Monday, December 28, 2009

Creator of Famous Obama Image Disappointed in Obama


---------------------------------Happy holidaze----------------------------

The escalation in Afghanistan, the weak health care reform, detainee abuse not being shared with the public… on a number of issues I’m very disappointed in Obama. I hate being in a position where I’ll either be characterized as having “turned” on Obama for speaking out, or for being a “brainwashed cheerleader” if I give him more time to get it together. The last thing I want is to do is de facto strengthen the Republican’s position by attacking Obama, but I think he needs to be pushed. I don’t think Obama is a bad human being, I just think he is not being brave enough. In some regards I think Obama is just the messenger, letting us know he’s caved in to corporate and political forces we have all done too little to keep in check. I must qualify that by saying SOME people like Robert Greenwald and his Brave New Films team and have certainly done their part to make righteous efforts. I’m disillusioned with the whole two party system. I’m baffled by some of Obama’s moves and many of the Democratic party’s moves. I’m confident that only campaign finance reform and vigorous participation from citizens, not corporations will change things for the better. Let’s all turn our dissatisfaction into positive action… talk-action=0.

Happy day of good will and peace on earth from a proud agnostic humanitarian. If a god made all this, he or she was quite mischievous if not mean-spirited.



Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Intern Effect

When I started seriously writing this blog, I did so because I wanted to be able to share my adventures in the art world with other people I know who I may not have a lot of contact with. People who stumble across my blog through Google searches, or through my Myspace page (that I don't really use) or my facebook fan page (see right side of the page) can be in contact with my current work, or adventures through the art world, but most importantly, I made this thing because I won't be living in the same state in a few months, and I wanted to have a way for people to be able to see what I am up to while I am gone.

The reason I won't be living here-if you didn't know- is that I am interning at Hatch Show Print in Nashville starting in February. I will be away from my friends and family, I may not have a job that pays, and I may not be able to afford to live in Nashville without putting it on my credit cards. In other words, my life is about to change, big time!

To put this change into perspective, I can look back at the last 9 years of my life and all 9 years are spent almost exactly the same. I had a pretty stable life. 9 years at UofL. 9 years at the same job. 9 years living at home.

Since I have graduated, and got the internship at Hatch it has affected my life quite a bit and The last nine years' status quo is already starting to go out the window.

The internship, and the possibility of grad school afterward has strained my last relationship to the point of breaking up, and as a result of my 2 month absence, my current employer has said that I won't be able to take a promotion (which would have been my 3rd) because they can't have me be gone for 2 months. Every member of management wants me to take this position.

They say now, that I may not be able to keep my health insurance benefits, and that I may have to start all over again from minimum wage when I get back. The classes at The Mellwood Art Center have been put on hold, and even if they started today, I probably wouldn't be able to teach them because it would end right as the internship was beginning.

I wish that all of these things didn't happen, or could have been resolved, but regardless of the outcome of these events, I need to do this internship. I very rarely take chances with any aspect of my life, and for the first time, I am taking steps towards a positive change. I know that if I decided to stay here, stay to teach, or stayed for a promotion, it wouldn't be me following my dreams, and I would always wonder what it would have been like to work at a place as important to the tradition of printmaking, the history of Nashville, and pop culture in general, as Hatch Show Print.

This is something that I have wanted for a long time, and worked very hard to get. If I decided not to take the opportunity given to me by the people at Hatch Show Print, I would kick myself for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Death or Glory

A few months ago when I was wandering ebay in search of interesting screenprints to possibly add to my collection, I stumbled upon this print. At the time it was something like $25, and seemed like a real solid image. Like most things in life, or eBay, I thought that it must be too good to be true. The price was nice and so was the image, there must be something wrong with it. It didn't even have the name of the artist listed in the description. For whatever reason, I didn't buy it. I should have though. I found another one on eBay for somewhere around $170!

As near as I can tell, the print is called "Death or Glory 09" by someone named Parry Doogan. Heard of him? Me either, but I dig his style! If this were just a really well printed monochrome image of The Clash's Joe Strummer, I probably wouldn't have given it a second glance, but this print is different! The thing that makes this image go beyond a standard ordinary screenprint, is his simple use of varnish that gives this image a whole new dimension. Compare the top image taken straight forward, with the one below taken from the side. Can you see the lyric? "Death or Glory/becomes just another story" Still don't see it? Try the image below in red. Oh yeah, it also comes in red.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Graphic Novel Style

I used to read comics a lot more than I do now. I started with only Ninja Turtles in elementary school, then mostly Superman in middle school, and by the time I was in high school I read mostly X-men related stuff. This isn't to say that I read these comics exclusively, I read a little bit of everything. Towards the end of my weekly comic book reading, I started getting into indie stuff, graphic novels, and less traditional superhero stuff(like Madman for example).

In college my car had died, and I was left with the decision to either keep buying comics, or get a new car/car payment. I chose the car. It wasn't a bad decision really because I don't miss comic books that much, and I still read the occasional graphic novel.

I really like the work of R. Crumb. Although sometimes I feel like it is hard to tell if he is being satirical or offensive, and some of his personal stories can make you blush with what they reveal, his style of drawing is beautifully done. I suggest checking out "The Softer side of R. Crumb".

Another Favorite of mine is Daniel Clowes. I remember loving "Ghost World", and going to get the comic(excuse me, "Graphic Novel"), and from there reading "Ice Haven", and "20th Century Eightball". Not only his drawing style, but his narrative style make me wish I had the talent to make the kind of stories, and characters that he creates.

The same goes for Adrian Tomine's work. His series "Optic Nerve" shares the same kind of subtle angst, and desperation that you find in Clowes' work, only with less silly characters.

All three of these artists have a unique way of dealing with the figure with amazing results. Crumb utilizes hatching more, while Tomine uses very minimalistic lines. Somewhere in the middle lies Clowes. The drawings above are my attempt at capturing portraits in a more graphic novel style.

It isn't always easy, or pretty because these works are done with an ink pen then covered with color pencils. I really like the work, and think that practicing this more "cartoon" style can only improve the way in which I see light, shadow, and also line work in a way that is not what I would traditionally do with my own drawing style using charcoal.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Print Collection 1

My Morning Jacket Plays the Tennessee Fire
Triangle Poster CO.
Pittsburgh, PA
Screenprint and/or Letterpress

When I was younger my friends and I would load up the car and head down to Bardstown Rd. where we would wander around and check out the stores, hang out and have a good time. During these days there were no social networking sites so if you expected someone to come see your show, you had to make real life flyers, and stick them to real life telephone poles. If I would see a really well designed flyer while walking around, I would sometimes take them from the poles.

This is where I got this print. I dare say it is the first print in my collection, even though I took less than great care with it. It has pin holes in it, and drawing on the back, but when this poster was printed I highly doubt it was created to be "high art" and the whole gig poster/printmaking fad hadn't yet arrived.

The band is one I had never heard of when I acquired the print, but recently had appeared on TV's American Dad, and I believe they also had a live concert on television for New Year's Eve 2008/2009. The popularity of the band as well as the trendiness of printmaking and gig posters makes me wonder how long a poster like this would have survived stuck to a pole these days. This same poster I took from the streets is actually for sale(or was at one time) at Ear X-tacy.

When I found this print I had no knowledge about printmaking. I didn't know who Andy Warhol was, I had never been to Hatch Show Print, and I had probably never even had any experience in my high school art classes, but this was a cool poster. The paper was thick, the colors were bright, but it had a certain hand made quality that normal posters did not. I could see the impressions in the lettering, I could see slight imperfections, and the ink seemed to sit on top of the paper more than normal posters.

Based on my printmaking knowledge I would say this poster is a combination of screenprinting and letterpress. The image at the bottom seems to be a generic screenprinted design that is available for everyone and the text at the top seems to be a letterpressed custom design. If you visit the Triangle poster company website they have pictures of pre-printed images that you ca use for your event, and this is one of them. This particular elephant image is "style #531" according to the bottom of the poster.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jasper Johns By Shepard Fairey

When I look at this print I think a few things.

1. This print would make a great gift for that printmaker/collector in your life *cough ME cough*.
2. Is this the beginning of a series of artists portraits? I kind of hope so. It would be great to see Shepard's take on some of the classics, or even lesser known artists that everyone reads about in those Art History classes.

Hypothetically, which artist would you like to see? I am a huge Warhol, Haring, and Basquiat fan, and would like to see any of them reproduced in print. The only thing is that Warhol is such an obvious choice especially since Fairey is the modern day Warhol. I think that the clean, smoothed out images that Fairey has been producing lately seem to lend themselves more to artists who do photography.

Basquiat and Warhol's images were too rough around the edges, and Haring was too colorful and positive. Because of this I think that someone like Cindy Sherman would make a great subject for his printing techniques. When I think of Sherman, I think of dramatic poses, and lots of shadow play, both of which would translate well to print. The other artist, based purely on color scheme, would have to be Barbara Kruger. Her stark contrast of red, white, and black seem to fit Fairey's style perfectly.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The History of a Great American Poster Shop

I just finished reading "Hatch Show Print: The History of a Great American Poster Shop", in preparation for my upcoming internship. It is a really great book for people who are interested in letterpress posters, or the history of Nashville. The book goes into a lot of detail about the times, places, employees, and even some technical details about the shop, and considering that the shop has been in operation for 130 years,that is a lot of ground to cover.

The story is a straight forward history detailing the founding of the company, and the basic types of posters printed. It's interesting to see how advertising with posters has changed so much in 130 years at Hatch even if technology has not. It seems when entertainment changes, posters are still there, whether it be minstrel shows, country music stars, wrestling, state fairs, or politics, Hatch Show Print has been there! For me, the best part of the book was being able to witness the decline of the business and the triumphant return of the shop to its glory days in its new location.
--(above) My first Hatch Show Print--

I feel like this end part of the book is where I come in. Around 3 years after the book was published I went on a road trip to Nashville with my brother and my cousins, to see the Curiosa Festival. When we arrived we were too poor to afford tickets and instead spent our time riding Go-Karts, playing mini golf, and going to the Opry Mills mall. We also went downtown to checkout the happenings. While walking past a building I looked in the window and saw a poster of the concert we were unable to attend. Inside I bought a copy of the poster I had seen on display in the store window. That store was Hatch Show Print.
--(above)Pieces from my Hatch Show Print collection, not including window cards, or t-shirts--

At this time I had yet to take a single printmaking class in college, but I knew that the distinctive Hatch Show design was something great. A few years later my mom went to Nashville on business. I asked her to ask the employees of Hatch if they were hiring. A few days later she returned with a couple of postcards, a print from Hatch, a t-shirt, and news that they were going to have internships available in the Fall of the next year. I checked out the website info and began looking into what I needed to do to get the internship. That summer we went down for the day and like always, stopped in to Hatch Show Print, where I bought a sticker, a t-shirt, and a print. As a joke I asked them to go ahead and put my name down on the list for interns the following fall. The person behind the counter told me I would have to apply online. For the next year there was nothing on my mind but to work on my BFA show/graduation, and think about the internship that (hopefully) awaited me afterward. I wondered what it would be like to work in the shop, printing the way people have been printing for hundreds of years! Getting to learn a new type of printmaking, getting hands on experience, meeting new people and being able to live on my own in a different city.

A few months later I graduated, and I sent off my resume for the Fall 2009 session of the internship at Hatch. I got a call back for an interview, and I thought that I did okay. They decided not the pick me for whatever reasons, but said I could still be considered for future sessions. I was excited by that, but I felt like I shouldn't get my hopes up. They didn't pick me before, so why would they pick me now? I thought I should focus on getting a real job, moving out on my own, and maybe thinking about grad schools.

Luckily, (in a way) I didn't have a new job, or a place of my own, or a grad school selected, because I received an email from Hatch Show Print a few weeks ago inviting me to participate in the February-April internship! I, of course, was bouncing off the walls with excitement and had to change my mission for my life once again. So that is pretty much it. This week I received my internship packet. Like one would expect, it includes letterpressed stationary with a personalized message, a card with a letterpressed history of the company, and a letterpressed price guide, as well as a bunch of photocopies relating to the behavior expected from interns.--(above) Letterpressed internship Packet--
As excited as I am that all of this is happening, I am also a little nervous. The people I have talked to at Hatch seem really cool and laid back, and the history of Hatch I have read seems to back that up. A community of musicians and designers with Luddite tendencies working together and listening to music (interns are not allowed to touch the CD player BTW) to preserve Hatch Show Print's legacy through production.

The intern manual is very rule heavy, and it needs to be, but reading it also brings in some self doubt. I can't let it get to me though, because everyone at my current place of employment tells me I am a machine! I work hard, and I take pride in my work, and Hatch Show Print will be no different. I can do this and it will be good for me. I feel that I will finally be able to work somewhere artistic, and be a part of something bigger. Hatch Show Print is a part of history, and when the next chapter of the Hatch Show Print story is written I will be a part of it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Cool Mail.

A while back I joined Twitter for the sole purpose of entering a contest hosted by World Famous Design Junkies. The prize for this contest?


More specifically, the stickers were part of another contest run by Sticker Robot. The Sticker Robot contest gives a topic, and asks for sticker slogans based on that theme. The winner gets 500 of their sticker printed, and Chris Burns of World Famous Design Junkies is a winner! His slogan "OBAMA ON A UNICORN LOOKING FORLORN" makes me wonder what the theme of the week was over at the ol' Sticker Robot, because I don't get it.

That really doesn't matter too much to me though, because if you know me, then you know I LOVE stickers and zines. If you don't know me, then maybe you should, we could play Super Mario Kart. But anyway, I entered the contest and I won!
The photo above is what the package that arrived in my mailbox today looked like. Just your average, run of the mill envelope right? WRONG!!!!!! Like I mentioned in my last post, I love getting mail that is artistic, and includes bonus stuff, and this package did not disappoint. BOOM! That plain looking envelope turned into this!
As you can see, the envelope was really a cardboard photo frame, with a picture of an unknown dude, from an unknown time. Weird, but very interesting, and a very unique use of an old photograph/photo frame. I should have expected nothing less from a design website. That's not all though! The package also had BONUS STICKERS!!!! Tons of little stickers from A Tiny City, (a blog related to the World Famous Design Junkies family) a few graffiti art styled stickers, and 16 Obama on A Unicorn Looking Forlorn stickers. Score!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Zine of the Month Club.

Recently thanks to I discovered something called the "Zine of the Month Club". For $75 you get a different zine every month from Mark Price/Space 1026 in Philadelphia, PA. Each issue is by a different artist or by a collection of artists, and usually features lots and lots of unusual doodles and drawings.

The Zine of the Month Club is why God invented mail. The picture below shows everything that came in the mail with my first zine of the month. It included all the previously released zines, as well as 3 show cards for an art auction/gallery opening at Space 1026, the envelope with the pizza character printed in red, a flier for the zine of the month club, a full color pizza character card with a hand written note from Mark Price, and all the zines up to that point.
Even though I wouldn't be able to make it to the show in Philly because it is over 8 hours away (I'm guessing), it is still cool to get bonus stuff in the mail, especially if it is really well designed. The envelope could have been plain white, and he didn't have to send a note saying thanks, but he did, and it's cool to know that he is not just phoning it in when it comes to this project.
A few weeks later I got the October issue. Same thing. The envelope was printed with the pizza figure, a new zine inside, and a cool little flier telling people to "READ ZINES NOT BLOGS". I think you should do both. Read zines, and this blog...and that is IT!

A couple of weeks (maybe not even that long!) later, I got a new envelope from the Zine of the Month club. This one was in a plain white envelope, with a photocopied zine called "Puke".
Because of its size, envelope, and photocopied nature, I don't think it is supposed to be one of the "official" zines of the month, and is more than likely just another form of "Thanks for subscribing" from the Club. If it is one of the official months titles, it is ok with me. What it lacks in fancy colors, and size, it makes up for in hilarity. This zine is probably one of the funniest yet. While I am talking about this zine in particular, it would make sense to go into greater detail about a few more as well.

Almost every issue is screenprinted, or a mix of screenprinting, photocopy, and interesting paper choices.

By interesting paper choices, for example, I mean that "Some kind of way" has velum paper for the 1st and last page that makes the image of a woman falling, turn into an organic pink blob when the page is turned. The cover to this one also blew me away, and made the screenprinting part of my brain wonder "how did you do that?" The drawings inside are kind of psychedelic, and have a really nice variation of line quality.

"Draw Jams Vol. 1" has a harder glossy cover with photographs of fat cats all over it, and the inside is filled with various artists' takes on Garfield, Batman, and other unusual characters.

"First Casualty of Pom Beach Week" is full of drawings of women and pomeranians. This is probably what a bad trip is like, and judging from some of the smoke-filled drawings, that may not be too far off.

"20xx" is a very elaborate, very high quality zine that makes my photocopied zines, and my screenprints, kind of look like crap. It actually has a zine within a zine!

"Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorn'd" is the only one that has a straight forward narrative to it, and it manages to flip that on its head through the unique way in which it must be read.

"People Friends" is a full of small drawings of people, and creatures, just chillin' and saying unusual phrases out of context. Very fun, and lots to see and read.

The rest of the zines follow along similar lines. Each issue that comes in the mail has its own unique identity, and its own way of interpreting art of the zine.

At you can see the issues so far, subscribe to this year (or next year for the discounted price!), or click on each issue down the right hand side of the page to get a quick flip through of the issue. Even if you don't want to subscribe, it is worth it check out the site just to flip through all of these great zines.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Southern Graphics Conference/Hatch Show Print Internship

Looks like it is that time of year again!! The Southern Graphics Council's conference has just released the info for the 2010 conference. This year it is in Philadelphia and just from looking at the info on the website it's gonna be a good one! Going to this conference in Chicago (2009) with my printmaking class was probably the best experience of my college career.

This year since I am no longer a student I can't go to the conference on the University's dime. It looks like the $200+ for registration, membership, travel, room, and food may not be the only thing that may prevent me from going to the SGC this year, because I got the internship with Hatch Show Print in Nashville. Thats right! From February 15th-April 16th I will be living in Nashville, four hours further away from Philly than I would have been in Louisville.

I have been thinking that if by some miracle I manage to scrape enough money together to live in Nashville on my own, and then somehow get enough money together to go to the SGC conference, then maybe I can take a weekend off from Hatch and drive up there. I think I get weekends off with the Hatch internship, but I could be wrong.

Here are some pictures of Hatch Show Print in Nashville (1-3) and pictures from my trip to the Southern Graphics Council (not including the pictures of people doing somersaults, eating Epic Burgers, or making weird faces).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Misplaced Groceries

If you are like me, then you work retail. If you are also like me, then you eat food from a grocery. I mean, you might not be like me at all. You might be a robot, or maybe a vampire so you don't have to eat grocery bought food. You could eat a bucket of bolts, or the blood of a Twilight fan. Whatever. I'm getting off track here.

So there is this really cool printing company called Aesthetic Apparatus in Minneapolis. They do screenprinted show posters and really cool art prints, but besides the really cool prints (that you should check out), they have also made a book called "Misplaced Groceries". This is a book of photographs taken inside of grocery stores where an object has been taken out of its "front and faced" environments and abandoned in another location.

Most of the products look as if they are trying to fit in with the other products. If anthropomorphism were to be applied to the products, the shelves could be seen as social situations, where some products seem to be scared, confused, pompous or proud. Some products seem to be judging the objects imposing on their turf. For example: the green dish soap sits with the Mountain Dew 6 packs but being the same color is not enough to be included in the pack, or even the same shelf as the 6 packs of soda. The dish soap is not Mountain Dew, or in a six pack, and the bottles have different tops, and different shapes.

For me, working in retail, and eating food from groceries (see we're getting back on track) I see this kind of stuff all the time! At work it makes me wonder "how can people be SO LAZY!?!?" but in the grocery store it's sort of funny.

"How did these Popsicles get next to the toilet paper?"

"Who dropped toothpaste in the milk section?"

My personal favorite probably is when there is just random meat left somewhere. Like when you see a pack of ham in the magazine rack, or a pound of ground beef on a shelf of cereal. Hilarious! I wonder if they try to resell it, or how long it sits there before it goes bad, or before someone finds it. Anyway check out the pics. Here is the address. Misplaced Groceries My favorite is probably the Diet Coke in the hair dye section.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


(NOTE: This was originally going to be a post about the zine of the month club, but I got carried away.)

I like 'Zines. There I said it. There is nothing to be ashamed of really, but it seems sometimes that I was born about 10 years too late. Its like I should have been going around in my 20's during the 90's wearing my flannel shirts and ripped jeans, brushing my long orange and green hair out of my face while wearing my favorite Pearl Jam t-shirt. You could find me slaving over a hot copy machine at the local Kinko's (not FEDEX Kinko's) printing out page after page of my latest art masterpiece. Folding and stapling with a sense of pride for this rough product about to be unleashed on the world.

I never did any of those things though. Except for the flannel shirts, and the jeans with holes. It wasn't about fashion, I was just a poor teenager. I didn't make my first 'zine until 2003 maybe? It was for my drawing II class. It seems there really aren't too many zines out there these days. I think it is a combination of there not being too many being produced locally, or it could be that I just don't know where to look. It could be that I have a certain romanticized idea of what a zine should be based on the comics of Adrian Tomine, Jim Mahfood, and Daniel Clowes (Zine-o-phobia in Ghost World?). Cool drawings, cool stories, maybe an album review, or movie review. I would think that 90% of my love of zines is probably related to me collecting comic books(especially the smaller sized and often roughly drawn Ashcan and underground comics), always thinking that one day it would be ME writing and drawing and publishing my own work. This was attainable in the form of the zine. Even if I gave up on that dream during my first year of college.

I remember Brat magazine and Burt the Cat, in Louisville. Both of these were collections of stories, funny pictures, comics, and ink that came off right on your fingertips. Brat was a lot more political, and rebellious with its articles along the lines of what to do if you get pulled over, and violence in schools, and self education. Meanwhile, Burt the Cat was more local around town things, and funny pictures and websites(and the website had better be good because you still had to dial them up!). It seemed like so many zines, or local publications were so musically geared that it was very selective. I remember seeing a lot of things with interviews or reviews of bands and albums that I had never heard of, or just didn't care about. I suppose that is why zines are often called "fan-zines". It is supposed to be for a small audience of the initiated. If you didn't know what they were talking about, then it wasn't for you.

A few years after the drawing II assignment to create our own zines, I started to seek out new and interesting zines from the internet. I got a few things from Rob Ullman, which are mainly pin-up style cartoons and other assorted drawings and comics, but that was it. I made a zine for one of the Big Bone art shows which was all about my saint prints, and one for my BFA show. It wasn't until earlier this year when I went to the Southern Graphics Print Council Conference in Chicago that I found zine heaven. There were people who were self printing zines left and right! The Colombia college store had a zine called "Bitches" Which was sold in the store as a "zine", but under the guise of "one page artist book" during a Demo one floor up. It was in reality a photocopied piece of paper that was folded in a very creative way. "Claptrap" #2 was hilarious and screenprinted which was a bonus for me! Another great one is the CD-booklet-sized-gold-covered "The Longest Night" by Lederer, Lake, and Singer. I got this in Chicago also, and it is very sturdy in its construction, and the drawings inside are great as well. Recently I discovered a club called the Zine of the Month Club. For 75 bucks you get a different zine every month. It really is a cool deal. They are from a variety of artists, and published by Mark Price. When I say "published" I mean that 90% are screenprinted. (I will go into more detail about this group of zines in a later post.)

There is something about holding printed paper that can not be reproduced on screen. A Kindle from Amazon will never be a book, with a cover designed by someone, and a font that someone had to pick, or a smell, or the feel of the paper. A kindle will always feel like a kindle, and no matter what book you read it will feel, and smell the same. The same goes for Albums. You will never hold a digital download in your hand, and you will never read the digital download liner notes. You will never smell the ink, or feel the texture of the paper. Is it glossy? Is it rough? The same is DEFINITELY true about comic books. It makes me laugh to think that some comic companies are pushing so hard to go digital as the future of comics. I just don't see that catching on. Much like these mediums, a Blog will never be the same experience as a 'zine, or a magazine, or newspaper. There is the touch, and the smell aspect, but there is also the feeling while holding a zine, that someone somewhere thought this was important enough to cut, paste, write, draw, and copy. This is someone's product, and it is more that a simple layout where they fill in the blank insert HTML and hit "post" You can see the craft, and you can see the screw-ups, and in both cases it is a sign that there are still people out there getting their hands dirty.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Talking Heads Monoprints

Today I continued to refine my mono printing by creating these two prints. They are both based on the titles of songs by Talking Heads."Psycho Killer" 2 color monoprint "Love->Building on Fire" 3 color monoprint

"This is a Printing Office"-Beatrice Warde 1900-1969




Saturday, November 14, 2009

Monoprint Test.

The last time I make a monoprint was probably 4 years ago during my "Intro to Printmaking" class. For those monoprints we used plexiglass with ink brushed on like a painting and then manipulated with water to get the image we wanted and then ran it through the press. It was more like painting, and the results were ok for me, but I wasn't impressed. I much preferred screenprints, and woodcuts. A few semesters later there were two students doing some amazing things with monotypes, that I had been interested in, but had never tried. My interest was mainly in mastering screenprints, and making a series in that medium. Tonight I decided to try my hand at this form of monoprinting. Making monoprints this way are a cheap and easy way to make unique prints at home. Monoprinting in this way requires no press, chemicals, light tables, spray sinks, screens, acid baths, aquatints, etc. All you need to make prints is a brayer, ink, a pencil or pencil like object, paper and a surface to ink up, such as a small piece of glass, or block of wood. Using your brayer apply a nice coat of ink to the surface. In my case this was a piece of cardboard, woodblock, and glass. The type of surface you use with determine what type of texture you get. Cardboard often has ridges, while wood has a grain, glass is often the smoothest surface with the least amount of texture to it.

After you ink the surface place a piece of paper over the inked surface. Then trace your image, or freehand draw it with an object such as a capped ink pen, end of a pencil, or even with a drawing utensil(though this will leave an image of the drawing on the back as well as the front.) Then peel the paper off of the surface and you (hopefully) get a great image with an interesting texture and very distinct line quality. The main thing that differs monoprinting from other printing methods is that with this process you can't really edition your prints because each image is different and unique even if you trace the same image over and over. This may be obvious to you based on the name alone.
The images you see above are the results from tonight's monoprint tests. With the monoprints I completed tonight (or maybe started) I see a lot of potential for really good looking images, particularly the skull drawings. If I were to go back with another color to accent the original image this could be the start of something really amazing.