Meet Kanya Zillmer, a graphic designer and printmaker based in Saco, Maine. She designs and screenprints outdoorsy posters, home decor and apparel for her print studio, Hills & Trails. Her designs are inspired from my adventures in New England with her partner James, their son Summit and beagle Scout.
What are your three favorite things to do outside?
I love hiking with my dog, camping and snowboarding! I moved to Maine 9 years ago from Philadelphia to be able to work and play while enjoying the things I love to do outside as well as be closer to my family. My favorite Maine mountain to hike is Tumbledown and to snowboard on is Sugarloaf!
Tell us about Hills and Trails
Hills & Trails started as a creative outlet away from my job as a graphic designer. My happy place is at my camp in Union Maine. I take a lot of inspiration for my designs from there along with the hiking & camping adventures I go on with my family. I love working with my hands so I started experimenting with printing on paper, fabric and t-shirts! Eventually I built a DIY studio out of my basement, taught my partner James how to screenprint and we started printing together!
What would you tell someone who wants to get into graphic design/screen printing but doesn't know where to start?
Buy a starter screen printing kit and just practice. Read up on printing techniques and watch YouTube videos. Screenprinting in a DIY setting is all about trial and error. It’s not always going to work the first few times but when it does, it’s one of the best feelings to pull the ink over the screen and see your accomplishment. Don’t be afraid to ask someone questions that you look up to. Experiment and have fun with it!
Best advice you've ever been given as an artist?
1. Don’t second guess yourself!! 2. It’s better to be overwhelmed than underwhelmed :)