You’ve seen her distinctive hand lettering in campaigns for ArtsPartners, Peoria County and the City of Peoria; all over social media; and even on the cover of iBi magazine. Just a year and a half after graduating from Bradley University, the Peoria City Council honored her with a Small Business Award.
For Chelsie Tamms, work is about community—and none was more community-driven than “100 Days of Peoria.” On each of the first 100 days of 2017, she unveiled a new design of a local business, attraction or event on Instagram. The project was so well-received that she decided to turn it into a coffee-table book, funded through a Kickstarter campaign.
It wasn’t even Tamms’ first Kickstarter—or book. She had already transformed her senior-year research project into a 40-page book detailing her creative process and showcasing her designs. “I learned a lot from my first Kickstarter,” she notes, “which helped things run smoothly.”
Inspired by Kickstarter’s “Projects of Earth” campaign, which encouraged creatives to “explore some facet of life on Earth in 2017,” Tamms brought the project to life with the help of five dozen backers. In November, 100 Days of Peoria: The Book was officially unveiled at The Nest, the coworking space she calls home, along with a pop-up shop featuring her own work and silkscreen prints from artist Jeremy Berkley.
So what’s in store for Tamms in the new year? “This is a great question that I would love to know the answer to!” she exclaims. Besides growing her business, “I am sure there will be more personal passion projects in 2018, although I am not exactly sure what they will be. I like to stay busy, and I am always looking for new, exciting and challenging projects.” Limited copies of 100 Days of Peoria are available at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, Urban Artifacts and online at letteringworks.com. a&s