Book Arts, much like Buffalo itself, is made stronger by those who make up the community. With innovation, collaboration, and creative curiosity, we preserve the art of printmaking and bookmaking: what was once the sole means of distributing information, now a way for artists to connect with those around them. The consignment artists at Book Arts, all with their own stories to tell and unique styles, are the makers who help to maintain those values by creating everyday items showcased within the shop. Our list of consignment artists is ever changing, and often expanding–here are a few examples of the wonderful individuals that have items available for sale in our shop!
Kanchalee Deganis-Librera is the owner and illustrator behind Rabbitsun Studio. She is a Chinese-Thai artist from Bangkok, Thailand. Ever since she was little, arts, books and physical activities were always encouraged in her family’s household. When she was in grammar school, Kanchalee and her sister started taking classes in painting after school. Their first medium was Pentel oil pastel sets. Student grade of course! It was a fun time, but it only lasted a couple of years. As she got older, Kanchalee focused on the academic path and received her bachelor’s degree from Thammasat University, majoring in Liberal Arts. Even though she did not continue to study and pursue arts during that period of time, her love of stationery, manga, fiction, films and storytelling grew tremendously.
In her last year of college, Kanchalee had an opportunity to visit the United States for the first time. She traveled to Washington D.C, New York City and Los Angeles. Even though there is a “Thai Town” and “Hollywood” in L.A., it was the country’s East Coast that was calling her. Soon after she graduated from university, Kanchalee flew to New York to pursue her dream of becoming a filmmaker. It was not going to be easy to get into a graduate film program having no prior background in the field, but it was not impossible. Starting by taking continuing education classes from The School of Visual Arts, Kanchalee built her portfolio while also taking ESL classes to help her reach the required TOEFL scores of the M.F.A. programs she would apply to.
Waitlisted for the Screenwriting program at Columbia University, Kanchalee got accepted into Media Arts Production at The City College of New York. It was here where she would also meet her future husband, who is a Buffalonian of course! Kanchalee spent nearly six years living in New York where she worked as a freelance script supervisor, assistant director and editor. When the time came for her to leave the Big Apple, Kanchalee returned to Thailand to work as a producer at an advertisement production company and reunited with her family. Due to a health concern, she needed to put a pause on the film work, however, her love of visual storytelling kept inspiring her and found a new path to take. It was then, long after those early years, that she started picking up painting classes again. This time, it was watercolor.
Right before the pandemic hit in 2020, Kanchalee flew back to the U.S.A. The destination this time was Buffalo, NY. During the pandemic, Kanchalee spent a lot of time practicing watercolor and started to play with Gouache. She started drawing food and desserts that she missed from home and badly wanted to eat (#facts), and hasn’t stopped painting them ever since! Later on, florals and animals became her interest and she has incorporated them more into her work to help tell the story that is happening in the painting.
Kanchalee does not have a specific “style” and has come to the conclusion that she should not force herself to create in a specific way if that is not her nature. Her love of vibrant colors, whimsicalness and cuteness will always show on her canvas, despite the different styles and mediums she might be using. Lately, she has expanded her love of arts by using Procreate, trying flower pressing and will hopefully soon be learning letterpress. She continues to take art classes online and is a member of Buffalo-Niagara Children’s Writers & Illustrators.
Currently, her greeting cards and prints are sold at The Book Arts Center. She appreciates the opportunities she’s received from the Buffalo community.
“At first, I always thought I wanted to sell my greeting cards and prints only online. Having my artworks sold in a physical shop in downtown Buffalo gave me the chance to see real people look at and purchase my works which made me feel more connected to my community. This is something that selling solely online couldn’t give me. Living in a world that moves so fast, I really appreciate the face to face relationship I get from selling my works at Book Arts.”
Jameson Alea (they/he) is an artist and poet whose work is informed by their interests in history, magic and alchemy. They were born and raised in the Buffalo area and graduated from Canisius College with a degree in digital art and computer science. This led them to a career as a software engineer, but they have always enjoyed existing at the intersection of science and art. The printing press is the precursor to modern computers, after all!
Jamey remains passionate about art, working in various mediums, but particularly letterpress. They completed a studio residency at Book Arts in early 2022, producing a 28 card hand-printed tarot deck called the Tarot of Sorts. They’re a teaching artist at Book Arts and one of the organizers of ZineFest, having previously been the zine librarian at Sugar City. They’re also a prolific public speaker and have given presentations about art, ethics, mental health and transgender advocacy all over the world.
“I just think it’s so cool that you can buy my work right in the same building as where I made it. You can’t get any more local than that!”
I am a screen printer, illustrator, and painter from Buffalo, NY. I began screenprinting in 2014 and fell in love with the process- turning any idea into a tangible piece of art. I started printing t-shirts in several different shops, producing thousands of orders from local businesses to some pretty huge clients. A few years getting my hands dirty at print shops, I started working on projects of my own, selling my artwork at shows and festivals. I worked with a company for a few years printing, designing and managing the production of specialty hand screenprinted wallpaper. I teach beginner and advanced screenprint classes at a local non-profit in Buffalo (WNY Book Arts Center) where you can sign up and take a class led by me! This awesome community space is also where I do my printing, illustrating at my home studio. I plan to continue to expand this collection of work, one day setting up a rad studio of my own in my attic.
I love that my work is in Book Arts! They cultivate an open and welcoming space for all artists and curious folk alike. I print all my artwork in their studios and also teach their screenprinting classes- so it’s an extra special place to have my work in the same place that provides me the tools to make it!
I started at Book Arts as a volunteer, assisting teaching artists conduct workshops, and eventually went on to lead workshops of my own! I am a Paper craft and Henna Artist. I love to teach art and producing art works that combine both Paper crafts and Henna. I bring my love for Henna designs from my culture back in India. Outside of creating Henna inspired Paper crafts, I do art events and Henna parties
I feel fortunate to be able to produce my art work and have a place to share it with the community. The book arts studio has been an amazing place to create, learn and grow as an artist for me.