Community Collaborations – SoHo: Cheryl Humphreys

Community Collaborations – SoHo: Cheryl Humphreys

Posted Nov 27, 2023

This Community Collaborations series shares stories from individuals based in the greater communities of our retail shop locations who embody our same endless passion for life and nature. Their work inspires our culture here at Outerknown, and we're excited to share it with you.

Printmaker Cheryl Humphreys creates art that promotes peace through a ritual-like process. Her seven monoprints adorn the walls of our SoHo shop featuring a strategic composition that changes color and size, blending hues, textures, and shapes to create a sensory experience across the visual spectrum. Originally from Ithaca, NY, Cheryl was a graphic designer at Outerknown during our origins but now focuses on her artwork while living in sunny Los Angeles.

We had a chance to chat with Cheryl to hear more about her journey! 

Photos provided by Christian Delfino (@christiandelfino)


When did you first begin creating art?
I have been creating art for as long as I can remember.

What inspired you to become an artist?
This is a BIG question with many answers. Exposure to art and artists when I was young was the foundation. There were two artists in my family that were models for me. My aunt Mary, a painter; my uncle Joe, a writer. From a very young age, I was intrigued by this alternative lifestyle.

Your work is incredible. What materials do you work with to achieve your unique look?
I love working with paper. It’s a generous and sensitive material. I guess my unique look comes from years of using the same materials: Paper, dye, ink and pressure and really pushing the limits of their combined capabilities.

Where do you draw inspiration from when creating your monoprints?  
Anywhere! Everywhere! The process is the point for me – most of the time, my inspiration comes from being present with my materials. Enjoying all the little maybes that take me from nothing to something.

For your In Color prints–all of which hang in our SoHo store, you said that you attempt to “pull the viewer’s focus even further into your world through the dynamic use of color as meditation.” Can you elaborate on this creative process more?
They represent my deep dive into color research and theory. Each is a visual representation of what I imagine the vibration of the color to be. With these works, I was interested in exploring a single color’s effects beyond the senses. I like to think the viewer softens their gaze to experience them.

What excites you most about the work you get to do?  
Autonomy, eternal play, community, art making’s therapeutic effects, travel.

We’re so stoked to have a few of your pieces on display at the Outerknown SoHo shop!  Can you explain how you first got connected with Outerknown?   
Interestingly enough, I was on the very first OK women’s product design team. I have worked with John Moore, Mike Lohr, Zuri and Michael for years at Pop Studio. I learned about what it means to have a connected creative team at Pop. It felt like this epic pirate ship we were all on together; fighting the good fight for quality product and design. Those are such nice memories for me.

Other than using natural dyes in your work, what sustainability practices are important to you?    
Well, I am a collector. A part of my practice is repurposing items that most would discard. A recent example of this would be my Security Blankets – quilts made from security envelopes I have been collecting since age 18. Fascinated with the patterns printed on the inside, I started stashing the envelopes from my gas bills, bank statements, credit card offers etc. This past year, while I was pregnant with my son (18 years later) I pulled them out and made two quilts with them. What surprised me, is how much I loved the back of the final pieces. Rich with my personal history: past addresses, cars, places of employment, the many phases of life so far.

Are there any new projects on the horizon for you?  
Yes, I am pleased to share that I have a busy 2024. I have a solo exhibition (that I am working on now) opening mid-February at Sarah Brook gallery in LA, a duo exhibition (with my husband Mike McMullen) opening in May at Tappan Collective in LA, and a group exhibition opening this summer at Indoek gallery in Ventura.

Posted Nov 27, 2023