Artist Cat Snapp likes to create paper goods that spread appreciation and joy — especially now that we’re social distancing.
Snapp, 34, who works out of her home studio in Everett, specializes in greeting cards, stationery, art prints, notebooks, journals and stickers, although she also paints and sculpts. Most recently, she made some small sculptures out of clay that were inspired by nature.
“I just like the ability to create fine artwork that you might see in a gallery, but also to create work that might cost $5 that you can frame or send to a friend,” she said.
Snapp has loved art since she was a child. She remembers drawing pictures of Frankenstein’s monster and making her own “Choose Your Adventure” books. While studying fine art at the University of Central Florida and University of North Texas, she fell in love with etching and print making.
Cat Snapp Studio is a renovated garage in the Delta neighborhood. That’s where the full-time artist creates, prints, assembles and ships all of her paper goods. She’s had the studio since moving to Everett in 2016.
“I was working in the house and in the garage while we were renovating it,” she said. “I’ve been working out of it full time for the last year.”
The studio houses two presses — a Chandler & Price letterpress from about 1912 and a Takach etching press made in 2012 — that Snapp has lovingly named Vaiola and Gloria, respectively, after her grandmothers. She works at a table her husband, Mike Lavoie, built her as a Christmas present.
Snapp describes her work as bold, quirky and elegant. They’re jam-packed with color and feature wobbly drawings. Her journals, cards and stickers can be serious or goofy, practical or sentimental.
Some of her patterns are influenced by motifs from her Samoan and Mexican heritage. The colors she chooses are inspired by Pacific Northwest landscapes and seascapes.
She draws her designs by hand, and then uses either her presses or computer to recreate them. All her letterpress cards and journals are hand-printed and hand-bound. If she can’t print them herself, she has a U.S. printer make them for her on 100% recycled paper.
She’s seen an uptick in the number of greeting cards sold during the pandemic because they’re one of the few physical ways we can still keep in touch with family and friends. Her best-sellers are “Sending good vibes your way,” “You rock!” and “You’re stellar!”
Others have bought her paint-splattered notebooks to have something special for their children’s schoolwork while they’re learning at home, or so their family can journal about their feelings during the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, Snapp left her studio to spread some joy in her neighborhood. She drew a repeating pattern with some chalk up and down the sidewalk. In the windows at the front of her house, she taped up bubble letters that say “Hey y’all!” and surrounded the greeting with colorful dots.
“I’m from the (Florida) panhandle, and it’s a little bit more Southern in culture, so ‘y’all’ is very much a thing that is said there,” she said. “That part has stuck with me.”
For a limited time, Snapp is offering two free greeting cards that you can print at home. She made them in black-and-white, so you can color them if you want. They say “Hello from too far away” and “Stay at home club.” She also provides a template for making envelopes to go with them.
“As an artist, it feels really weird to share (my) art right now, for a variety of different reasons,” she said, “but one thing that I have decided for myself is that I’m not a scientist and I can’t go work in health care, and so I must use the thing I am an expert in to try to show that there’s good and hope in the world.”
Josh Jones, of Everett, a fellow artist who does photography, sketching and watercolor, had a booth right next to Snapp’s at an Everett Makers Market that popped up at the Schack Art Center last year. He bought a few hand-bound journals and encouraging stickers from her that he continues to enjoy.
He said a sticker he bought that says “You got this!” was a source of comfort when he was nervous about a job interview.
“I would look at it frequently and think, ‘Yeah, I got this,’” he said. “It might seem cheesy to some, but I think those reminders are important.”
Jones also signed up for the Cat Snapp Studio newsletter, long enough ago to forget that the form asked for his birthdate. He found a surprise in his mailbox this week — a birthday card from Cat Snapp herself. His birthday is April 17.
Find Cat Snapp Studio printable greeting cards here: catsnapp.studio/gift-cards-digital-downloads/printable-greeting-cards. Visit catsnapp.studio for more ways to support each other during the pandemic.