When Brian and Sara Turner finished their first concert poster in 2003, they wanted to sign it with the name of their studio.
Trouble was, the Lexington couple didn't have a studio, although it was a dream beginning to form.
What they had was a small workspace in their damp basement, which was infested with crickets.
In a moment of whimsy, a word people sometimes use to describe their distinctive, colorful and eye-catching art, Cricket Press was born.
Now, you can see Cricket Press' posters and other artwork all over Lexington — and across the country — promoting concerts, small music gigs, festivals, businesses and even weddings.
"Once our work got out there, other bands and venues started contacting us, and it took off from there," Sara said. "Lexington has been very good to us."
Cricket Press will be featured in a segment of Kentucky Educational Television's Kentucky Life show Oct. 17-24. And The Morris Book Shop on Southland Drive will host an event 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 13 where the Turners will sign a book of their art.
Cricket Press is what can happen when two people combine their personal and artistic passions and figure out a way to make both a life and a living.
Sara, 32, a Lexington native, and Brian, 34, of Frankfort, met when they were fine-arts photography students at the University of Kentucky. After graduation and their marriage in 2000, they got good corporate jobs as graphic artists. "We were creating stuff, but we weren't satisfied," Brian said.
In addition to art, they loved music, especially indie rock, punk and jazz. They also loved riding bicycles, which are frequently a theme in Brian's art. As music fans, the Turners came to admire gig poster art and figured out how to make prints using silk screens.
"They taught screen printing at UK, but we never took it," she said.
The Turners usually begin a piece with a pen-and-ink sketch, which is then digitally scanned and refined. Each piece is hand printed, with a minimum order of 50 pieces. Job prices begin at about $300.
The Turners say they rarely collaborate on pieces. Each has his and her own style and interests, although they say their styles have become more similar.
"I've heard people say they can tell a Brian poster from a Sara poster," he said.
Cricket Press is still a home-based business. In addition to the basement work space, the enterprise has taken over much of their home, with his and her computers in one bedroom, a printing press in another. Print-drying lines are strung across the upstairs hall, and a downstairs room is used for mailing, storage and cleaning screens.
So much work was coming in by 2005 that Brian quit his job to devote himself full time to Cricket Press. Sara works part-time as a graphic artist but doesn't think it will be long before the business can fully support them both.
In addition to the orders for custom work, the bulk of their business, the Turners sell art prints and note cards through their Web site, www.cricket-press.com, and www.etsy.com, a site for art and craft sales.
Because their personal and artistic relationship is such an important part of Cricket Press, the Turners don't want their business to get too big for the two of them.
Eventually, though, they would like to have their home back and move Cricket Press into a separate studio.
They want a studio with more room to print larger pieces, and a storefront that would be more convenient for local customers. But no crickets, thank you.