New! New! New!
I’ve started to post on tumblr as Private Spectacle Press. I’m finding it a bit easier to keep myself updating using tumblr and connecting to folks. I’m still going to maintain this blog since I’ve put so much heart into it already, but the PSP tumblr will be seeing more action than this space, so give me a follow if you’re already a tumblr addict! (Not too late to become one btw…)
I have a new shop up as well, where you can buy some of my zines, comics, books and prints. I’m planning on adding many more items to it in the coming month, including my new comic, Last Playlist. I just posted my latest linocut print, a No Junk Mail sign to detract those useless flyers and real estate broker business cards from accumulating in your mail box.
Here’s a progress shot from the latest installment of my new-ish comic, Babcia, which is appearing in the pages of Broken Pencil. Each time I tell myself I’m going to simplify my technique… you can see how well that’s going for me 🙂
Other news: Busy as usual! What else is new? Actually, I did take some awesome time this summer to go camping, travel, volunteer at a music festival and do all kinds of wonderful outdoorsy, summery things. But now my nose is back to the grindstone. Once the papercut is in the bag, I’ll resume working on a 30-page fiction comic that I’ll be debuting at SPX. My second big ‘Merican comics show! I’m so excited! If you live in the DC/Maryland area or have some friends who do, consider coming out to this sweet event.
I’m in a whirlwind of prep and programming (I’m speaking on a panel at TCAF Librarian & Educators Day this afternoon on non-fiction comics!), so here’s just a quick peek of what I’ll have at the fest:
All me loot (clockwise from left): wordless linocut novel Back + Forth, stack of various zines and prints, 24 hour comic book day comic made in one week Good Morning!, my *NEW* mini comic Homeache, and wordless relief print erotic story anthology Boom Boom Boom.
Last week I came back from a spectacular week-long residency at Spark Box Studio, run by Chrissy Poitras and Kyle Topping in Picton, ON. I was a lucky recipient of one of their Emerging Artist Residency Awards and I was so excited to see what the week would have in store for me. I documented my process of making a four colour reduction linocut, so this post is pretty image heavy. I’ll keep the commentary light and let the pictures tell most of the story:
Here’s my little work space. Each artist at Spark Box gets a private studio space and bedroom, but Chrissy and Kyle are open to artists claiming their own work space in the print shop or house. I picked this sunny corner in the print shop. The counters were too low to sit with a stool and too high for a chair so I improvised.
The shadow puppet show put on by Small Pond Arts was so impressive and inspiring. I would love to work on one of these some day. It featured shadow puppets and shadow actors and was narrated by a very engaging storyteller (standing on the left).
I ended up with an edition of ten, plus about 15 artist proofs. I kept a few of the bad prints and ripped up the really bad ones. It felt kind of crazy but also very cathartic! I think it’s really easy for artists to have a tendency to hoard and lately I’ve been trying hard to resist the impulse to hold on to everything.
Many thanks to Chrissy and Kyle for providing me with this amazing opportunity to relax, create and learn!
Spring is here, more or less, and just like nature, I’m busy make, make, making things!
Here’s some tiny linos for your eyeballs. I made them for a new poetry/image zine I launched at the Kazoo Print Expo in Guelph last weekend. Each linocut is just under 4 x 3 inches. In making these, I was challenging myself to see how much I could do in such a small space… the polar opposite of my last self-challenge, which was to make my largest linocut yet.
This weekend I’m preparing, with extreme excitement somewhat in check, for my upcoming residency at Spark Box Studio in Picton, ON. I’m very happy to be a recipient of one of their Emerging Artist Residency Awards which means I get to spend one week in their awesome print studio and stay in their beautiful home! I encourage you all to check out their website which has tons of great info and resources about building your art career, whatever stage you may be at.
For the residency, I hope to complete my first ever color reduction lino (always need a new mountain to climb!). In a color reduction print, you use the same piece of lino for all of the colours/layers. First you crave away everything that will be the color of the paper, print the first color, carve away what you want to keep the first colour, print again, etc. If that sounds confusing, it is! I’m working on separating out the colours now and it is breaking my brain just a little bit. Wait, I think that’s called learning.
Yesterday, the boyfriend and I went for a walk to the library and I saw crocus blooming everywhere and even a few daffodils! If you’re in a part of the world experiencing spring, I encourage you to put on something waterproof and go seek out these first bursts of living color! It’s a great way to bring a smile to your face to replace your winter scowl.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the future… thinking about what and how I’ll make in the next few months, what I’ll be up to a year from now and also, beyond, beyond. I have mixed feelings about planning my life. I realize that planning too much is pointless: we can’t predict how the world around us will shift, how we will change and along with us our desires and dreams. At the same time, I like to dream big and know I won’t get anywhere near my goals unless I figure out how I’m going to reach them. Planning can also be scary! What if that thing you’ve worked so hard towards doesn’t work? Or, perhaps worse, what if it succeeds and you HATE it? When your plans fall outside of anything mainstream, dependable or financially stable, you can almost hear the concerned mothers and fathers of the world tense up (however old and independent you may be); not the most reassuring sound.
Still, at this point, I’m excited about the new possibilities I am working towards, whether or not they turn out how they now appear in my mind’s eye!
To conclude this vague little post, here’s a few process shots from one of my most recently completed projects: a papercut comic about my late Grandmother. It will be published in the next issue of Broken Pencil!
My biggest lesson from this project? Nothing beats a sharp blade! Forget about size, shape, ergonomics… it’s all about the sharp!
February is over at last and our deluded, hopeful minds turn to thoughts of Spring (deluded in my part of the world anyway, we’ve got a few months of cold yet). I can’t help but be hopeful though… past 6pm and it’s not dark outside!
It’s not quite crocus and daffodil time in Ontario yet, but things are getting pretty colourful in my sketchbook. I just got a beautiful case of LYRA Rembrandt pencil crayons (colored pencils for you ‘Mericans out there) and have had a great time playing with them. (Thanks to Julie Delporte for the recommendation in this review!)
In other news, my first fest of the year will be the Kazoo Print Expo (formerly the Kazoo Zine & Comic Expo) in Guelph on April 6th. (I was at the OCAD U Zine Fair yesterday but I’m not counting it since I was the organizer and was more focused on running the show than selling).
I am SO excited for this show! My boyf and I had a really great time tabling at the expo last year and running around Guelph checking out bands before and after. We also met some great peeps from Toronto! The highlight for me was the acoustic breakfast show on Sunday which closed up the festival. Great tunes, little kids running around and chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes until you burst! And a gigantic Kazoo piñata which was too well-constructed for anyone to break open. Haha… I’m going to be telling my grandkids about that show! Anyway, if you’re in the Guelph area… or within busing distance… make your way to Kazoo! It’s not the biggest show but the vibe is great, the talent is awesome and the music is the extra icing on the cake. Also, I will have some new stuff for sale! Previews to come 🙂
I made this piece during Nuit Blanche last September at Red Head Gallery‘s Insomnia Redux event. Members of the public contributed various 2-dimensional objects and a group of artists reworked and remixed the pieces. I wish I had thought of taking a picture of the panel before I added my touch to it. Imagine a bare wood panel with broken pieces of glass glued on to it, with blobs of paint on the glass and thick red lines on the side. I contributed the rest. This was a really fun event and I am so thankful to the artists at Red Head for inviting me to be a part of it!
In other news… I will be at TCAF again this year! I will be tabling with other authours from the Porcupine’s Quill Wordless Novel Series. The Festival is celebrating it’s 10th year and the lovely staff at the Beguiling are pulling out all the stops. Have you SEEN the list of special guests?! Wowza! I’m really excited to meet David B. (And I barely ever want to meet people because I feel awkward and don’t know what to say that they haven’t heard a million times). His book Epileptic had such an impact on me and came along at a very influential time in my art practice. I will also be debuting a new comic at the fest which has been in the works forever and I’m so excited to finally be sharing it with the world.
I have a few other zine and comic related things coming out soon but I will share them when I can show them. What a great year 2013 is turning out to be! I’m doing a much better job managing my commitments so far and avoiding burnout. Let’s hope I can keep it up!
I’ve also started a new quest! I’m looking for an etching press, preferably with a press bed around 15-16″ wide. I decided that it is silly of me to wait until I have a big enough space to buy my ideal (big) press and that I can do a lot of great work with a small press while I wait for that scenario to manifest. So, if anyone knows of a small etching press for sale somewhere in Southwestern Ontario-ish, leave me a note in the comments! As my friend Nick Shick wisely said, “It takes a village to buy an etching press!”.
Happy New Year to all! Here’s a peek at a print I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.
I’ll be tabling at Canzine this weekend and I can’t wait! This is a big, busy zine fest and I always find great stuff for sale and meet some really nice people.
I’ll have copies of Boom Boom Boom available, as well as older books, zines, screenprints and limited copies of my large linoprint. I’m also taking part in the Hollywood Rip-Off Zine Challenge, where I will put together a zine in one hour based on a well-known 90’s film that will be announced at the event (I have a shortlist so will be watching a few to prepare). Based on my experience putting together a zine in one hour with Static Zine at the 12hr Zine Machine event at Nuit Blanche, I know I will have to HUSSLE… one hour is barely any time!
Stop by and say hi if you can!