The lighting at New York City’s Klughaus Gallery in Chinatown is optimal for looking at works of art. A black shiny outfit with sheer sleeves, and gold material draped on the upper torso of the wearer Elizabeth Suman, could hang as its own caricature next to illustrations by artist OBLVN who was on display. Parodying her formal attire would be fodder for Saturday Night Live if she were actress Zooey Deschanel, Suman’s doppleganger. “I get the comparison—quirky girl with red lips and bug eyes. I’d say I’m a more street smart version of her.” This evening on a rainy night in May, Liz Suman was the hostess with the mostess at the helm of a unique event, the NYC Type-Off™. Suman and co-founder Pierre Greene, organizers of the Type-Off, challenges contestants to a typing competition based on accuracy and speed. Now in its fifth year, Suman brought the sport of typing to the contemporary gallery she also works for, doing public relations.
Although the Type-Off gets back to basics of using word processing machines that predate apple and Microsoft, Liz Suman is a journalist making a living in the digital age. She’s written about events and entertainment articles for The Daily Beast and Baltimore Brew. Suman’s research and editing contributions to Vanity Fair, and the autobiography for Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner has laid the foundation for her next endeavor, penning a book about the history of ketchup with co-writer Ken Banta, former reporter for TIME. Banta has covered the Heinz family in Pennsylvania as the author of Reinventing Ketchup: How Heinz Is Creating A New Global Brand in 2000. “This summer I got to fly to Missouri for the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival. We have a great agent and are shopping around for a book deal,” says Suman. [Editor’s note: “catsup” and “ketchup” are the same thing.]
At 28-years-old, the work of the Brooklyn-based writer—by way of Seattle—speaks to a niche audience. More platforms are becoming commonplace for creative individuals like Liz Suman to create from Tumblr to a couple of her favorite zines: Deschanel‘s actually, and Making Deals Zine. “They cover music, graffiti and art, including all of our events at Klughaus,” she says. Getting hip to ketchup is just a conversation piece in the making, like the ice breaking joke between Uma Thurman and John Travolta after their brush with death in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Catch up.