my name is zephyr wilshusen pfotenhauer
i was born in santa cruz, california during that short expanse of the 1980’s that signifies neither x nor millennial. my generational cohort is interstitial and analogistic. we slow-danced to "under the bridge” in middle school. i drew AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL comics in big black sketchbooks and i had a zine.
i matriculated at chelsea college in london on 9/11/2001. i hung out with european unionists, developed an accent unmoored from any geographic locale and drew portraits of reluctant strangers on the underground. i studied maps and pub decor. i graduated from middlesex university in 2005 with a ba in fine art, bought a wacom tablet and moved to züricH.
bored with switzerland’s punctiliousness and relentless natural beauty, i applied to graduate school and earned a masters degree from the school of the art institute of chicago in 2008. full of hope but just in time for the financial crash to render such accolades meaningless, i went home.
i had a child and did design work for public health officials & non-profit organizations. i taught extension classes in screen printing, resold vintage clothing on etsy and opened a children’s store. i sat on several boards of directors and closed the shop. i made jewelry and sold paintings. i freelanced & poured beer & made it work.
In 2013 i joined discretion brewing, eventually moving back-of-house to ideate & design glassware, apparel, coasters, growlers, 35+ original beer labels & countless taproom signs. .
since 2016 i’ve been a regular contributor to edible monterey bay, designing the magazine’s seasonal farmers’ markets guide and various other food-focused instructionals. Thanks to santa cruz’s tightly-knit craft beer community i’m known to collaborate often with other local breweries & attended my first international Craft Brewers’ conference in April of 2018. other regular clients include a butte county rice farmer-slash-youtube star, a 30-years-running classical concert series, my tiny town’s own parks & rec center, rescuers-of-bees <<The Honey Ladies>> and various authors of illustrated books, all of whom i serve from within a wonderfully well-lit but under-insulated studio in the santa cruz mountains.
after 10 years of all talk i finally purchased a proper light box and a printer i don’t wish to throw out the window — i built a darkroom, acquired a full range of soft-hand & discharge inks and assembled a 6-color t-shirt press to fully enable the exploration of my current creative obsessions: printmaking, Pop Art, repetitive patterns and propaganda.