Chicago Artist of the Month: Susan Sarandon

Artist of the month? Say what now?

Yep. It’s a new thing we’re starting up here. Every month Chicago Rants will feature one of this city’s many fine and underappreciated artists. In these features, there will be a good mix of some transplants, some locals, some painters, some sculptors- you name it, and I’ll be covering it at the top of every month. You don’t know art? That’s fine. I’m right there with you. Other than the fact that I rock at drawing stick figures, I actually know very little about art. So let’s jump in this together.

Susan Sarandon artist491166To kick this monthly feature off we have local painter, drawer, and printer, Susan Sarandon (pen name), who built a makeshift studio in his Humboldt Park apartment and is working on a series of ghost-inspired artwork.

Originally from Tucson, Arizona, where the art scene is as lively as a Sonoran cactus in an August drought, Susan Sarandon moved to Chicago to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. At the school, Sarandon specialized in Animation and Print Making classes, and it shows in his work that has been featured in local showings. “I’ve learned a lot by being here, Chicago has great culture and a thriving arts community,” he told me, “Chicago has art shows every week with really great artists.”

print-screenSusan Sarandon previously had a residency at the South Side Hub of Productions where he built a studio and taught art classes before it closed down. However, after the community center closed its doors, he packed up the studio and brought it home. Currently, he uses his hand-built screen printing press to make limited edition posters and fliers that have been used by local bands and venues such as the Empty Bottle and The Owl. “The box was made from found wood, and my friend found this huge piece of glass in an alley one day and the lights were scavenged out of an old closet,” he said.

Susan Sarandon, Tate Won Chen, and a pair of parakeets in their home studio

Susan Sarandon, Tate Won Chen, and a pair of parakeets in their home studio

Some pretty cool stuff is made the makeshift home-studio, from screen-printed shirts to elaborate sketches, “I’m constantly working on something no matter what,” he said before he gave me a quick rundown of some of his current projects. Currently, he is working on selling a handful of pieces, which is sometimes easier said than done, because lets face it, a college kid would rather have a Bob Marley poster hangin in the dorm rather than a piece of local art. “I’d be happy if younger people would buy art,” he said, “if people bought art like they bought records it would be a much different scene.”

One of Sarandon’s current projects on the market is a 4-part series of drawings involving a medieval ghost haunting a small town. “I had a lot of hauntings growing up, “there was a story of a Mormon couple that lived down the street from me who killed themselves, and I would always see their ghosts in my bedroom window. However, I had a very superstitious mother and at that age it was hard to separate fact from fiction.”

I would hope that most of it comes from fiction, as Sarandon’s ghosts tend to be a bit more on the violent side as you can see from a sample of the series:


But on a lighter note, his girlfriend, Tate Won Chen, makes some nice crafts out of found and recycled material:












If you dig what you see, she has an etsy page with all kinds of good stuff up: SaltyGoldfish Etsy

You can find Susan Sarandon at his website:
or his etsy page: WAXWING PRINT
or if your old-school, you can email him directly at:


  1. Who is who? What is what? Is Susan Sarandon the girl? the guy? or the movie actress? You sometimes refer to Susan Sarandon as he. I’m confused.

  2. Hey it’s me again. This is a lesson learned. Just skimming an article can get one in big trouble and even worse cause one to misunderstand. I’m sorry. Now I see that it was my mistake. I’m sorry for the previous comment. It was and I am confused obviously more than I’d like to be. lol

    • chicagoranter says:

      haha no problem Nina, Susan Sarandon is his pen-name! I’ll throw a mention of that in the article to make it a bit more clear for the next person to skim it :)


  1. DOOMSAYERS says:

    […] Read full interview at Chicago Rants […]

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