Progress Report: July 2016

Egads. It’s been over a month since I’ve last posted anything here. That’s not to say I haven’t been making progress. It’s been pretty quiet because I’ve been working more hours at the “regular” job. It’s a necessary evil in order to make some more cash. What’s that thing about having time or money, but not both?

Template/study for a Triumph motorcycle print

Template/study for a Triumph motorcycle print drawn over the last couple of weekends.

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Printing Job #1

Two weeks ago on May 14 I held the first ever Neat & Keen Open Studio. It went pretty well. Most of the attendees were people I knew personally, but one family stopped by and to my surprise had a printing job for me. And here it is:

Legendary Shack Shakers poster

Legendary Shack Shakers. Art by Brett Whitacre. 3-colors 11 x 17 inches.

I was a little hesitant to take on this job. I’ve not been advertising my printing services because
A) I wasn’t sure I was going to offer printing services. I’m more interested in printing my own work.
B) I am/was just on the cusp of being comfortable enough to take on jobs for hire.

However, I think it turned out pretty decent. The artist is Brett Whitacre and he arrived at the open house with his wife Kate and their daughter. Kate runs Beets + Beats Farm in Sycamore. The Legendary Shack Shakers show (for which Brett is the drummer) happening in DeKalb tonight is part of an effort to raise funds for the farm. And part of that effort is selling these signed gig posters. Continue reading

Dough: Homer Simpson Meets Andy Warhol (And Other Thoughts)

Two weeks ago I finally finished my mash up of Homer Simpson with an Andy Warhol dollar sign. And here it is.

Homer Simpson "Dough" silkscreen print

“Dough.” 5-color hand pulled silkscreen print, 18 x 24 inches, 2016.

If you’ve been following my Facebook page you’ll know that I live broadcasted most of the printing process. I also have time lapse video drawing the full size films onto frosted mylar and may make a video of the whole process at some point. Most of the illustration was done with a black oil pastel crayon, with the large blocks of yellow and orange filled in with black ink and a brush.

Why Homer Simpson And What Does It Mean?

I was a bit apprehensive about this piece because if it doesn’t cross a line, it approaches it. Up until now I’ve prided myself on doing original concepts. It can be difficult to be successful doing that because if you look around, that is not what people want. And I enjoy a lot of pop art, but I feel so much of it is too easy by taking advantage of a well known and loved property and putting a twist on it. So if I was going to do this, it had to be for good reason and to make a statement I could stand by.

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Art and Money (Or Lack Thereof)

Drunk Homer Warhol Dollar Mashup

Drunk Homer Simpson says, “I could do a lot of things if I had some money…”

Money spent to date on making silkscreen prints: $2848

Income from selling prints to date: $236.83

That amounts to a loss of $2611.17. If that’s all you’re interested in you can stop reading now, but I’m trying to measure gains and losses in other ways, too. Besides that, it’s only been just over a year since the first print came off my press. Most new businesses don’t turn a profit in their first year, so I guess I’m no different there. What about gains and losses that aren’t financial and where did all that money go? Continue reading

35mm Russian Zenith Camera Print

Test Print Edition of 35mm Russian Zenith

35mm Russian Zenith. Test Print edition of ten pieces. 12 x 15 inches.

This weekend I finally got around to printing two versions of this 2-color print featuring a 35mm Russian Zenith 3M camera. Some things could have gone better, but overall I’m pleased with the results. Shown above is a copy from the test print edition of ten. So how did this print come to be? Continue reading

Crane Update #3

Twitter user @ThatWordChick showing her freshly framed crane mini-print.

Twitter user @ThatWordChick showing her freshly framed crane mini-print.

The image above is courtesy of Delany, aka ThatWordChick , who framed a photo of herself holding her newly framed crane. I really hope people continue to send in pictures and that they’ll allow me to share with others.

We’re now entering the third month of the 1000 Origami Crane Print Giveaway. Here’s the breakdown.

Crane Count By Country:

Australia: 1
Canada: 5
Estonia: 1
Germany: 1
India: 1
Macedonia: 1
Philippines: 4
Singapore: 2
United Kingdom: 1

United States: 102

Total 119 cranes sent! That’s an increase of 46 cranes since the last crane update! Hazaa! Continue reading

Return of the Telecaster Robot

Initial sketch of the new telecaster robot

Initial sketch of the new telecaster robot

This past weekend I tried to spend some time working on new designs. I’m a little burned out on the motorcycle print designs (and I don’t have the ink and paper to print it anyway) so I went back to something familiar: Guitar Playing Robots. In this case it’s a Telecaster Robot. Continue reading

Crane Update #2

Framed crane print

Origami Crane Print 14/1000. Framed and hanging in my mother’s bedroom

Okay, time for the second official update of the Crane Giveaway! Above is the first user submitted image of a crane print out in the wild. This comes courtesy of my mother, Pam Morton, who framed her copy and hung it in her bedroom.

Crane Count by Country

Australia: 1
Canada: 2
Germany: 1
India: 1
United States: 68 Continue reading

Speeding Motorcycle: Print Progress

Initial Motorcycle Print Concept

Initial Motorcycle Print Concept

The last couple weeks I’ve been working on a design for a motorcycle print. The image above is a design I’ve moved away from now, but is what started the process. The idea was a 4-color print (red, blue, black, and silver) in a 12 x 18 inch format. This isn’t just any motorcycle to me. It’s the beloved Triumph Thunderbird that I sold last year to help pay bills and buy more art supplies.

So what was wrong with this design? It’s just kind of boring. The bike sits there against the Union Jack, not because I’m a big anglophile, but Triumph was one of the big names in British motorbikes and maybe the only one still left. Continue reading