Monday, April 7, 2014

3 Types of Live Screen Printing Events

Screen printing sticker giveaway at 18th Street Brewery's grand opening party.
Live screen printing at 18th Street Brewery's Grand Opening.
March was a really fun month in which I had the opportunity to screen print in real time at three different events. Screen printing in real time— or live—is a different experience and process than working in the studio. Live screen printing requires a different approach with a lot of pre-planning that is specific to the event venue.

Art show in a print shop makes live printing a no brainer.

Good Vibrations was an art show I curated as part of Spudnik Press's Fellowship Program. The show was held in the print shop area, so I jumped at the opportunity to incorporate live printing with the opening. I asked each of the artists in the show to come up with a 1 color design to be printed. I made screens for each design prior to the opening. As guests began to arrive, my friend Ness warmed up the screens and we encouraged everyone—experienced or not—to take a turn pulling a few prints. There's something really special about pulling a fresh print and seeing it come off the screen. You could tell those printing were delighted and everyone walked away from the show with awesome art.

What I liked most about this situation is how fun and easy it was to expose people to screen printing. I was hooked immediately after pulling my first print and I look for opportunities to share what I love about screen printing.

Screen printing of 18th Street Sticker Design

18th Street Brewery celebrated their grand opening on March 15th and invited me to come out and do some live printing. 18th Street's creative director, Joey Potts (also featured in the Good Vibrations show), pretty much gave me free reign with what and how I wanted to print. I thought it would be cool to spin off the stickers I'd been making in my own work, so I designed one specifically for 18th Street Brewery. The sticker design was three colors and patrons curiously checked back as I layered the colors to see what the heck I was doing. The sticker features the face of Drew Fox, owner and head brewer himself. Of course, the many supporters went nuts over the finished stickers.

I really enjoyed printing in this casual, celebratory environment. Every one was in good spirits and stopping by to chat. I met a lot of really neat folks. The vibe was right on, doing what I love to do, with delicious 18th Street brews on hand. Doesn't get any better than this.

Live screen printing at charity benefit.

Art Gives Me Hope was a benefit for Hope For The Day held at Salvage One on March 26th. Over 40 amazing artists donated original works to be raffled. The event also featured printing by Culture Studios and 4 artists creating in real time. Another great party with a lot of positive energy in the room. At this event, I created a finished one-of-a-kind art piece. In the studio, I do a lot of non-traditional and over-sized screen printing incorporating various paint media (acrylic, latex, aerosol). I'd been looking for an opportunity to recreate this process live with the eventual goal of incorporating screen print into mural making. This time the surface provided was un-stretched canvas. I started getting some paint down and then moved into full body, large printing.

This event was quite different than the other two in that I was creating something relatively unplanned. My goal was to share the process of how I make my larger signature pieces. I definitely fed off of the energy of the crowd and people stopping by to watch, but I felt a detachment in this situation unlike the other events. I found that I remained distant and not fully engaged in the event to focus on the work at hand. This wasn't just printing, this event featured the whole creative process. Working under time constraints that I don't usually have in a new environment got the adrenaline going and there was quite a feeling of relief when the piece was done. I'm interested in more experiences like this with the hopes of being able to cultivate the unique energy of a specific time and place.

The biggest revelation from each of these experiences is that I love live printing in all regards. Can't wait to do more. I anticipate live printing leading to video and more documentation style projects. Stay tuned :)