I can’t believe March is nearly over! Time is passing so quickly, but this week I finally got back into the print studio to wrap up this screenprint. I started this one back in summer of 2014 and for a long while lost track of it, so this week I designed two more layers to finish it up.

I’ve learned that if you hit pause for too long on a piece of art, it can be really hard to get back in the swing of things. And also, designing layers as you go can slow things down if life gets in the way. I’m a different illustrator than I was in 2014, and so if I took this concept and designed it from scratch today, it’d probably look pretty different. Still, it’s really fun to see this one finished and start back on some new images that let me experiment in some different ways of making!

I’ll be selling this screenprint along with some other pieces at a community event coinciding with the SGCI Portland conference at Thurman Street Collective (2301 NW Thurman) in NW Portland tomorrow, March 31 from 7-10! After that, I’ll be selling leftover prints at Linework NW, and on my online shop in the coming weeks.

Beetleriders, 5 color screenprint, 11x14", edition of 18.

The Last Two Weeks of My Life: Preview (Prologue) Edition

(long post. So enjoy it…or don’t. If you choose to read it you’ll get to know me better. If not, no hard feelings.)

Here’s the skinny: you’ll be seeing some personal posts over the course of the next week.

I decided about a month and a half ago to go to the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI) conference in St. Louis. They are a professional organization for anyone and everyone connected with printmaking—educators, printers, curators, students, vendors—any and all. 

This conference proved to be an exciting opportunity that I wasn’t expecting. I initially learned of the conference all the way back in December (or the end of November, I can’t quite remember), but I had passed off my attendance as out of reach in part due to the distance—flights tend to be more expensive when you have to drive more than a few files to the nearest affordable (yet small) hub airport—and second in part to my chosen degree path.

You see, back in December I was still intending to do my thesis exhibition and paper on a graphic design project. The university I’m attending has an integrated Art and Design department resulting in a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) with a specific emphasis such as graphic design, painting, drawing, printmaking, fine art, etc. The final year of the program is structured such that you enter into senior studio (six credit class), decide on a project and work on it until you have a senior BFA exhibition the following semester. (This is coupled with a two credit, thesis class as well, where you, quite obviously, write a paper to defend your project.)

Anyway. Nearing the end of last semester (Fall 2010) I felt a great amount of tension to switch my emphasis away from graphic design. However I decided not to switch.

I enjoy design. Quite a lot actually. Just ask anyone that knows me well enough and they’ll know that I can go on and on about how I think/know things could be designed differently and be of greater use. (Think of the buzzword ‘design thinking’ with visual [graphic] design being a subset of it.) My primary aversion to my chosen visual design project was that I do not like to sit in front of a computer all day. And so it was not until three weeks into the spring semester that I again opened the file(s) relating to my project. With my show a mere eight weeks away I made a decision I’m very glad I made. 

I chose to do something that I am quite thankful I finally decided. 

It came down to wanting to do something excellent rather than “get by” with mediocrity. I looked at my design project and said to myself,

“Sure I can get this done, but it won’t be pretty and it won’t be my best work. Why don’t I do something that I will be proud of and actually enjoy?”

So the reality of this story was that I did it. I switched my thesis project to a printmaking (fine art) emphasis that I have actually enjoyed doing. 

It is with all of that in mind that I began to more seriously consider attending the SGCI (Southern Graphics Council International) conference and by the end of February I had my plane ticket purchased and my conference registration paid.

The conference began a week and a half ago and lasted four days, but it feels like it could have been yesterday.

My thesis exhibition show opening occurred this last Friday (March 25th) with great success (although the official critique occurs tomorrow, Tuesday, but I do not expect it to be too difficult). 

So in the course of the last two weeks, I finished building the maple frames for my artwork, traveled to St. Louis, installed my printmaking work in a gallery and had fantastic times at my opening. Now you might think this doesn’t sound like a lot of work, but you’re welcome to ask my wife for confirmation of it.

Look forward to pictures and stories from these last two weeks in the next little bit. I feel like they need to be told.

So without further ado: Stay tuned?