One thing I really like about screen printing (and heaven knows there's a lot that I like about it!) is that nearly every part of the process presents new opportunities to change what the final image will look like. I'll usually sketch an image between two and five times before beginning the final drawing. Below is the concept sketch for a poster I did last month for the band, Hostage Calm. Next to that is a shot of the finished poster.
After the final drawing is inked, it is usually blown up on a black and white photocopier. I will format all the text by hand (more xeroxing, inverting, resizing, cutting, pasting, white out, etc.), and since I don't often have a fully developed plan in mind when entering the copy shop, this can be a fairly inventive and spontaneous venture. The final image is printed on film, which still sometimes requires the splicing together of films with Scotch and litho tape. I also usually touch up or manipulate the image by working subtractively with an X-Acto knife and removing toner from the film.
Each color is cut from rubylith to the key plate (the black and white line art, see right). Lately, I've been manipulating some of my rubylith films with opaque film markers. This ads a whole new element to the process, as I'm able to acheive a greater range of values and subtleties by adding tight line work to under printed layers of color. I still have a lot of exploring to do with this, but I'm definitely excited about the possibilies.
The next few months should prove to be busy for me. I'm finishing up a commissioned painting, and I will be starting a brand new paper airplane narrative series. In September, I'm off to Europe (for the first time ever!) to participate in Z Stock, a poster convention in Tilburg, Holland. Then a few days later, I'll be in Hamburg, Germany for Flatstock 23.
Some new prints will be available early next week, so stay tuned!