Although Beth Snyder’s letterpress business, 1canoe2, is based in Fulton, she’s found that people are drawn to her Midwestern style no matter where they live, as she sells in major cities, including New York and Los Angeles.
Liz Tucker, a close friend of Snyder and owner of the downtown Columbia store Poppy, where many of 1canoe2’s products are sold, says she’s never met anyone like Snyder. “If she has an idea or wants to do something, she’ll find a way to make it happen,” Tucker says.
How long have you wanted to be an artist?
I've done arts and crafts my whole life. I don't remember a time when I didn't like to draw and I didn't want to do craft projects. I remember lying under the Christmas tree making these finger weavings with yarn when I was really little. I was just so excited about how long I could make this thing that I was weaving on my fingers.
How do you define quality art?
There’s a couple components to it, and you have to have a little bit of both. One component is skill, which is really important, but I feel like it can be learned by almost anybody. For me, more importantly, is the idea. Having a new idea that’s never been executed before and presenting that to the world is what makes art good. I can look at another illustrator’s work and probably imitate it because I have the skills, but I can’t imitate the concept. That’s the real artistic piece: the idea.
What’s the style of 1canoe2?
We call it Midwestern, although I don’t know exactly what Midwestern means. We try and do things in a straightforward way. You know, approachable, friendly and happy. I want everything, even if it’s a sympathy card, to have some element of happiness. I want people to be able to look at our catalogs and look at all of our products on the shelf and just feel like these were happy people that made those.
What inspires you to create?
Travel, usually. Last June I went to California with a bunch of girlfriends and there’s something about the color of Southern California with the desert and the rockiness and the plants. I came home and I just wanted that whole color palette to be in my life. Now I have a collection coming out in May that was inspired by all of that. We’re calling it Golden Rod because that’s the feeling I wanted to put forth.
Do you consider yourself an artist or a business owner first?
I would consider myself a business owner first, but that’s probably just my own personal issues. I feel like I’ll never have practiced enough to call myself an artist first. I will never have learned enough. ￼
Tiny thing alert! Oh, this is one of our most favorite new projects! It’s a set of 12 TINY cards and TINY envelope with envelope seal stickers and gold foil! All in this sweet little house, which is also painted on the inside to look like the inside of a little cottage too! If you need this in your life (and you DO!) check the link in our profile! . . . . . . #flashesofdelight / #thehappynow / #livethelittlethings / #pursuepretty / #theeverydayproject / #makeyousmilestyle / #thatsdarling / #photosinbetween / #soloverly / #popyacolor / #abmlifeiscolorful / #bandofun / #mycreativebiz / #myunicornlife / #colorhunters / #twilightcollection #1canoe2 #tinythings #stationeryaddict #colorsplurge / #dscolor #stationerylove #stationeryfinds #printandpattern #americancrafts #snailmail
How do you find balance between running a business and doing something that's artistically fulfilling?
It's hard to be a certain kind of artist and run a business like this. Some artists just like to explore and keep making new stuff, and it's really fast paced to keep advancing their style. That's great, but our customers are coming to us for a specific thing. So there are definitely limitations for the things that we create. It's me and two other people who do the artwork here. We all have side artistic endeavors to explore those other things that aren't just for 1canoe2. I want to create other things. I want to explore an idea without it having to go on the cover of a notebook.
What's next for 1canoe2?
World domination. We have some new products that are coming down the pipe that I'm super excited about like camp mugs and a whole new line of notebooks and journals. We have some exciting partnerships in the home-goods area, so we'll be creating things like mixing bowls and measuring spoons and things like that. I want to keep doing what we're doing and being able to bring artwork out to the world. I have the best job ever.