Rita Canas Mendes rookie

Miss Print

«What do you need a ruler for?»

How long have you been printing?

I started printing in 2012.

Describe your first encounter with letterpress

I was lucky enough to have a workshop with the one and only Amos Kennedy (Kennedy Prints). It was everything I expected and more. The creative freedom, the words and the plastiworker_city of the medium were like coming home, a return to a childhood sense of play and wonderment.

Where did you learn?

I learned at Oficina do Cego, a Portuguese group of crafts people who do and teach letterpress printing, screen printing and other subjects within the graphic arts.

Who was your most influential teacher?

I would have to say Amos Kennedy. The day he asked me «what do you need a ruler for?» he set me free.

What super power would you like to have?

Time travelling!

Do you prefer to work alone or with others?

Both. I work alone most of the time and it feels very zen and blissful. However, whenever I work with other people I have great fun end up learning so much.

What do you most value in your friends?

Their empathy.

When do your best ideas occur to you?

When I was supposed to be doing something else. :)

If you were to die and come back as a typeface, which would it be?


What tool do you use more often than any other?

My brain.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

What It Is, by Lynda Barry
The Folded Clock, by Heidi Julavits
The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf
As Armas Secretas, by Julio Cortázar
Wait for Me!, by Deborah Mitford

If you could study with any printer throughout history, who would it be?

Alan Kitching.

If you have your own shop, what equipment do you own?

A very simple tabletop proof press.

If you could change one thing about your shop, what would it be?

More room!

When and where are you the happiest?

When I have time to think and feel and just be.

What is your greatest fear/worry?

That I won't have enough time in this life to properly say goodbye to everything I love.

What do you think is useful about what you make?

JOY. It brings me joy. And if a print of mine brings a little bit of joy to the observer my mission has been accomplished.

What’s your day job?

I'm a writer and a literary translator.

Do you use any other techniques or media besides letterpress?

I like collages, but I still haven't explored it enough.