It has been a week since I posted release one. Pretty exciting busy week. And here in 5 days release two will go up. Worked on final touches over the long weekend, editions are in the dryer and ready to post. yeehaw.
A bunch of stuff has been rolling around in my head, combined with correspondence with some customers and fellow print artist pals. I wanted to make an effort to kinda highlight some thoughts and info and such to the one or two of you out there who might be interested.
The work: I am a big fan of contemporary art, print, culture etc. I buy and collect prints. I work with other artists and companies on fun projects regularly. I hesitate to say most, but quite a bit of the work being put out right now is pop-culture based or derivative in nature. I do not want to dismiss pop culture work, far from it. My Dinosaur Batman series are probably the most well received illustrations i have ever done. But, at the end of the day, I feel there is something very special about completely original work. It is common for folks to ask me “what movie is this from” or “I don’t get it” when they see my original work. We are so used to trying to look for the reference or the mash-up that we expect it in everything. With my prints, my clockwork series, there is no inside joke. No movie or cultural trend that you need to come prepared for in order to get them. They are simply illustrations of robots. Little insights into the human condition through simple automotons. A child looking at them is as well equipped to appreciate them as the most tuned in cultural hero from the internet.
The Why: There are many reasons to do this sort of thing I am sure. Money, fame and power not being amongst them. I have done projects for big and small companies that serve a purpose. marketing campaigns, fundraisers etc. One has goals and a target audience and deadlines.. serious business. In those situations I am a cog in the machine of making a print or shirt or book.. whatever. It is not my dreams or vision, i am just part of it all.
This is different. This is my personal work. It begins and ends with me. I always create, always have - it is hardwired in me. Most of the time for no reason but to do it. Which is kinda the best reason. When I have attempted to put out my personal work in the past it has often been frustrating. Partially because I am obsessive/ compulsive about little things that do not matter (read:nightmare to work with). This led me down the path of building AP into something different. Hand pulling prints is pure joy. I am able to be as crazy as I want. Which is really refreshing. And I get to share my work, my vision, with the world exactly how i want to. no dilution or compromise.
Which brings me to another point. Fine art is some serious business. It is comprised of very fancy people doing very fancy things. I am not fancy or sophisticated. I do not have a MFA, I do not have years of exhibition and gallery experience. You’ll notice that all through my website I refer to myself at a print maker not a Printmaker. No capital “P"s in my title. There are brilliant folks who spend decades to become master Printmakers. I am more of a ronin printmaker… no sensei, no dojo. I am doing this just to do it. Gallery shows take a ton of time and are nerve-wracking. I am not interested in doing freelance commissions. I doubt anyone has read this far, so I will just wrap it up - San Dimas High School Football rules!
I hope some of that made sense.