Thursday, August 22, 2013

Avert The Conduit Of Evil For Easy Inspiration

Master Tao Porchon-Lynch
World's Oldest Yoga Teacher, Master Tao Porchon-Lynch
I discovered Tao Porchon-Lynch through a blog article written by Robert Sturman. He'd photographed her over the previous couple of years and wanted to "show her off"on her 95th birthday. And show her off, he did.
Master Tao Porchon-Lynch

Master Tao Porchon-Lynch
Tao radiates a contagious energy and love of life—even through a photograph—that inspires people to get where she is. If you aren't inspired, there are at least 275 comments to back me up. So why don't we see more people or imagery that inspire us in everyday life? Why aren’t our days filled with little land mines that keep exploding us forward?

My gut reaction is to blame media—television, movies, magazines, advertising—as the conduit of evil imagery keeping us muddled in discontent. I might hold fast to this stance if there weren’t so many ways to filter what we intake. We can watch the show or not. We can go into the movie theater or not. The magazine does not jump into our hands or fall open under our noses. TIVO, SPAM filters, unsubscribe, adjust your settings.

So, wait...what just happened here?

Inspiration is not something I feel automatically all day, every day. I want to. Since there is a desire for inspiration, there must be a lack of inspiration. My ego does not take responsibility for any type of lack. There is always some thing or some one else to blame. To deflect responsibility, I took the focus off of myself and hid in an "us vs them" scenario—people seeking inspiration vs media.

Turning the focus outside of the self is a common response the ego uses to safely assume a victim’s role. Safety in numbers and ambiguity of authority. “We” are mistreated, but there is no approachable source, therefore rendering "us" helpless victims.

Let’s look at what happens when I keep my stream of consciousness in the first person.

Eh-hem...So why don’t I see more people or imagery that inspire me in everyday life?

The answer becomes obvious and simple. Because I don't look for it.

If pictures of awesome yogis inspire me, all I need to do is Google “awesome yogis.” I can read books that inspire me. Paying attention to nature inspires me. If I don’t have a computer, book or nature handy, I can just think about Tao Porchon-Lynch and be inspired.

It really is just that easy.

Now...some awesome yogis, inverted!

Janet Stone
Headstand variation.

Michael Taylor

Noelle Beaugureau
Noelle Beaugureau

Amy Jirsa
Tripod Headstand Variation

Briohny Smyth
One Legged Inverted Staff Pose

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

First World Problems

The image I used on the left side of this piece is my Facebook profile picture. As of this article's publishing date, anyway.

In a recent conversation, the phrase "performance of self" was applied to social networks and media. Thanks Taylor, I couldn't have said it better myself. 

This piece pays a lot of attention to identity.

"As well it should!" cries the ego. 

What is the function of identity? Better yet, what are the redeeming attributes of identity? On the surface, identity's sole function is to serve the ego. And bring you down, sister.

"As well it should!" cries the ego. 

The skull image on the right side works as a symbol for what is inside us all. It represents our being without flesh, personality, individuality. It represents our essence.

In my mind, this piece is an observation, reflection, and exercise in maintaining perspective. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

You Are Here: The Making of an ARTCRANK Print

screen printed design for ARTCRANK by Tara Zanzig

March 11th of this year, I received notice that I was selected to design a print for ARTCRANK, Chicago. ARTCRANK is a really fun show, and it was even more exciting that I was to be among some of our screen printing best. 


At the time, I was settling into a groove with a new body of work. Printing a lot of onesies and twosies on canvas or vinyl. Large scale. Only super bright colors or black and white. I had only 2 edition style print runs to speak of from the previous six months. 

color sampling print, subject FEW Distillery

donated poster design and print for Windy City Rocks
Rock For Kids Benefit @ The Empty Bottle
Both of these editions were printed using index color separations with up to 8 screens each. Although I’m immersed in screen printing all day, every day at Sharprint, I’d only recently gotten back behind the squeegee, so these prints were labor intensive with a lot of room for error. 

Print Approach & Technique
I approached the print for ARTCRANK differently than my most recent editions while remaining true to the current body of work. I wanted to design at the high end of my technical knowledge base while accommodating the lower end of my printing skill set.

If there’s one thing I won’t compromise, it’s tight registration. As much as a hairline of space between colors absolutely ruins it for me. Since I’d not been able to get the perfection I wanted with registration, I decided to design something that didn’t rely on tight registration.

While I made some things easier, I also set up a challenge for myself. I decided to use 55 line halftone dots instead of the tiny diamond shaped specks that form the bitmap composition evident in index separations. A challenge, indeed. I pulled back on my separation file 3 times before I was able to get prints that didn’t gain and fill in areas darker than 50%. Once I was able to maintain good detail in the dark areas, I was struggling to keep the detail in the lights from drying out. Long story short, I printed a lot of these to get an edition of 30.

Design Concept
Once I’d realized some guidelines for what I wanted to print, the design came together really easily. I love it when this happens.

screen print order 1 of 5

screen print order 2 of 5

screen print order 3 of 5

When I look at the finished print, it brings back how I felt while making it. I remember expecting an early spring, but it was still really wintery and cold outside. I felt the confinement I do at the end of each winter. This came out in the small, square print with dark edges that keep the viewer inside. However, I can see the promise of spring too. There’s bright splashes of color breaking out of the grey. The cruiser bike is out. And BBQ beers. 

final print | screen print edition of 30