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Poster Art(Chantry)

I started following Art Chanrty’s Facebook feed some time ago. He fills his posts with insights on pieces of design and ephemera that span the century. From napkin prints to automotive typography, Chantry’s no-nonsense posts are great reads when you need to kill some time and great inspiration when you are in a slump. He is the only person that I “know” who has topped out his Facebook Friend quote of 5000! He is that interesting.

I received my first formal education on Chantry’s work in Tim Musso’s design class back at CSULB and have been a fan ever since. He built his reputation in the 80s and 90s by practicing a low-tech, “DIY” approach to design. While other designers were striving for perfection, Chantry was capitalizing on imperfection. By pulling images and text from their original publications and collaging them together, he created bold, eye-catching work (of course the florescent inks don’t hurt either) that defined the Seattle music scene. Chantry is one of the most influential names in the rock poster/packaging biz. In short Chantry is the master of cut-n-paste design.

The other day (several months ago now) he announced that he needed to sell some stuff and, naturally, I responded that I wanted to buy some stuff. I sent him a message stating that I am into “grunge, metal, monsters, dinosaurs & screen printing” and we hammered out a deal: I will send him money and he will send me prints. A week later I had several incredible, hand selected posters from the artist himself.

The poster choice alone goes to show what type of designer/person Mr. Chantry is. I asked for monsters and I got monsters. I am sure that he has stacks of posters from the years and he went through and grabbed ones he thought would fit my fancy… and boy did they! According to Wikipedia: “[Art Chantry’s] work has been exhibited at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum of Modern Art, Seattle Art Museum, the Smithsonian and the Louvre” and now my house!

Look him up when you get the chance. You won’t regret it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gold Cartridge: Behind the Motherboard

The  Gold Cartridge Show is upon us. It has been a long road with a lot of thinking and planing and talking and planing and emailing and waiting and emailing and some foot work and finally a little bit of hanging. And of course when it came time to release the show onto the public I had double booked myself for the weekend so I missed it all. Luckily we will be hosting music and partying every Saturday while the show is up. Either way, figuring out our first fully independent art show has been quite the experience. Making it all happen isn’t as hard as people will tell you it is, especially when you have a group of cool cats all working towards the same goal. Things got a little loosey goosey in the middle when no one wanted to take the reigns, but everyone handled their own and finished their parts of the project with flying colors. Here is a link to a video the Wildes put together as a teaser for the show.

We gave ourselves a two month window to complete this project and it seemed to be a perfect amount of time for our first attempt. As we put on more shows certain steps will get easier and more attention will be placed on promotion. The two most important aspects of coordinating an art show would be having art and a place to hang art. So getting the word out to all of the artists and social media outlets as soon as possible is pretty key. Of course the artists will all be submitting pieces that are still drying and without proper hanging devices no matter how much time you give them. Being in a small town, one of our key pieces of local promotion was our fantastic window display that was largely directed by Jen Fletcher of REVAMP. She brought us a large collection of old TVs to decorate and it couldn’t have turned out better. Our largest problem was dealing with all of the illiterate crack heads that were upset we weren’t an “old TV store.”

Being a printmaker, I am all about selling high quantity (and quality) at an affordable price as opposed to investing in one piece and hoping it will sell. For my entry I screened a limited run of one color prints featuring one of my favorite video game characters, Donkey Kong. It was my first run of non-garment screenprints since college and I loved printing them. It is so much faster than printing linocuts! I compiled and modified some old clip art to create an imagined end screen from the original Donkey Kong. I also chose to paint up one of the prints and mounted it to some fence planks so that I could have something colorful to hang next to all of the other great work. This piece turned out fairly morbid as I chose to show Mario as a monkey exterminator who has already succeeded in ridding the world of Diddy, Dixie and Kiddy Kong from the Super Nintendo franchise and is about to drop the hammer on the big Donkey. I think it turned out pretty well and apparently a lot of the people at the reception did as well.

Dark Cloud

A couple years ago I was told by a family friend that if I had an “Indian Name” it would be Dark Cloud. Despite his intended jab, I have always thought that was an awesome name, but never owned it because of a local group of bike riding hooligans that call themselves Grey Cloud. Today as I awoke on the wrong side of the bed and watched the storm clouds quietly engulf our spring day I thought back fondly on the name. Maybe someday I will make some prints of a nice big, dark, ominous cloud. This doodle will have to do for now. And here is a shirt design I created a couple years ago for Grey Cloud in case I haven’t posted it yet.

Working on working.

The times have been filled with busyness lately. I have been working full time for a client while trying to juggle several art events and some partying. We all need to party once in a while.

April 30th we saw the Spring Fling in Downtown Sonora and REVAMP was there teaching kids how to make wearable crafts out of everyday objects like toilet paper tubes, corks, paper and plastic bags. It was a really fun time filled with laughter, crafts and hot glue. Make sure that you bring your little one to the next event for some free crafting fun!

(Me making a Mike Tyson eye patch for a space pirate. Photos by Jen Fletcher)

The Second installment of the Alley Art show will be held next weekend May 20-22nd. The pins I have collected so far have been exceptionally excellent and I can’t wait to see the rest. Make sure you take some time to stop by the Black Oak Casino Bowling Alley, have a beer and some nachos, and check out the art. I promise it will be worth it.

(Pin by Josh Fischer)

While I am finishing up that show I have also been helping some of my comrades with the Gold Cartridge Video Game Art Show. We have started to prep the venue (134 S. Washington St) with a wicked silly fresh window display. Thank you to Jen of REVAMP for the TVs and everyone for the help decorating. This week we will start patching and painting the walls as well as starting any other installations we see fit. Come by and check out the window and make sure you grab some grub at Pablito’s new restaurant downstairs. Thank him for helping to further the growth of alternative art in the county.


(Job and Joel working. Photo by Jen Fletcher)
(Preview of my Gold Cartridge Show print)

With all of this going on I have been cutting back on my freelance work and neglecting my block printing. I have several new ideas floating around that I hope to start cutting as soon as I find the time. Hopefully I will get caught up by the end of the summer and hit a couple of art/craft fairs with some new prints. Of course I have to make some time for camping and backpacking too.

(Photo by Dean Fleming.)

The Illustrated News of Record

Everyday my local paper posts the 911 calls from the day before. Most of them are pretty ridiculous as there are a lot of senile old people and meth addicts around here with little to do but report their delusions to the only people who will listen, the fuzz. My friend Michelle, newbie to the area, found reading the News of Record to be one of the most amusing past times around and would post her favorites regularly to her facebook page. It wasn’t long before our resident genius and rabble rouser, Richard, suggested that we make something artful out of this. The conversation went something like this:

It went on a bit more, but that is all my screen could capture and I am sure you get the gist of it. So now you will find the doodles of all sorts of people illustrating the Tuolumne County News Of Record here at: newsofrecord.otherlode.com. Otherlode is a site that has yet to fully blossom, but this may be the first step. Check out the Illustrated News of Record as soon and as often as possible. It is filled with gems like this one by Joel Wilde:

Business 101: Get Paid First [CENSORED]

If you are looking for the original posting of this it has been removed. The business operator asked me to take the business name off of the post. This is a censored version.

I don’t know about you, but I hate the business aspect about being an independent designer. Writing invoices, bill collection, contracts and the like are not my specialty. Sometimes, hell most of the time, I get so excited about starting on a new job for a client that I neglect to go through the motions and secure a deposit. The fact that 70% of potential clients need a rush doesn’t help either. They are usually in such a frenzy that I try to get them what they need as soon as possible. Living in a small town and getting paid is not usually an issue. Every once in a while you will deal with some asshole that screens his phone calls and drops off the face of the earth, but not usually. If only I had listened to the words of wisdom from my screen printing mentor the following story might have not happened:

“An error on your account doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine.”

Last summer I was contacted about creating a logo and printing it on some shirts for the reopening of [CENSORED]. [CENSORED] said that they were in a big hurry to get things done and needed a rush turnaround on the shirts. I met up with him as soon as possible with a product catalog gave him prices and shirt options and then discussed the logo they needed. I went home that night excited about gaining a client that I knew would  be around for a long time and would need a lot of work as they are planing on franchising. I started working on a logo immediately and sent him a low-res version of it to gauge his feelings on the direction I was going in so that I would waste time on something he hated.

He responded that he liked it, but not much else.

I figured that he was busy trying to get things ready for his opening and would of course ask for the shirts to be done in a day. So I called and sent him emails every other day to remind him that he needed to confirm on the number of shirts and the logo before I could continue with the job.

Eventually the restaurant opened and I was never contacted. I didn’t even know they were open until I drove by it one day and saw a crappy version of my logo staring back at me from the front door. I couldn’t believe it.

[CENSORED] had paid someone else to copy my intellectual property, which they did poorly, when he could have just paid me for the original. Why would someone do this? So far it is the first time this has happened to me and I intend to not let it happen again. So far they have lost a chimichanga loving customer, but I hope that they lose so much more.

You guys think I have a case?