The first time that Salt Lake City photographer and graphic designer Stephanie Swift applied to display her work at the Utah Arts Festival, it wasn't for the usual reasons of artistic expression and ambition.
"My sister hounded me to apply to the festival, and I did it to get her
off my back," Swift
said in a recent phone interview.
digitally enhanced photo prints of Utah neon landmarks, bearing her
brand Pretty Little Pixel, are a regular feature at the festival.
This year, she is an invited artist at the festival's Artist Marketplace, which boasts 162 artists selling their wares - 45 of them from Utah, and 64 displaying at the festival for the first time.
Swift, who works by day as a graphic designer, was hired several years ago to develop a trade-show booth that looked like a comic book.
experimented with adding bright colors to photographs, and "it was something I really liked, so I just kept doing it," she
specialty is taking photos of famous Salt Lake City landmarks, particularly old neon signs, and digitally adding color.
Some of her
most popular prints show the Cotton Bottom Inn, the Tower Theatre and the now-gone Bill and Nada's Cafe.
started putting her
designs on household items.
experimented by decorating an old chair.
tried a fabric transfer and discovered she
could make pillows.
The toughest part of Swift's
art is finding usable images for places that aren't around anymore.
"It took me three years to find the Dee's clown," she
said, referring to the mascot of the old Utah burger chain.
would love to get her
hands on a photo of the old Terrace Ballroom, which was demolished in 1981.