored (rarely happens now that we have the whole world in our pockets). Exercise is the best way to do a quick rinse cycle on my brain, and in the summertime I try to ride my bicycle as much as I can for a little extra zen.
5. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.
My partner and I collect vintage halloween masks and decorations, specifically masks made be the artist Ben Cooper. Also, I am a huge fan of the Jersey Shore reality television franchise.