Shadi Ayoub grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, where he gained a deep appreciation for the traditional craft of printing from his father and traditional printing press operators. Following his father's passing in 2013, he took on the legacy of the family print shop and honed his skills, developing innovative techniques to overcome technical challenges in a resource-constrained environment.
In 2019 he left Beirut and moved to Cleveland where he started setting up the letterpress studio one press at a time. He founded The 961 Collective with the vision of doing what he loves and sharing the beautiful world of print with others in the community. He has since taken on papermaking with the goal of recycling the scraps from projects to create more handmade paper.
In addition to The 961 Collective serving client's letterpress needs, it is also an educational resource hosting workshops and a collaborative space where artists from all over the world are involved and spotlighted through collab print projects, apprenticeships.
Elyse is a first-generation American fine art printmaker with a passion for exploring diverse mediums, including risograph, etching, screenprint, letterpress and charcoal. She embarked on her printmaking journey in 2015, earning her BFA from Bowling Green State University in 2018. Following her undergraduate studies, Elyse honed her skills as a Shop Technician at Zygote Press in Cleveland for three years, gaining valuable experience in experimental printmaking.
During her tenure at Zygote Press, Elyse also served as a Teaching Artist, imparting her knowledge in printmaking through classes and workshops at esteemed institutions such as Orange Arts Center, Pivot Center, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Ohio State University, and Northern Illinois University.
Her commitment to advancing her craft led her to undertake a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship at The 961 Collective, made possible through funding by the Ohio Arts Council, where she is dedicated to expanding her expertise in letterpress.
Elyse's artistic endeavors are fueled by her Cuban cultural background, exploring the intricate emotions of grief and the transient nature of memory and life. Currently, she is pursuing her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at Northern Illinois University, furthering her dedication to the world of printmaking and contributing to the vibrant discourse within the artistic community.
Lara is a Lebanese graphic designer with a passion for photography and storytelling. She captures aesthetically pleasing frames and pairs them with often sarcastic phrases that hit the nail on the head regarding the current socio-economic situation in Beirut.
Lara is trilingual and so is her humor making her puns an interesting mix of English, Arabic and French. When she isn't working at her full time graphic design job or making her own art, Lara enjoys movies which are her escape and source of inspiration.
Some of Lara's favorite things:
- The color cyan
- Mahmoud Darwish
- Mikhail Naimy
- Frank Sinatra
- Ziad Rahbani
- Charles Bukowski
Since childhood, she has shown remarkable talent in drawing and painting, haven came from a family of artists.
Her talent in painting grew while watching her grandfather and uncles-work on their pieces. Lara’s art was primarily paintings of flowers, an inspiration she drew from her family garden and spoke to her femininity.
At the age of 15, Lara decided to take her art seriously, and enroll in artistic academic courses that would help her pursue art professionally in the future. Her work was recognized at that time through local exhibitions and publications. In 2017, she graduated from Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts Balamand with a BA in Product Design. After graduation, and with the rise of social media, Lara’s art had a bigger platform and a noticeable interest from the youth.
This encouraged her to abandon the classical ways and upgrade to the digital age. This shift was the beginning of a new artistic path. In the past three years, Lara was able to speak to a wider audience with her new art pieces that became an expression of her sexuality and broke the stigma towards the female body.
Samer Bou Saleh
Samer is an independent graphic designer, lettering artist, and analogue photography enthusiast working from his hometown in Mt. Lebanon, Beirut, or anywhere with Wi-Fi.
Since 2008, his design work revolved in both corporate and cultural spheres focusing heavily on typographic
experimentation, utilizing his passion for Arabic hand lettering in bilingual visual identities, editorial design,
event branding, and design direction.
During the quarantine of 2020, he divided his time between commissions and exploring new interests away
from the screen, such as woodworking, printmaking, and analogue photography.
In the occasion when he is not behind a screen with a headset, Samer can be found in his workshop doing
woodwork, enjoying a sunset ride on his motorcycle, or doing a late night printing session in his darkroom.