A nice little interview with Gary Panter.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Pierre: How long have you been making things, Jesjit?
Jesjit: For my whole life! When I was a little kid I made drawings of really bloody gun fights and I would make my own X-Men comics. Maybe 5 years ago I started screen-printing, which is everything that I do now.
Did you read a lot of comics or did you just like the artwork and want to do that part of it?
Oh, I read so many comics when I was young, not so much now. I don't think I could afford that kind of habit, but yeah, I was really into superhero comics, like wolverine! I don't think I was very concerned with the art in comics.You didn't really have like a favourite inker or something? Haha. Your posters seem like they're influenced by all kinds of different artists and mediums. What do you do when you're going to design a poster? What influences you?
For the most part I try not to look at posters by other artists when I'm doing one myself, because it really psychs me out. It's hard to say what influences me, because my process isn't a very consistent thing, sometimes I'll draw, sometimes it'll be collage... but for the most part screen-printing brings whatever ideas I have together. Yeah, its the process that influences me, trying to do as much as I can within the limits of the print is what I think is great!
That is a pretty nice cycle of things, never ending. You taught a course this summer on screen-printing, was that really rewarding?
Totally! I was really pumped to share this thing that I love so much with others, and I ended doing one little workshop with a group of like 5 year old kids, and they were so into it! They thought it was magic, and it is! totally a magical thing, being able to make so much with just your hands, very satisfying. That is what I get out of it.
It seems like you really get a lot out of working with others and really want to push the screen-printing technique out there so people see it and appreciate it for what it is. You curated a show of posters in Toronto and also in Kingston, how did that come together?
I was in a group show in Europe last winter, and though I couldn't see it in person, seeing photos of it floored me, and I thought why not do that here? It was a chance to get all of my favorite artists work in one room, so it was pretty humbling, but really great to share this stuff that inspires me with people who aren't poster-art nerds.
Are you planning on doing more things like that in the future?
Yes! Maybe! I don't have anything in mind right now.. I think I'm just trying to concentrate on making stuff for now.Like the collab drawing books? Being a part of those has been so much fun. Its cool how you get people who weren't able to make it out to the jam involved by doing covers or other illustrations for them.
Yeah! I mean why not? Screen-printing is a medium that just lends itself to collaboration. From posters, trading and stuff I end up getting to know so many amazing artists! So it makes total sense.
Is there anyone you want to maybe work with in the future?
Oh, can I just name my favorite artists? Ron Liberti , Zeloot, Seripop , those are people I would want to work with/work with more. Oh Tadanori Yokoo . Is he still alive? Art Chantry... I don't know. Oh! Cosmic Bubblegum, that's someone else I'd like to work with. his bubble letters are amazing!
What do you have on the go right now?
Right now I am printing a drawing zine from that drawing party a few weeks ago called Raw Draw, and a poster for a band from Hamilton called the Junior Boys.
Music obviously plays a huge role in what you do, have you ever been in a band or wanted to do that too?
I played the flute in middle school. and I have a guitar, I know 3 chords. I have been meaning to sit down and practice more, but it's tough I think screen-printing has spoiled me. I think I need the immediate gratification, of like pulling a print.
Totally, it is a pretty unique medium. It seems to give people power to realize it isn't impossible to make something really cool.
Do I talk about screen-printing too much? It comes up every time I talk to someone. I think I've been doing it for so long, that I'm the 'screen-printing guy' , I mean if I just started doing something else, I would stop to exist. There would be a big hole in my life!
Never too much screen-printing talk. Any final words?
You can see more of Jesjit's work at http://jesjitgill.com/ and his posters here.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
At TCAF I was lucky enough to see a little talk that Peter Maresca gave about his publishing house Sunday Press Books who put out a massive collection of Little Nemo in Slumberland and Gasoline Alley Sunday pages...at their original size!
Seeing those books in person is really an awe inspiring event as they are just beautifully produced and you can really tell that Peter wants people to experience them and their stories as they were intended. They are hardcover and are a whopping 22” x 34”. They are truly beautiful books. Joe Matt helped out with his complete set of Gasoline Alley Sunday's drawn by Frank King as he has probably the best ones available anywhere.
Here is a great interview with Peter himself.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'd just like to post this controversy over a poster that Seripop made for a poster exhibit that was going to run in Hamilton and Windsor. Apparently a member of the board of the the gallery in Windsor thought it would somehow be okay to deface the posters that were made for the show because it had a few type-o's on it.
Link to Seripop's post on the matter on their blog with comments from heavy hitters
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Last weekend was the Toronto Comics Art Festival, with people from all over showing off their comics and related things. I was really excited to make the trip out and see friends and pick up some things from the people who interested me who were going to be attending. I think in the near future I'll start to do some reviews or give things to people I know to write some reviews.
Friday night, Deforge and I wandered over to Innis College Town Hall to check out the Doug Wright Awards and the talk with Chester Brown and Seth ribbing Joe Matt about his lifestyle choices and reminiscing about old times. I tried to record the talk with a tape recorder that I picked up just for that purpose with the intent of putting it up here. Sadly there was mic trouble and the tape recorders internal microphone wasn't really sensitive at all. Anyway, it was pretty interesting to see their dynamic going, with Seth as theaggressor and Joe just kind of trying to make excuses for the things he was being accused of with Chester sitting there smiling and agreeing with Seth.
After the talk the three of them did a signing of their books. I got a few things signed and had Chester judge my later edition of Matt's Peepshow book and the cracking binding of his Louis Riel. It was kind of funny to have him analyzing my books, you can tell he is a collector.
The second day was pretty fun walking around checking things out and buying the things that caught my eye. I'll start the reviews soon, I promise.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Pierre: Whenever I see your new posters I'm always amazed at the wide variety of styles you use. Does that happen naturally or is it just how it works with you?
Nate:Why thank you! Well, the reason this happens is because I don't really think I am "good enough" to constantly work in one, recognizable style. I try to treat each poster as a new project and let the band and their music kinda lead the way for what the print will look like. By doing this, I am hoping I am making the poster more about the music than my art, which is important to me.So most of the posters you do are for bands you already know and have an idea what their sound is? Or when working for new bands do you listen to their music to find inspiration within it?
You're a regular Dan Rathers! Yes, I try to only do posters for bands I have listened to and enjoy. I feel that if I don't understand what the music is about or don't like that band, I have a hard time getting the juices flowing on a concept or imagery and the poster usually goes nowhere. I try to "keep up on the scene, maaaaan" and I am lucky to have the luxury of working for two great venues that book great acts. Occasionally I get o ffers to do work from bands I have never heard of, but in thos e cases i DEMAND links to the tunes or Cd's to be sent to me.
So demanding! You've also done a few collaborative posters with Micheal Deforge and Zeloot, what was the process like on those?
I love to collaborate! They both went down relatively the same way. Initiate the conversation through an email, and get an idea started. I usually let the person I am working with make the first move. From there we kind of just ping pong images back and forth, adding more and more each time via email. After a few pass backs, both parties are happy and the print was done. Both Michael and Eline were dreamy to work with as I really admire both of their work and it was sooper-fun working on both. Collaborating is always so rewa rding with me, as its always a fresh result and something I could never have done by myself. I work with my girlfriend a lot too, her name is Jen Skelley and she is quited an illustrator. I enjoy collaborating so much, Jon Smith and I have a collaborative poster making team going that we call 1982. We have been quite busy lately and have a bunch of cool stuff dropping really soon.
Woah, that's pretty exciting. There seems to be a lot of design super-groups(BONA, Patent Pending ) making posters these days, I guess its strength in numbers. Is there anyone you really want to collab with in the future?
Hmm, really I am always up for a collab with anyone, but I think Delicious and I could make a pretty cool tag team. Also, collabing with ANY of you wild Canadians would be super great in my book as well. I do love me some Canada.
Have you spent a lot of time up here? Or do you just like the idea of it, haha.
I like the beer, the people and the whole art scene. I feel you maniacs have a really great scene going on and the art is really free and creative.
Well thank you! I get excited when I think of all the people I know who make things up here and then even more excited when I meet new people. There is so much great work being made these days worldwide, Its really hard to keep up. What would be a dream project for you?
I would love to set up some sort of collaborative tee shirt or art print series. It would include me picking a bunch of people I admire and working with all of them making a line of fancy tees or a series of prints.
Oh that would be super cool. It would be neat to see what people would come up with if there was unlimited budgets and people could just go crazy. Like jeans designed by Zeloot.
Do you have any collections? It seems like pretty much every artist/designer collects something.
It is true. I feel that designing does directly relate to collecting things for some reason. I have a lot of concert posters. I started off as just fan of poster art and slowly turned it into (sort of) a career in the past two years. The walls of my apt. are completely covered. I also have a lot of records, but sadly don't make enough time these days to listen to all of them.
What kinds of music do you listen to? Is it pretty in time with the posters you make?
Yes and no. It's a pretty safe bet that I am listening to the bands that I am making posters for at any given time, but I also listen to a lot of garage rock, DJ mixes, older jazz and funk as well. I seem to have a short attention span, which I think is part of the reason why i make so many posters. I am basically unable to do the same thing or listen to the same thing for too long. I think that's another thing I find so enjoyable about making posters, is that they are quick and done in a few days so I can start working on the next one.
For sure, it is a pretty unique area of design. Do you print all of your stuff yourself?
For the most part yes. My friend Journe and I print basically any poster that we can handle ourselves. If someone else is paying for the printing (band or management) sometimes I will HAPPILY send it over to D&L. We use Sherwin Williams house-paint right out of the can, so really the only time we don't print is when I do full color, CMYK prints (which I have been doing a lot of lately, as you will soon see) or if I just have too many posters to print by a certain date. Since Mr. Williams doesn't make C, M, Y paint I leave that to the pros.
Does Journe do any design work himself?
Nope, he has worked as a commercial screen-printer for like 12 years though and made printing my own stuff really easy and trouble free.
Wow, its pretty rad that you have a good friend who knows the ropes. Printing with house-paint seems to be pretty rampant, much to the archival poster aficionados chagrin. I know Seripop uses Pittsburgh Paints for all of their posters and use it to do CMYK process prints, maybe get in touch with them if you're looking for tips. You know, if you even want to get into that.
Whoa, thanks for the tip, I will definitely do that. Its always more cost efficient to print your own, and if I can get my greasy paws on some cheap CMY housepaint it could be TROUBLE!
Here I am divulging trade secrets! Chloe is going to bite me again. Who are your biggest influences and inspirations for doing what you do?
Here goes: I find Zeloot's "modern psychedelic" to be mind blowing, especially being such a huge fan of the early psych stuff. I just love what she is doing. I envy Print Mafia's aesthetic and work ethic a lot. I think Connie and Jim have a great thing going, an awesome look and jaw-dropping production rate. I love Jay Ryan's thick line art, humor and inspiring color palettes, Deforge's amazing illos and Dirk Fowler's super intelligent design solutions. Really I love the whole Gigposter scene as there are just so many folks making inspiring work in such a free forum that you don't see anywhere else in the "design world".
You don't see that kind of creativity in annual reports? You aren't looking hard enough!
El oh Elle. I just mean in every day commercial design. Like, I work part time as a creative director making identity and websites for credit unions... and these posters I make are a savior to me. I get cool freelance gigs, but my favorite work is making posters, as they are as free as can be.
Well I think its pretty awesome that you get the best of both worlds, one to pay the bills and one to keep you happy, haha. Any final words you'd like to share?
Not really, I feel like I said WAY too much already and by this point most of the people reading this will have either fallen asleep on their keyboard or gone outside to play. Thanks again for interviewing me, it was fun and you are top shelf in my book, pal.
Thanks for your time! I'm excited to see the stuff you have in the works!
You can check out more of Nate's stuff by visiting his website.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
Pierre: How long have you been making things?
Tina:I've been making things forever! when I was a little kid I used to paper mache soda cans together in the shape of ugly blobs, glue some googly eyes on them, paint them and give them to my mom. as far as printing though I started that in high-school because my parents gave me a kit for Christmas when I was 14 or 15.
Have your parents always been supportive?
Yeah! Completely and totally! Their house is basically a shrine to me! They even have a bunch of wallpaper I made in their living room! they are cool with me doing whatever.
Like covering the whole room?
No, just half a wall, there is a molding in the center of the wall running horizontally, and the wallpaper is on the bottom part of the wall. The top part of the wall is painted to match a green that it is in the print.
Woah, that must look pretty awesome, is your place decorated like that too? Like your stuff accenting the place?
I like the way it looks, my place is a little more psycho than their house. The wallpaper I made them I specifically made to be not as loud as my usual tastes. My apartment has a whole lot of weird paper I glued onto the wall in geometric patterns. I am heavy into op art right now, as is the rest of the country, have you seen the cover of the new Art Forum?
No I haven't yet, whats on it?
That famous piece, I forgot what the name of the woman who did it is, but its a huge circle and it looks like a vortex. Damn it I can't find it, I just bought it too and can't find it, this is going to drive me crazy. I think I left it in my bike basket. The whole issue is about op art. Also I recently saw a article in Elle decor about making an op art decorated home. It looked amazing.
Do you bike a lot?
Yes I do! This has been a really mild summer in Texas, its kind of crazy, normally no way would I be doing it this time of year but it rains all the time and everything is green and in bloom. I can't resist riding down big hills and smelling everything. Also we have a lot of fire flies so riding at night is also awesome. Actually the other day I swear a lighting bug was flickering in time to the song I was listening to, that fire fly was into Mama Cass too!
Who isn't! What kind of music gets you ready to draw or print?
Well when I am printing I like to be pumped. Lately I have been doing a lot of high volume projects, so I have to keep up my stamina since I do everything manually. A lot of rap music for printing. Have you heard that UGK song, International Players Anthem(I Choose You), featuring Outkast?
Not yet, I'm totally out of the loop. What is your dream project? Who would it be for?
My dream project would be probably having a line of nationally distributed school supplies. Is Lisa Frank a real person? I would want to work with her! Her new stuff is not cutting it though. She puts these slutty Bratz looking dolls on folders now.
Like all the ponies and unicorn stuff?
No, its more like holographic rainbow tigers with angel wings.
I think that would totally rule!
I remember having this folder when I was younger. It was a Lisa Frank folder Anyways, it had like a hamburger, and soda, and french fries, and pizza, all floating in this weird outer space where the planets had rainbow rings around them. It was the best folder ever. I think I still have it somewhere.
What else besides folders inspires you?
Vintage books, children's drawings, playgrounds, hair-dos, toys, baby animals, and my friends!
I think Deforge is going to curate a bunch of vintage kids book posts on the blog, I'm really excited to see them
Dude, tell him I want to participate!! I have an insane collection of children's books. I live down the street from this psycho warehouse thrift store and you have to dig through these huge bins full of broken glass and pointy things and the books are like 35 cents but you seriously find REAL treasure there. I found all these vintage golden books in perfect condition and a bunch of little readers from the 1950s with really simple but cute line drawings in 2 colors. I used to be in child-craft stuff a whole lot but I realized everyone and their mom is using those books for reference. I am over child-craft. Although I am not going to lie the illustrations in those books are tops.
You should totally scan a bunch of them and I'll post them up there.
Okay! I will!
Do you have any superstitions?
You mean like in my personal life or having to do with projects?
Yeah but they are kind of little things. Like I have to use the same pencil/pen to finish a project that I started with. Or I have to wear socks and taking off my shoes to really draw the right way. Before I go on a long bike ride I have to ask my grandma to make sure I don't get hit by a car (a lot of my friends have had some serious road rash from getting bumped).
What have you been working on these days? I haven't really seen that much of your new work besides that book.
Yeah its for this fancy organic furniture store, they sell like $10,000 couches and stuff. Its kind of insane, but all the furniture is beautiful though. Uma Thurman just bought a couch from them.
Whats the name of the store?
Its called Wildflower Organics. They sell a lot of stuff by people admire, namely Jonathan Adler. I am so into him lately and his whole life really. I even love his husband Simon Doonan, who is the creative director for Barney's New York and does the most insane window dressings I have ever seen. He did this crazy Andy Warhol display I just cant get over I don't even like Warhol all that much either. Simon started out doing small little stores in London and LA and eventually made his way to New York. that is kind of where I think my career is going. I love displays and dioramas. Another dream of mine is to work at a natural history museum and arrange the animals.
That would be so nice!
I am working on some print jobs too right now, but I signed this confidentiality agreement because its for this huge clothing store, but you should be seeing that stuff soon too!
Any parting words?
Yes, school is for suckers.