North Texas Daily

Local artist shares childhood memories through handmade prints

Local artist shares childhood memories through handmade prints

Local artist shares childhood memories through handmade prints
March 25
10:26 2022

Denton-based printmaker Madison Mercer, 27, loves her art for its imperfections. She said each small fault is its own reward.

“The flaws are what makes it very special,” Mercer said. “Every single little one.”

From a young age, Mercer has always used art as a creative outlet. After first learning about printmaking in her elementary school art class, she began to practice and develop her techniques as a hobby. Years later, after taking several printmaking courses at the university, Mercer decided to pursue her passion professionally and started her online store, Dear Stella Studio.

“I’ve always been in love with the art of everything,” Mercer said. “Printmaking just makes me happy. It’s one of those things.”

Since 2017, Mercer has sold woodcut and linocut prints through her shop. Linocut is made through the process of carving a sheet of lin

Dear Stella Studio notebooks sit on display on March 19, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane 

oleum. While the meticulous, labor-intensive process is what attracted Mercer to the art form, her favorite part of the medium is the varied results formed from one individual carving.

“Every little print that comes out from that one block is unique and different,” Mercer said. “It’s rewarding every time.”

The nature-focused prints found in Mercer’s shop all take inspiration from her childhood. Throughout her youth, she spent most of her days outside exploring and collecting items like rocks and bugs.

“I was that kid that always had some sort of treasure in my pocket,” Mercer said.

Mercer has also made several series of prints based on some of her favorite children’s storybooks, such as “Stellaluna.” She said having others appreciate these familiar, nostalgic pieces allows her to form a more unique and personal relationship with her customers.

“It makes me happy to hear when a lot of people actually recognize [those pieces],” Mercer said. “It gives you a connection with people that you don’t know.”

Aside from her customers, Mercer said she has also been able to form strong connections with other artists in the Denton art community. Illustrator Samuel Wiggins, 26, said engaging with other members in this community, namely Mercer, has helped him build up his artistic drive. Additionally, he believes seeing Mercer’s original style of work has helped expose him to other approaches to art.

“That’s one of the best parts about it,” Wiggins said. “It’s nice to see such a different perspective from her because you get kind of caught up in your own loops if you’re looking at your own work.”

Another friend of Mercer’s, digital designer David Baker, 24, said having relationships with other artists allows creatives to easily connect with and appreciate local creatives. Baker believes Mercer’s unique talents and style have made it easy for others to want to support her and her work.

“There’s a  couple [of] artists in Denton that I probably have too much of their work in my home and she’s absolutely one of them,” Baker said.

A table for Dear Stella Studio stands during Our Market: Spring Fever on March 19, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

Since starting her printmaking career in Denton, Mercer said she has found a talented and welcoming community of artists. She believes this group of supportive creatives has helped build up her confidence through the difficulties of running her own art business.

“It’s the little conversations and sense of camaraderie that makes it so special,” Mercer said. “Everyone has each other’s backs.”

Throughout Dear Stella Studio’s duration, Mercer said she has learned a lot about finding her style, as well as forming a good business sense. While she does not currently run her store full time, she hopes to do so in the future in order to focus fully on her individual artistic ambitions. Mercer said overall, she feels fortunate to have the opportunity to impact others through her print work.

“I just like making people happy and enjoy making pretty things,” Mercer said. “It’s nice to know I can bring a little joy to someone’s life.”

Featured Image: Madison Mercer of Dear Stella Studio poses by her table at Our Market: Spring Fever on March 19, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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Samantha Thornfelt

Samantha Thornfelt

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