ArtCrank, a personal review.


bikeportland.org photo

As promised... here's a run down from last week's ARTCRANK at the Ace Hotel here in downtown Portland (here is where I promised). I tell you, what a great way to kick off Oregon Manifest, Portland's month long celebration of bikes, from 5pm till the free PBR ran out, the exhibit space was packed with people as were the bike corrals outside were packed with bikes. Overall, 29 artists sold about 200 posters garnering $6,000 in sales and sending about $1,00o to Bikes to Rwanda.


bikeportland.org photo

I missed the building being packed with people as I had a gig to shoot at a concert across town, but when I arrived (which was sadly after the free beer ran out) there was still a steady flow of people coming and going. In no time at all I saw my cute little squirrel print on the wall and ran into people I knew. Overall, many of the posters were great. There was really some amazing prints that well designed, thought out and printed excellently (they must have gotten theirs professionally printed ;) Then, there were some other prints that... well, the SCAD student in me comes out and I get a little critical of their ideas or process; thinking that even though at the least we had two weeks to get our stuff together, some people could have spent a little bit more time on their work. But, that's just me being a magna cum laude perfectionist (toot-toot). I admit that my work wasn't quite up to an A when it came to SCAD professors grading standards, but I did as well as I could with the allowed time and materials. No matter how hard I try I admit that I will never be an excellent paper cutter and nor will I fork out $25 for someone to cut $12 worth of paper. That's just how it is.

Anyways, I digress. This was pretty much my first art show (we graphic design undergrads really didn't have to do that in school; and besides, our job is to make other people look good) and honestly, I was nervous and excited all at the same time. Everyone gets the jitters when they have their work put out there on display for the public, and knowing that this was going to have TONS of people walking through (thanks to the free beer) and purchasing prints (thanks to the low affordable cost of posters)... I set a goal of at least selling one or two prints (which would cover my materials cost). At the show, I asked Charles Youel, the creator, organizer, and curator of the show - how my print was doing. Surprisingly, he told me I had sold ten already and the show was still open for another hour or so! And... as I stood there and chatted with him, some lady went up, requested to purchase some posters, and walked away with one of my squirrels. Seeing that I exclaimed "and I don't even know that lady!!!" That was probably a highlight for me as I was under the assumption that only people I knew were buying my prints.

Well, doing the math the average of posters that each artist sold was about 7, so by selling 10 I definitely came in above average (not that selling art is a competition, but hey... you're talking to someone who is even a competitive commuter.) Even after the show, I got a few emails from folks who couldn't attend the show and wanted a print and even one email from a lady who was at the show, but walked away buying nothing. Apparently the next morning she awoke and realized she should have bought my print. So, she tracked me down via the internets and sent me a message. Apparently her 10 year old son... who is "bike mad" really liked my print. She thought about this and said (I quote) "You should never refuse a child who asks for art the opportunity to have it." Which I firmly agree with. As small children, my mother would take my brother (who is now a big NYC architect) and I to Cincinnati's Summer Art Fair and we would each come home with some kind of art.

Anyways, after the show I've dropped the price down to $20 for each print and I still have a few left over if anyone is interested (wink wink). I'm even dropping some in the post today on their way to Seattle and other places around town and would gladly love to do the same with you. I want to see these squirrels co-exist with humans and bikes in peace. This, I believe, is the first step in the process.

Oh, Bikeportland.org had a nice write up on the event and even a photo slide show of the work and the party of people and their free PBR (have I mentioned that enough already?)

Anyways - here are some photos of the process and stuff like that.


I've got all my materials ready...


This is the "blue screen"...


the workspace (thanks Stumpd)


I have so many prints I have to lay them all over the place, yes... even on the toilet.


here is the first few runs in white, I like this but it clogged my screens real quick and started to create "printing issues"


So I ditched the white and went with some orange ink I had left over from my "squirrel print" I made three years ago in a screen printing class at SCAD. That fabric was a massive 3 yrd repeat pattern that was featured at the big SURTEX industry show in NYC at the SCAD booth.


ta-da! someone is a happy camper!

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