We had the good fortune of connecting with Shavon Morris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shavon, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Using art as a vehicle for critical discourse has become really important to me. I want to create pieces that are rooted in empathy, civic engagement, and conversation. Right now my work focuses on our flawed American systems; particularly, I’m hoping to further explore unemployment, education, gentrification, housing, and systemic oppression against Black people. My recent project, America’s Honest Identity incorporated statistics that were derived from reputable books, which I used as source material, such as The American Crisis, and Social Inequality by Martin Marger. The work was intended to be a thoughtful coffee-table centerpiece, and my intention was to use printmaking and stationery as a vehicle for critical discourse.
8 conversation cards, 8 American truths, and hopefully 8 sincere discussions amongst friends.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve spent this past year transitioning and evolving as an artist, going from making traditional stationery (invitations, greeting cards, menus) towards making pieces that embody culture, while also functionally serving the community. Previously, I had a successful business called Morris & Company Designs where I sold wedding invitations and event stationery. At the time, I had contracts with several other businesses, boutiques, and stores, but I decided to close everything and focus solely on art, rather than capitalistic gain. The center of my work will eventually seek to artistically heal the crippling mental state of African Americans through confirming statements, cultural adages, and political messaging. I also love incorporating deboss printing techniques to enhance prints and bring attention to specific design elements.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Gite Gallery, Sunshine Vegan Cafe, Black Market Houston, and the Buffalo Soldiers Museum
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have the most abundant gratitude for the entire team and staff at The Printing Museum Houston. Specifically, I want to thank Brian Hodge and Jessica Snow for their kindness, acceptance, and mentorship. As a result of participating in the artist residency, I have received a wealth of knowledge about letterpress printing. My hope is to continue to learn and master machines, techniques, and processes. I also want to thank my amazing product photographer Crystal Golden of @well.designed.life.