Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How to Make a Poster/My First Poster

I know that this is about a month too late at this point, but I lost my camera for a month which means these photos are just now seeing the light of day. This is a step by step of the poster making process and by coincidence, they are also pictures of my first poster.

After you get the client you give them a call and check in with them to let them know whats up. You talk about colors and the plans for the poster, and bounce any ideas off of them to see what they want or don't want. Some people really don't care, and trust you completely, other people want very specific things.

After you call them, you sketch out a few thumbnail type sketches on index cards. Once you get one that you think looks the best, you get a board to work on and you build it one letter, or block at a time.
When that is finished you hand brayer it with ink, and transfer it onto tissue paper. It is very similar to making a relief print.
Once you do that it is no longer backwards and you get a good idea of what you should look like or change. In this case the words "the" and "Low" seemed to be too awkward, so I changed it around and did another proof.
Most people want to see what the proof looks like before they have 100 or so of them printed. This is where the fax machine comes in. Since most of our clients are out of state we send a fax instead. We don't do email because we're living in the 1800's over here. You go down to FEDEX reduce the size, photocopy it, and then go back to the shop and fax it to the client. Once you get approval you break down the color separations by hand onto separate boards. In this case I had 2 colors. One board had all the pieces that would be blue, and one board had everything black.
This is what the print looks like after running the blue. My edition was for 250, so I had to run the press 250 times for blue, then run it all over again for the black.

Here is the final product(before being trimmed down) after the black as been run. For this design I had to carve the windmill block by hand from a design submitted by the client.

I am pretty happy with the result, and the manager of the band said that the posters are selling really well.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Barack Obama Looking at Awesome Things

Here is a link to a collection of photoshopped images by Dean Trippe. It is Barack Obama, looking at awesome stuff.

Just a perk of being president.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hatch Show Print on American Routes.

Way back in the first or second week of the internship te radio show "American Routes" came into the shop and did some interviewing and recording. So tune into American Routes the week of April 7th, and listen to the sounds of a 131 year old letterpress print shop in action!! You might even hear me describe a problem I had with the registration of a print, or the sound of me printing( I think I was the only one who was printing that day). Then again, it might have been cut.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Letterpress printmaking started a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Speed? Baloney.

By now this is pretty much old news, but every time it somehow wanders back into my consciousness via facebook, or Leo weekly it just infuriates me. I wanted to kind of keep it to myself for the most part because I am not a part of it, and I don't live there, but I was a Louisville artist, and I will be again in about 3 more weeks, so it kind of impacts me.

For those who don't know, or need a refresher click HERE and HERE.

I may just be a simple printmaker, but I think that if these artists were so concerned about how much art supplies they could take off their taxes then they were doing it wrong. It is a donation because you don't get anything out of it except for the satisfaction of helping the cause, which in this case was art education related programs. You know them right? The ones that get cut every year when the schools have to cut budgets?

My understanding is that this was an open call, not a mandatory exhibition. Meaning you didn't have to do it!! C'mon artists, I'm sure most of you grew up during, or at least existed in the '80's. When you don't want to donate your artwork to art education programs do like the Reagan's "Just Say NO!"

Is selling baloney really going to change people's minds about...wait...what is it you want from this? Different tax laws for artists, or to force people to charge more for donated pieces even though you see none of the money, or to not be solicited to as much? I guess it will keep people from asking you to donate your work to causes. I mean if there is one thing that artists hate it is being a part of social change, and helping people. It's all about cold hard cash, and tax breaks! "All for one and one for none!!" I should make that into an 8 1/2 x 11 one color print...and then sell it for 300 dollars, because I'm worth it.

That's why I got into art. Who cares if a bunch of kids won't have the chance to experience a better art education. My 5 X 7 work is worth more than $27 dollars, and I can only claim a small amount on my taxes, and sigh, so many people are like, making me read emails about donations!

To me it just sounds like a bunch of whining stuck up artists who apparently can't say no, and don't care enough to donate to a cause that sounds like it is pretty much directly related to what they want to do for a living. I guess having a bunch of kids who never get to experience art will thin the heard out a little when they get older. The less art education that children have, the less educated artists there will be in the gallery world 2 decades from now.

This isn't Duchamp's "fountain" questioning what art is in the gallery world, this is a fundraiser for children who would could have had the potential of an extra $2025 in art education money raised if a group of artists submitted the actual artwork that they seem to be so proud of instead of lunch meat.

I just wonder how many of these artists will be willing to boycott/protest/lunch-meatify one of the many $20 and under shows that spring up over the year.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Here are some post cards to make up for my lack of posting lately. The thing is, about two weeks ago my family came to visit for my birthday and I inadvertently sent my camera back to Louisville, KY. Sure its only a 3 hour drive, but its just for my camera, and besides I will be back there for a visit in a week anyway.

Oh! The things my camera could have seen!! Maybe I will write all about when I have some down time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

1 month in Nashville

Today is the 1 month mark for my time in Nashville, which means that there is only about a month to go. Time flies when you are having fun!

Sometimes its still a little surreal that this is my life right now. Its amazing how smoothly I transitioned from living with my mom and brother, driving my car everywhere, and working retail to living with a guy I met on craigslist, riding my bike everywhere(something like 5 miles a day average), and working in a job that I love pretty much every aspect of. I miss home, but surprisingly not as much as I thought I would. I think the time I miss home the most is when I am alone.

It seems like there is always so much going on in Nashville all the time. Always somewhere to ride to, always something to see, or someone to hang out with. The weekends are another story. I usually spend at least one day a weekend completely alone. That isn't necessarily a bad thing I guess because it gives me time away from the constant "go go go" and lets me take care of chores and errands, but back in Louisville I worked all weekend, every weekend, or I always had my brother to hang out with if no one else.

Today I did the laundry, fixed my air mattress again, went to Qdoba for buy one get one free burritos(where on the way I met a man claiming to be one of god's prophets, and trying to get me to go to the liquor store with him so I could use my credit card to buy him booze), Kroger, and World Market(where I got 3 pint glasses for $2.15 because it was my birthday) before coming home and cooking Twisted Mac n Cheese for 1, playing solitaire and watching TV the rest of the night.

People often ask me "If they(Hatch Show Print) offered you a job will you take it?" The answer used to be "maybe" because it would be a dream come true, but it would be hard to go without my friends. But the more I think about it the more likely the answer would be "yes". I love that I can ride my bike, and that I get to work on cool art related projects all day. I think that the hardest part of leaving Nashville will be that the alternative is going back to the corporate retail environment where there just aren't enough small streets or bike lanes.

It recently occurred to me how much of my "previous life" in Louisville was consumer based. We used to drive to Target a few times a week, check out the book stores, or the record stores, but miss the gallery hops, the lectures and concerts. Part of this probably has to do with the hours that we keep here as opposed to there. 9-5 allows for a lot more free time in the evenings, especially when the people I am with keep these same hours.

Here I watch less TV, drive less, eat out less, and shop less. I drink more beer, play more chess and cards, and ride my bike more. I think that if there is something I want to bring back from Nashville besides new and improved printmaking skills, a kick-ass resume, and portfolio, it is that I want to go to more events, play more games, and ride my bike to more places even when it is cold out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The "Ryman" Style

I just finished a poster for an event in North Carolina called "Experience Hendrix". The poster looked great and I have got a ton of positive criticism for my use of color as well as the use of negative space, and the cleanliness of the image. The person ordering the design wanted a poster in the style of the Ryman Auditorium.

The Ryman is a place that was originally created for religious sermons, but eventually became the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Hatch Show Print has a long history with the Ryman, and the Ole Opry. In fact, there is an entire case at Hatch dedicated to Grand Ole Opry images. Last weekend when my family came to town, we toured the Ryman and got to stand on the same stage that country legends-and a bunch of tourists-have stood on.

Upstairs at the Ryman is a hallway of Hatch Show Prints. Most of them(or maybe all, I forgot)are signed by the artists they promote. Some of them are really great prints, some of them are mediocre, but they all have the "Ryman Style".

What is the Ryman Style anyway? That is the same thing I asked myself as I opened the folder for the Experience Hendrix assignment. The difference is that a traditional Hatch poster is very wordy, little negative space, and is usually used to advertise something in particular, while a Ryman show poster is more about art, and is used as a collectors item or souvenir bought at the event instead of advertising the event.

My next assignment is to design a poster for the "Jammin' to beat the Blues" concert. It is a benefit for the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee. This show is at the Ryman, but they did not ask for "the Ryman Style". This is because it is less about the souvenir, or artistic aspect of the show and more about the advertising of the event. It is a very basic, 2 color print, with a lot of text like a traditional Hatch Show Print poster. Because of this it may not end up on the wall of the Ryman with an autograph on it, but it is still cool to think about the long Ryman/Hatch tradition that I am becoming a part of. To see more of the Ryman's Hatch collection click here

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Keeping Track of Everything

I am learning a lot about Nashville during my time here. For example: If you threw 2 rocks anywhere in Nashville, there is a pretty good chance you will hit a Musician, or a Hatch Show Print poster. Tonight we saw a man wearing a shirt at Burger King that had the same image as one of the posters in the back. There are prints in the restaurants, the bars, the shops, the museums, EVERYWHERE! The same with musicians, only replace museums and shops with street corners.

In addition to learning a lot, we are also doing a ton of stuff! There is always something going on, and 9 times out of 10 I can bike to it. Because there is so much going on I have decided that I would keep a pocket journal/sketchbook, of events of interest during my internship. It is so small that at the end of the night I can whip it out and write down the days events without having to log into blogspot to do it(sorry blogspot, I'm sort of a Luddite!).

The above image is an example of what kind of stuff will be going into the book. I think that is will be a nice reminder of the time spent in Nashville. Maybe someday when I am old and out of my head I will look at the page posted above and have my memory jogged about the wonderful day I spent with my family and friends doing cartwheels at the Parthenon in Centennial Park, or maybe I will look at the chicken scratch on the page and say to my grandkids: "What the hell is this? Can't you see I'm watching the Price is Right?!?!"

Either way, so far I have a pretty good list of the places and things I have witnessed while in Nashville, as well as sketches, and lists of the prints that I have printed while at Hatch.

Monday, March 8, 2010


This image taken from World Famous Design Junkies is a part of a larger post that explores the ideas of appropriation. Appropriation is a beautiful, and confusing thing. Sometimes it is good to borrow the ideas of others when you share a similar view. Sometimes, you are just a rip-off artist.

In the case of the above concert poster, it is a playful tribute to the history of the concert poster. Why did I choose this image? Because the Silas Green poster is a Hatch Show Print poster. This image has a lot of history, and it is interesting to know so much about the origin of this image in particular, and see how it is appropriated. Be sure to check the link above and see the rest of the appropriated images, it really is cool to see the way people are influenced by certain aspects of print culture.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hello. Long Time no See!

I realize I haven't posted in a while, and for that, I apologize. Things have been busy! We have been making prints and seeing the sights. I would love to tell you all about everything, but I have to go to work soon.

Here's a quick breakdown without pictures. Please forgive me! I will try to make it up to you!

Went to the Road To Bonnaroo concert @ the Mercy Lounge (the bands all ended up getting crappy reviews in the NASHVILLE SCENE

Went to the Art Of Protest show at Vanderbilt University

Saw Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore perform and in store @ Grimey's record store

Saw a lecture by Stanley Hainsworth @ Lipscomb University

Had a drink @ the 12 South taproom and grill. Which had an entire wall of Hatch posters.

Friday I went directly from Hatch Show Print and back to Louisville. Celebrated Kara's Birthday

Saturday and Sunday I worked at my retail job and then tried to hang out with as many people as possible. I mostly succeeded. Sunday driving back home, I was pulled over for going 81 in a 70. Also I was sick all weekend.

Monday we went to Beyond the Edge to watch the Blazers beat Memphis, then to the 5 Spot for their monday dance party "Keep on Moving" People were dancing, I was listening to the music. 50's & 60's rock and soul.

As far as the internship itself goes, we got our first real clients! I was excited to find that mine was a band called The Low Anthem. I have never heard of them, but watch the video below, and get a feel for their sound. Sometimes it sounds real rough like this, which I love, but they also go to the other extreme with real nice quiet smooth vocal folk stuff. I believe they were described to me as being a "folk rock trio"

They loved my design, but the color scheme was the hard part to pin down. It started with red or brown and ended up being yellow or blue. Then I had to do a linoleum cut of a windmill which was a lot of fun! Yesterday I proofed everything, and it looks great. I mixed up a nice blue similar to the one seen on the cover in the video, and the text will be black. Don't worry. I'm taking pics of the entire process so I can show you guys after the client gets to see it and sell it first.

My next project is for an event called Experience Hendrix. Yeah, that's right, a Jimi Hendrix poster. I think I will be a little less traditional.