Presenting Printed By us, an inspiring team who run printing workshops for people in Sheffield who may have experienced homelessness and other complex issues. Collaborating with local artists to create unique artwork, the team then hand screen print the designs, sell the prints and fund additional printing workshops.
Founded by freelance designer Mark Musgrave, Mark tells us his story of how Printed By Us came to be. “It’s a side project that has just got out of hand really. In a good way. I work in Sheffield city centre and so most days would come across homeless and vulnerable people on my journey to and from work and during my lunch break. Occasionally I would stop and talk and buy some food, but it all felt very short term, so chatting with a few friends and colleagues, I began to explore how I could use creativity and enterprise to make a longer-term positive impact.
I wanted to understand the various challenges faced by homeless people and people in recovery, so I did some research and to be honest felt pretty overwhelming with how complex the challenges are and how every person’s story is completely different. There is no quick fix. I spent some time volunteering at soup cafe’s at Cathedral Archer Project, speaking with people attending the cafe, key workers and other people who have had experience working with homeless and vulnerable people.
From this research,the idea developed and changed direction a lot. Most of the initial ideas were around creating something to sell and then giving money to provide “x” for homeless people. But a consistent theme was that vulnerable people in recovery what to volunteer, to contribute, to be a part of something. So after more ideas workshops with friends and colleagues (and lots of coffee) we finally arrived at the idea for Printed By us. To do something creative, to teach people new skills, to grow confidence, to provide employability experience to create something beautiful that we can sell to help fund the project and keep it running to help other people.
It was surreal to be in the first few workshops, to just look around and see everyone having a great time and enjoying printing and making beautiful prints too. Seeing the idea come to reality and be ever better than you imagine is pretty energising. There are a few things that really inspire us to do what we do. Firstly it’s about creating opportunities for people to learn a new skills and grow in confidence through doing something positive and creative. A lot of the people involved in the project have been told by life and circumstance that they aren’t good enough and they can’t do things. So we wanted to create a positive environment where they are part of something and learn new things and succeed.”
Musgrave and his crew have now run our first 4 printing workshops and have created over 10 stunning prints. We loved this beautiful concept and had to get our hands on them. You can now buy Printed By Us prints from Department Store, see below too!