State your name and business.
Lydia Evans, Letterpress By Lydia

What is your mafia nickname?

What is your craft?
Letterpress printing and design, and all things paper craft.

Why do you do your craft?
Complete obsession with antique printing machinery, creating custom invitations, and making paper treats of all kinds.

What’s your earliest memory of making something? 
Growing up we were encouraged to make anything and everything. I fondly remember being given my mom’s garlic press to use to make ‘spaghetti’ and real life ‘hair’ with Play Doh.

What are your sources of inspiration? 
I get my inspiration from almost everywhere – nature, art books, museums, speaking with my clients about what they’re passionate about, and participating in as many crafty endeavors as possible with different mediums.

What is your favorite Chicago Haunt? 
The Art Institute, preferably early on a Sunday morning.

What is your favorite beverage and where do you get it? 
Anything gin or anything bubbly. I love any excuse to visit the RM Champagne Salon.

How did you come up with your business name?
We can thank the IRS for my business moniker. I picked LBL because I was an accidental entrepreneur and read that if I chose a name with my name incorporated it made taxes easier for me as a DBA. In mafia terms, I didn’t want to pull a Capone!

What is your weapon of choice?
My 1850′s platen letterpress (‘Gordy’) and his big sister Bertha, a 12×18 Chandler & Price steampunk princess.

What would you be doing otherwise?
Hmm, I would probably be spending even more time taking photos in small aircraft with Mr. LBL, trying to train my two shop cats to clean the print studio and/or the house, and reading with my feet up.

What advice do you have for an artist/crafter who is just starting? 
Keep going! Work hard and listen when people tell you they wish you would make something for them – and take them up on it! Start building a portfolio, a collection, and some experience about what path(s) your craft will take. Don’t be afraid to switch gears. Trial and error is your best friend, and if you listen to that little voice inside you that speaks your truth, you’ll be just fine and find your happy path to being a crafty entrepreneur!

Where is your work available for purchase?
So far it’s the old-fashioned way, direct contact with the artist via my website –