🎟 You can get tickets for her upcoming CreativeMornings talk here. 🎟

Jenny Wilkson founded the letterpress program at the School of Visual Concepts (SVC) in 2001. Originally a book designer, she holds a Master of Arts in Design from UC Berkeley, and is fortunate to be one of the few of her generation to have undergone a traditional letterpress apprenticeship. In 2012, she co-created the wiki website Letterpress Commons. These days she oversees the operations, curriculum and community outreach of SVC’s letterpress shop at the School’s facility in South Lake Union—the epicenter of Seattle’s tech boom. Through SVC, she facilitates creative collaborations with local nonprofits and directs the annual Letterpress Wayzgoose and the mighty Steamroller Smackdown—a friendly competition where design teams print giant posters with a steamroller instead of a printing press.

CreativeMornings [CM]: How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?  

Jenny Wilkson [JW]: Creativity is in the innovative idea, and not whether or not you carry it out with your own two hands. Sometimes I lament having chosen to spend a disproportionate amount of time facilitating instead of making. But recently a letterpress student exclaimed that I have the best job in the world—I get to help others come up with creative ideas.

[CM]: Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

[JW]: I look to my bookshelf or the public library. The material found in printed books is better curated than a deluge of internet search results.

[CM]: What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

[JW]: Finding an appreciative audience for your work isn’t selling out.

[CM]: What are you reading these days?

[JW]:I just finished reading Bit Rot by Douglas Coupland—an entertaining collection of essays and short fiction about technology and humanity. (Thanks to Scott Boms from Facebook Analog Lab for the recommendation!) Now I’m feeling nostalgic for Douglas Coupland’s Generation X, which I haven’t read since high school. I’ll bet it’s going to be as hilarious as watching Singles again, 25 years later.

[CM]: How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?

[JW]:I remember very clearly as a child telling someone that I wanted to be surrounded by stacks of paper when I grew up. I thought maybe I’d own a stationery store. I was eerily close.