Founded in Summer 2019, The Run Around Room began as the converted second bedroom in Liz’s Sacramento Apartment. We used an old bed frame and some cheap shelving and a plexiglass window to create our table and inking space. Since then, we have replaced the shelving with a door sourced from the ReStore. A large, glass shower door Deanna found in the trash replaced the plexiglass window. We’ve upgraded from a hand brayer to a press Deanna made with a caulking gun, a few pieces of wood, and some magic beans.
We are Real Artists (TM).
It came to pass that Liz Awesome and Deanna Norwood were both in Shine Coffee Shop on a Sunday morning in 2016. We were going to be writers! Deanna was finishing her novel and Liz was doodling by way of procrastination.
Deanna finished her book. Liz was still doodling and writing “Liz Awesome, Real Artist TM.” We decided to take an art class, and the only one that fit our schedules was printmaking, whatever that was.
We took the overview class the first semester, and learned about relief, intaglio, and litho prints. The assignment for the litho print was a collab! Liz drew Medusa’s head, and Deanna did an octopus body. The tentacles shaped the next two years of our lives.
Our motto became “Say Yes To the Tentacle!”
We took the intaglio class next, and we were asked to pick a theme to make image generation less stressful. Deanna chose sea monsters, and Liz chose the things you see when you press on the backs of your eyelids or look at the cottage cheese in your ceiling with soft eyes.
As an artist, Deanna is painstaking. She starts with the idea to draw a thing, and then she draws the thing. She understands line weight and shadow and she’s comfortable with all of the good shading techniques.
Liz is reckless and experimental.
By the time intaglio class was over, the Run Around Room had taken shape. Deanna agreed to be the artist-in-residence, and we did a few little projects on the weekends and even some nights after class. As class was winding down, Deanna was full in love with illuminated manuscripts, and wanted to do an alphabet.
We concocted the idea to write an alphabet book about our mental health adventures called “L is for Lithium.” Alongside that project, we’ve been working on several other smaller projects and experimenting with our technique.
“Find a place to trust and try trusting it for awhile.” – Sister Corita Kent