Steve Walters started Screwball Press in 1991 after being laid off from his job managing a grocery/liquor store in Lincoln Park. Despite having no education or experience in the fields of design or printmaking, he soon found himself working for companies like Capitol Records and Leo Burnett, in addition to local clubs like Lounge Ax and Schuba’s.
These pandemic days, Steve and his partner have been running Burgoo Chicago, in Rogers Park, a gallery that supports and sells the work of local artists. He also makes and sells awesome t-shirts and vintage Screwball Press prints online.
1.What’s been keeping you up at night?
My cats, Iggy and Bob. They’re jerks.
Also, wondering if I’ve done a good job of preparing my kids for the oncoming post-apocalyptic hellscape nightmare that they’re inheriting. That, too.
2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
The loons in Eagle River, Wisconsin, where the kids and I have been going every year for 14 years with my parents and my brother’s family. Terrible fishing, mosquitoes, no cell phone service. Heaven.
3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
I don’t design many posters these days because my heart hasn’t been in it and it shows in the work. I’ve been struggling with making more art for art’s sake, but I’m finding out how important having deadlines was to me.
But I am excited about working on a poster for Luma8’s Arts In The Dark Parade on October 31. They’ve also asked me to be the Grand Marshal for the parade. So that’s good.
4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead to your team, who would it be?
I don’t have a team. And if I did, how would dead people help? Would the corpse of Groucho Marx be more valuable than the corpse of my boss at Denny’s where I was a cook in junior college?
5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?
Around 2002, Steve Walters started teaching his designer friends how to print and that evolved into the Screwball Academy, which lasted for about 12 years. Many local gig poster designers got their start there and have gone on to start their own shops.
Steve Walters can be found online at his Website.
Burgoo Chicago is located at 1736 West Greenleaf Avenue. Open Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm