Here are the answers I’m sure you’ve been dying to know.
A lot of people come up to me at shows and conventions and simply ask, “What is all of this stuff?” Below is a quick response to the most commonly asked questions – and probably way more than you ever cared to know about me and the screen-printing process.
1. Who are you?
I’m an illustrator by trade. I began screen-printing rock posters in 2005. The art prints and shirts are a new direction for me, and one that is sure to expand in the years to come. So in short, stay tuned. For a more comprehensive BIO, check out the about section.
2. How are your posters created?
After researching the band, their music, history and antics, I sketch some thumbnail size, rough images into my sketchbook. Once I’m happy with the concept, I scan, enlarge and print it. Then I sketch a final draft on top of the original, rough thumbnail composition. Then it’s on to the inking. I ink on drafting vellum (thanks Tim) as large as I possibly can to get the details in there. I then scan it in to the computer.
Those inked drawings are then streamlined (or “live-traced” for you young ones) and the colors begin taking shape. Sometimes I’ll use a photo in the background – which is as simple as half-toning a photo. Once the poster/print is done I print each color as black on this old, but amazing, printer (a reconditioned Epson 3000, the industry standard). Each color prints on one giant 17×22 sheet of transparent film. From there we get into the screen-printing process.
3. What exactly is screen-printing?
I could go on and on embarrassing myself, trying to explain the process (and do the art form justice). But if you want to know the nitty-gritty of it all you can get an overview here. If you want to learn directly from a master, check out this book.
4. Where did you learn to do it?
I learned the sparse basics back in high school for a very simple, one color, t-shirt project.
Years later, I acquired an exposure light and single color press from Ronald McDonald to print t-shirts (yes, that Ronald McDonald – he was the French Fry peddler from the internationally known fast food joint for all of the franchises in the tri-state area, and he also happened to be a screen-printing hobbyist). I did a few random projects, but eventually the light and press found their way to storage.
Fast forward as many as eight years later when I found myself creating posters for a local music website, all of which were created (after the aforementioned initial sketches) in Adobe Illustrator and printed on modern machines. A visit to Stained Skin to see a gallery show featuring Mike Martin (a Columbus artist and veteran of the rock poster/screen printing world) immediately changed everything. In the way only Mike Martin can, he nudged me away from those digital posters – and by nudge, I mean he publicly shamed my digital approach and convinced me to print my posters by hand. Mike convinced me that for my posters to be credible and collectible in the Gigposter World, they had to be to screen-printed. So with his help, the guidance of the aforementioned gigposter.com threads and a few other very helpful veterans, I re-taught myself how to print, though this time on paper. My first official attempt to print was a 12-inch vinyl album cover. It was a three color job of 500, limited edition album sleeves. It was ambitious, but somehow it worked.
The first actual poster was created about a month later in my wife’s kitchen, tension wires running the length of the room, prints hanging from them to dry. Since then I’ve printed over 200 posters, upgrading equipment as I’ve become more experienced. The only original piece I still use is that light I borrowed from Ronald McDonald more than a decade ago. If you’re reading this Ronald, I say, “thank you, kind sir.”
5. What makes these collectible?
A silkscreened poster is typically created as a limited run- meaning only a set number are created*, and thus in part the value comes from their scarcity. A variety of additional factors determine the collectability of the poster including: the band, the artist, the size of the run, the design, etc. No one quite sums up the value of the posters though quite like Nels “Jagmo” Jacobson.
“…the real value of any concert poster is how much personal enjoyment the owner receives from it — the extent to which the poster reminds him or her of a favorite performer, a memorable performance or a cherished venue, the extent to which it enriches and illuminates his or her visual universe, or the eloquence with which the poster expresses something he or she wants to say. Regardless of the price attached to any poster at any particular time, its real value is limitless and can’t be measured in terms of dollars and cents.”
*Occasionally a second edition may be added, but details are altered to differentiate it from the original printing.
6. Are subscriptions available?
I sold subscriptions for 2 consecutive years and found it was not as popular as I had hoped so I have not offered it since. Not only that, I am not cranking out enough monthly to warrant such an offer.
7. What’s the deal with shipping?
-I ship through paypal using the USPS.
-I generally batch ship posters once a week, though some weeks it may take a bit longer. Please be patient.
-The shipping cost is reflected in the final price when you buy a poster or posters.
-If you buy more than 2 posters the rate increases slightly due to weight, obviously.
-An email will be sent with a tracking number when the poster has shipped.
-Any questions feel free to contact me.
-If you need your poster shipped quickly please send an email indicating that and the appropriate shipping charges will be incurred by the buyer.
8. If I live in Columbus, can I avoid shipping by picking my poster(s) up in person?
Absolutely. Just shoot me an email- I no longer have a studio out in the world, but we can work out an in person exchange for sure.