Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Screen Print Show and Beer Tasting Benefit for MS Society

What's better than screen printed posters and beer?
Screen printed posters and beer for a damn good reason.

Screens 'N' Suds began in 2009 as a collaboration between Brian Gearing, Sam Verrill and Ric Hersh. The yearly beer and screen print poster event started out in Richmond, Va and is making it's debut in Chicago with the help of Andrew Lautner and Matt Herakovich. All proceeds from Screens 'N' Suds table along with door donations go to The National MS Society

The timing couldn't be more perfect. Chicago's beer inspired art show and tasting will be on the eve of the infamous Dark Lord Day. Expect to see prints from the likes of Pollock PrintsScrewball Press, and more of your favorite Chi-town poster artists. Sharprint will be printing up some t-shirts designed by Steve Walters. Breweries representing will be Goose IslandLow Dive BrewingMetropolitan, and Breckenridge for starters. 

There's more folks...check this out: 
For the week leading up to the event, stop in Nightwood Restaurant for special plates that will also benefit MS Society. If you haven't been there - now is the perfect opportunity. Soooo delicious.

Here's the skinny on the art show & tasting:
Friday, April 27 from 6-11
@ Pilsen Social Club
1804 South Halsted - 4th Floor
$5 suggested donation

Come on out. Drink some beer. Get some art.

Monday, April 9, 2012

5 Feng Shui Tips For Hanging Art

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This applies to Feng Shui right along with everything else. Feng Shui should be used as a guide, not a set of strict regulations. This blog post will cover some basic concepts you may want to consider regarding the paintings, photos, and other artwork in your home. Do keep in mind that if there is nothing you want to change, then there is no change to be made. You feel me?

1. Hang people you like in the bedroom. Paintings and pictures in your bedroom and relationship area should reflect the kind of relationships you want. For example, if you are a single guy that would love a special lady in your life, do not have posters of the Rat Pack in your bedroom. If you are a single lady who would like her pick of a handful of artistic dudes, maybe you want a picture of the Rat Pack in your bedroom. Also, be aware of the body language in the pictures you hang. If you would like to draw these people into your life, they should be open, inviting and happy to see you - not looking past you or down on you.

2. No preciousness in the bathroom, k? There's a whole heckuva lot of flushing that goes on in the bathroom. Lots of chi going down the drain in there. Images of people or things you care about tend to connect with the energy of those very people or things. Having such images in the bathroom may be disposing of some valuable energy. If that picture of the Precious Moments kids makes you smile fondly because it reminds you of your kids, you might want to keep it out of the bathroom. If you just think it's cute, cool.

3. Be wary of dark imagery.
Now, I love skulls and darkness as much as the next girl. Just pay attention to where and how much of this imagery you hang, because, guess what? This kind of imagery tends to invite darkness. This one took me a minute to come to terms with. I am a fan of skull art for sure and there's some pretty killer (no pun intended :) pieces out there. Just pay close attention to how it makes you feel. Does it make you happy because it's so awesome? Do you connect with it because it strokes your more brooding side? Then decide if that's how you want to feel.

4. Colors can act as elements.
In general, each room should have a balance of each natural element represented. However, it may not be practical to have fire in every room literally, unless you like a lot of candles. In such a case, you can hang artwork that represents the element in question.

Here's a basic run down of the elements and colors that represent them:
water: black, blue, turquoise
fire: red, orange, yellow, purple, fuschia
earth: yellow, orange, rose, brown, earth red, beige
wood: greens, browns
metal: white, silver, gold, copper, grey

5. You gotta love it. 
Bottom line. For some folks this goes without saying. For the others out there, here it is: don't feel compelled to hang something that was given to you or made by some one you know if you don't absolutely adore it. Being indifferent may be one thing, but definitely don't display art that you don't even like.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

5 Questions with Nate Otto

3MM is a collective of film makers here in Chicago that I'm proud to be a part of. I had the opportunity to interview one of the contributing artists for the 3MM website. Enjoy!

Not that we’re biased, but 3MM is a huge fan of the work of Nate Otto, so we were super stoked to have him submit a video for our first Chicago themed showing. His animated approach to the theme was completely original, true to his unique style and made us all smile. Nate creates in damn near every medium including drawing, painting, video, and music and was awesome enough to talk about how and why he does what he does. To get a feel for what Nate does, check out his website or one of his blogs.
1. What’s you’re favorite color?
Green.  I like all shades of green.  I like putting different greens next to each other.
2. You create work in drawing, painting, music, and movies…what’s the motivation to create? Why do you do it?
I really can’t help it.  I’m not sure if I’m good, or that it matters, but I’m compelled to create stuff.  I wrote a novel when I was in high school.  I’ve always recorded music.  Visual art is the one I’m best at.  I can barely write a complete sentence now, and I’m very limited as a musician, but when it comes to the visual stuff I feel like I’m getting stronger every day.  I’m not sure what it will lead to, but when I’m really making stuff, that’s when I feel good about life and about myself.
3. How does your approach differ for the different mediums?
It’s pretty much the same thing.  It’s just a question of what tool I’m best at using and in which realm I have the most developed taste.  I don’t like getting bogged down in the details and the editing, and that’s why I can’t write anymore.  I would make a lot of animations if someone else did all the technical shit for me.  I can do that stuff but I’d rather be doodling.
4. What was your inspiration for the movie you made for the “Chicago” showing? How did you make it?
That animation style has been percolating in my head for a while.  I did some stuff that was a precursor to it.  I figured that I could make the drawings that would work for what I was imagining. The animations of Don Hertsfeldt were a big influence on the look.  I was exploring the choppy frame thing.  I made it three seconds at a time.
5. If you could have dinner with any famous person living or dead, who would it be and why?
JD Salinger, because I’m curious and I think we would get along.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I love the start of a new year. It's like hitting the reset button. There's not a more perfect time for starting fresh, assessing the accomplishments of last year and setting goals for the coming year. 

Let's have a look at 2011:

I had the great fortune to work with Black Cloud Gallery in numerous shows through 2011 and look forward working with them again in 2012. They're a super group of people and have really given me a great start at making my artistic ventures a steady stream of income. I'll have a couple of new pieces in the February Art Bazaar to start.

3 Minute Movies is a movie making collective that grew from a video challenge between Chris Batte and myself. Our first showing was only in December and the 2nd is coming up on Feb 6. It's a fun excuse to make some movies, meet new artists and collaborate creatively. Really looking forward to how this develops and spending a lot more time making movies.

It was an unexpected pleasure to lead a couple of screen printing workshops at Rumble Arts Center in 2011. I appreciate the opportunity to volunteer and share something I love. I plan on helping them set up a more function print facility this year and leading a more comprehensive workshops for kids and teens. Encouraging and promoting creativity in young people has really taken importance in my list of things to do.

For 2012, I'll be increasing focus and time investment on those ventures, and there are a few other areas I'd like to pay more attention to:

Drawing and coloring. Along with major projects and pieces, I want to be sure to make time each week for drawing and coloring. Doodling and creating unconsciously.

Yoga and meditation. Always a part of my regular routine, I want to improve and deepen my practice. More celebration of life and fortune.

Loved ones. I spend so much time and energy accomplishing things, I tend to be either super busy or exhausted. This year I want to be more balanced and in touch with friends and family that I love on an intimate level. Fewer texts, more personal conversation.

So happy new year to you all! I'd love to hear your thoughts and aspirations as well, so please feel free to share!