The first stop on the Frogtown Artwalk last weekend was the Nomad Art Collective Compound and I've been thinking about the space ever since. I walked in and didn't want to leave. The place is one big warehouse of inspiration.
Nice guy/man in charge Damon (Nomad is his name spelled backwards) was running around, making things, greeting people, and setting the tone of chaotic creativity. There is so much to see and do in this space. And the big above ground pool in the lot out back suggests there is plenty of after hours fun going on too.
The compound serves as the studio to Damon's apparel and art lines, a tattoo parlor, filming location, party place, and luckily for us curious creative types: a learning workshop. The next screenprinting lab is coming up October 14. I'm seriously considering it.
I've dabbled in some screen printing and love it. I took a course at San Francisco Center for the Book back when I was still living in the Bay Area. It was old school: we created images using ruby lith on acetate, painted the emulsion on screens, burned them, and got printing. I made a bunch of vanity stationary and kooky cards (most of which I've sent to my mama over the years--she gets all the stuff I'm not sure what to do with, lucky her).
A couple of years ago I bought some home screen printing equipment and started playing around. The first projects were with paper cut stencils rather than burnt on screens. Simple shapes (binder clips!) printed on whatever was laying around the studio. Paper stencils get mushy from the ink pretty quick, so the runs were short and messy. (But super fun.)
When Swirl Smell Slurp, the wine blog I co-created with Jason King, was at its height of popularity and booziness, we played around with wine related stencils. Jason drew a corkscrew in Rhino, I cut out a stencil, and we got squeegee-ing. We printed some t-shirts and on top of pages from Wine Spectator (all while drinking wine).
More recently I made a small run of prints from a design I created in Illustrator and then burned on a screen. I sent hand-pulled prints of "The World Loves a Lover" to people I love and sold a few to happy strangers who saw them on my website. Because once you start printing it's hard stop, when I was done with the fine paper prints, I looked around for something else to squeegee on and decided on the pages form a stack of porn I had found. The results were fantastic. It's super NSFW, but check out some more images on my Cargo Collective. I'd like to revisit this project. (Teaser below.)
Wandering around the Nomad space last weekend got me excited about printing again. Taking a workshop is the perfect opportunity to learn how to use their big equipment in an environment that is incredibly inspirational. I'm also going to pull out the supplies I already own and get squeegee-ing. It's terrific, messy fun.