We had the good fortune of connecting with Mycalia Athanas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mycalia, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Letterpress printing has had a sweeping revival in the last several years. It’s established itself as a real player in the stationery game, especially with weddings. It’s rewarding as a printmaker to be in a position to share this historical print method with others but, many people are unaware of how time-intensive it is and how much attention to detail is required – both technically and creatively speaking. Behind beautifully staged photos of pillowy impressions is a handful of misprints and hours of focused design and press time. Designing for letterpress is quite different than that for flat printing. There are a ton of technical requirements specific to plate making, and color theory is extremely important. When it comes to printing, each piece of paper has to be hand-fed through the antique press with great care and precision. Multi-color projects require multiple passes for each color; this creates more room for error. This is all while navigating the mechanical issues and maintenance that come with operating a 100-year-old piece of machinery. Letterpress is the true definition of a labor of love.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Letterpress is unique in that it is one of the oldest and most tactile forms of print methods. The handmade process connects me to my work in a way that I find critical to the creative process- especially when creating for monumental events such as weddings. Many small business owners would agree that this path is not for the faint of heart, but perseverance and passion makes all the difference. I have learned to trust my instincts and not compare myself to others. I am proud of my creative growth and willingness to take risks.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego is an extraordinary city, and I take pride in sharing it with friends and family when they visit. The top non-negotiables are Torrey Pines, Fish Shop near Shelter Island, and a pint at Mike Hess. Liberty Station is also a priority. The Public Market there is always a hit. I don’t spend much time in PB these days, but the walk from Mission Beach up to Bird Rock is just beautiful and gives off that classic west coast vibe. I love visiting the cove and dining around La Jolla – cocktail here, appetizer there, hop somewhere new for dinner sort of thing. Downtown, Balboa Park, Seaport Village are all wonderful too…the possibilities are endless!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I will take this opportunity to thank my husband, whose unwavering support and encouragement has given me the space and time needed to build Lovelybones Paperie. I would also like to shoutout my wonderful friend Kami Olavarria, who welcomed me with open arms into the San Diego wedding scene and has become a valuable support system and confidante.
Kami Olavarria Chellise Michael Photography Lovelybones Paperie