We had the good fortune of connecting with Ingrid Schindall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ingrid, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
“Keep an eye on your competitors and find ways to beat them out.” While I agree that you should keep an eye on what your competitors are up to, I think any time spent plotting against a rival is time that should have been spent making your own business or practice better. I also believe strongly that the rising tide lifts all boats and often in the creative world, the offerings that your competitors have will be different from your own in distinct and important ways. This means the client’s decision of who to work with will be largely dependent on the quality of your portfolio and their aesthetic preferences. Instead of rivals, I think of the other print shops in South Florida as potential collaborators and have done my best to become friendly with them. Instead of thinking of ways to steal business or take over a particular corner of the market by force, I spend my time focused on making sure we’re taking good care of our customers, improving our portfolio, and sending out the right message about our brand. There are only so many hours in the days so I try to spend them building community and sharing our value and not waste time plotting and scheming against folks.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been an artist as long as I can remember and have been lucky to have family and friends who have been supportive from the get-go. I fell in love with printmaking in high school and haven’t looked back- attending the California College of Art in San Francisco for a precollege printmaking program then receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in printmaking and book arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. After graduating I travelled to Johannesburg, South Africa to work as an apprentice printmaker at David Krut Projects then ran a small book binding studio in Baltimore for a couple years before growing tired of winter and setting my sights on somewhere warmer. I was born and raised in Delray Beach, Florida so when I started making plans to set up a more substantial studio, South Florida was naturally in the running. I found FATVillage, the main arts district in Fort Lauderdale, and after a very fruitful conversation with the founder, Doug McCraw, I signed a lease for a small studio space. I set up IS Projects and Nocturnal Press in 2014 and we have been the premier public-access fine art printmaking studio in the tri-county area since. Looking back, it felt like the area was really ready for someone like me, with a bunch of printmaking equipment, to come down here and help bring the community together around these niche and amazing media. I’ve been fortunate to work with hundreds of local and visiting artists to create everything from artists’ book editions to business cards. We’ve taught hundreds of workshops and hosted an annual Small Press Fair for 5 years straight bringing together thousands of print, book and zine artists, enthusiasts, collectors, supporters, and curious. Throughout the years I have continued to make my own work, consisting mostly of artists’ books and experimental relief prints, and exhibit them locally and internationally. I’m an optimist at heart and my wish is that anyone who comes through the door of IS Projects gains or expands upon an enthusiasm for paper book and print. Our collection of equipment includes pieces from the mid 1800s that we still use to create printed works for the likes of Redbull and the Norton Art Museum. It’s an extreme challenge and responsibility to keep this ancient craft relevant but it’s also a joy to come into the studio every day, whether working on the business or creating new artwork, and smell the ink, history, and potential that the space holds.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In a pre and post covid world, South Florida tours are my specialty! I love when out-of-towners come to visit the studio and I can show them what living in South Florida is actually like. The first stop on the tour would be a tour of the Bonnet House and Gardens to relish the artwork of Frederic Bartlett and marvel at the accomplishments of Evelyn Bartlett. No trip to Fort Lauderdale is complete without a trip to the beach so it would be a short drive East to the shore to snorkel, relax and enjoy a delicious lunch at Kousine, if you are into Peruvian food and ocean breezes this is the place for you. My favorite time of day at the beach is sunset, when the sky, the sand and the water are a similar shade of lavender and the temperature gets just cool enough to think “it’s pretty nice out right now.” The evening is the time to swing down to Miami to see an exhibition and grab dinner amidst the undulating masses at Coyo Taco in Wynwood. Then we wind down the evening with a trip to the Small Wine shop for a bottle of delicious natural wine and great conversation. My goal is to end the night reveling in the lines, “It must be so nice to live down here” or “I could get used to this!”
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This has been a year of raising the bar on virtual content and we could not have done so without the guidance and generosity of Johnny Zhang, who has helped Nocturnal Press and IS Projects produce virtual workshops, gallery tours and high quality video content. He also helped bring our annual event, Small Press Fair Fort Lauderdale (SPF’20) into the digital world by directing our first ever 6 hour long live broadcast featuring live and prerecorded guests from all over the country. I don’t want to think about where we would have been without him this past year. If you’re looking for someone to help out with creating the highest quality video and virtual content Johnny is your guy. www.johnnyzhang.zone
Johnny Zhang, Ingrid Schindall, Caro Gutierrez