31 December 2010

Package Thief

To the left, is a new(ish) art print that will be available (along with two color variants) at an upcoming joint exhibition with Mark Brabant, Punchgut, and Crystal Benoit called Comb The Field. This print will also serve as the artwork for the Chicago band, Save the Clocktower's upcoming album.
You'll also notice my poor, dormant bicycle, which I put a good number of miles on this year. I'm very much looking forward to riding again, as soon as weather permits (ha, like it would any time soon).

I just signed my last stack of posters for 2010, a poster for the Comb The Field exhibition. I've printed close to 50 different items this year between art prints, gig posters, and one run of CD jackets. I met tons of amazing, friendly, talented, and generally rad people. I also discovered curry ketchup, sweet potato and kale burritos, fostered a couple of dogs, and ground the trucks on my skateboard into the axle.

It's been a blast, and I'd say I'm looking forward to 2011. Oh, how convenient! Here it comes.

25 December 2010

You're not punk, and I'm telling everyone.

Ten years ago, when I was sixteen, my brother gave me a CD for Christmas. It was Jawbreaker's 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, a purchase inspired no doubt by my incessant (but un-acted upon) declaration that I had to get more music by the band.
I first heard the opening track from Unfun--a well-known little number called "Want"--in '97 or '98 in a skate video we had. I didn't know anything about this band, much less that they had broken up at least a year before I'd ever hear them. But I specifically remember thinking something along the lines of, "I didn't know songs could be this good!"
I spent the next couple years getting more deeply acquainted with the world of punk rock, and while I would regularly watch that skate video (sometimes just to show that song to people or to hear it again myself), I wasn't able to find a copy of Unfun.
Anyway, in 2000, my brother surprised me with a copy of this album for Christmas, and I listened to it almost right away. Chris Bauermeister's thick, percussive bass playing in "The Boat Dreams From the Hill" had me hooked instantly. Blake Schwarzenbach's lyrics are punctuated by an honest introspection that lacked the crassness of those of some of the other bands I was listening to at the time. The music was punk rock (although Jawbreaker was never afraid to play slow), but the words were legitimate poetry. And I was just old enough to kind of understand it.
I enjoyed the critical perspectives taken in the songs, "Boxcar" and "Indictment." I could relate--especially as an adolescent who dealt with anxiety and mild depression--to some of the sentiments of despondence that adorn various parts of the record. I marveled at the provocative mood (not to mention the stunning instrumental conclusion) of "Condition Oakland." But at sixteen years old, I could never truly grasp the song's expression of distance and frustration.
When we were kids (even kids who were about five years late to the party), Jawbreaker just rocked, and they were different. That's why I liked them. I've held 24 Hour Revenge Therapy in my top five favorite albums of all time for the past decade, but as I've gotten older, I find myself appreciating the record for entirely new reasons.
I'm now the age that the guys in Jawbreaker were when they wrote many of the songs on this album. I was discussing this with a few friends recently. We all could say we loved this album since high school, but it wasn't until I got into my mid/late twenties that I really get an idea what a lot of these songs are saying.
On top of that, I've come to really appreciate the production quality of this album. The roughness is an important part of its honesty. It's an actual sonic documentation of moments in time, rather than a bunch of disingenuous studio magic like autotune, sample-replaced drums, and other shameful practices of total poseurs.
There remains a whole mess of excellent music out there, by both active and defunct bands. I continue to discover music that excites and interests me.
While I have a growing list of bands to investigate further, I look forward to another ten years with 24 Hour Revenge Therapy.
Thank you again, Garret, for my favorite album and one of the best gifts I've ever received.

23 December 2010

Blowing off the street like a leaf

I'm sitting at the kitchen table, hanging out with my roommate's dogs while I make this post. Sorry for the sporadic updates here. I've been really busy getting a bunch of illustrations finished (including the one to the left, which will be one of two pieces from me for Save The Clocktower's upcoming album), as well as trying to get my new site finally up and running.

Speaking of the new website, it is now up (same URL and everything) as of this morning. It looks pretty much just like the old site, but some adjustments have been made, which should make the whole thing easier to navigate. And what's this? Why, it's a brand new webstore! Check out the new site: www.justinsantora.com

Lastly, there are still a small number of spots in the 2011 subscription, but it's filling up. Get in touch with me if you're interested in reserving a spot. Maybe you are interested but would like to know more about it. If only there was some sort of web-based conglomerate of text and images that neatly outline just what the 2011 print subscription would entail (along with slick navigation and a brand new webstore) that you could visit. Oh, wait. There is! Right here.

13 December 2010

Soy nog should not be this hard to find.

Lately, I've done a few art prints that have a much more "panoramic landscape" sort of composition. They can be quite fun. A portion of a relatively new print is depicted to the right. The original art for the two houses in this print were actually shrunk on a photocopier (rather than enlarged). A friend told me that this can make detailed drawing look tighter, and I was happy to try it out on this one. It's an especially nice technique to employ when drawing things like houses or other detailed structures that can be hard to render at a small scale (for me, at least).

In the wake of Art of Musical Maintenance 7, there are a few otherwise unavailable posters of mine now for sale at the Goodfoot website.
Click on an artist's name and see what's available! They've got the remaining copies of my Foals, Dinosaur Jr., Black Keys, and Flaming Tsunamis posters. And a couple of the those Appleseed Cast variants. Not bad, eh?
Also, stay tuned for a new and improved justinsantora.com! My pal Jaline is helping me out, and it should be up and running very soon. The new site will have a much more cohesive store along with some new (and old) items for sale, including prints from the recent Expeditions For Momentum show.

02 December 2010

2011 Print Subscription is now open

2011 Print Subscription
For the 2011 print subscription, subscribers will receive one of each print I produce for the entire year, which includes all art prints and gig posters. Subscribers will receive matching edition numbers, there will also be a small closed edition for subscribers only, and each subscriber will receive an original drawing and one of a kind test print.

Between art prints and gig posters, I have produced around 40 printed editions this year, with at least four new art prints on the way.
For 2011, I intend to produce a similar amount of work (an estimated 40-50 prints); and I hope to keep honing my skills, working with new bands, and constantly be dreaming up new ideas of art prints.

US & Canada, $450
International, $510
Please note that the difference in price is only to help cover the costs for overseas shipping. Payment can be made through Paypal or with a check/money order. Payment plans/flexibility is available, as well. Please contact me to reserve a spot or if you have any questions: justinsantora [at] gmail.com

27 November 2010

Words and Smiles

Greetings! I feel like I've kind of been missing in action, lately. I'm still here, doing quite a bit of drawing and printing, just not very much updating. I've also had a chance to dig into some piles of older work and put a whole slough of originals and test prints up in the gigposters.com classified section.

This Monday (November 29th), I will be putting a new mystery tube up for sale on my website. As always, I have lots of art prints and gigposters to include. I also found a bunch of imperfect/misprinted pieces from sold out editions, as well as five or six unreleased variants, all of which will be included in this batch of tubes. I will also be doing remarques or including original sketches with each order.

I will also be posting details for the 2011 print subscription this week. Check back here or on my site.

Lastly, I will have some work in a couple of shows coming up. I am participating in Art of Musical Maintenance 7 at the Goodfoot Gallery, which opens December 9th. Many of the posters in this show will be available on the gallery's website, including a few otherwise sold out posters of mine.
I will also be part of a joint show with Mark Brabant and Punchgut
, which will open in Philadelphia in January. More information on that will be posted very soon!

12 November 2010

Actually, John, We're Not Here to Plan a High Society Jewel Heist

I was recently commissioned to produce an art print about Howard Hughes. Depicted here is the H-1 Racer in what I imagined would be the final stages of construction. The initial sketch was drawn while I was on an airplane, incidentally. The final drawing was completed at my light table with lots of reference photos of the Hughes H-1 Racer. On one of the films, I have a shadow cast by the plane. The original drawing and subsequent films were all drawn from a variety of reference images. I was unable to find any photographs of this plane in this particular position with a shadow being cast towards the viewer to the right like this. I had to envision what the shadow might look like, and I drew it in onto a blank film. I know I'm not dead on here, but I think the shadow adds quite a bit to the image.

9 screens on Rolland cover
18x24", edition of 60

After signing these, I had to pack them up and drive to the post office where they began their journey to the United Kingdom.
Next up is a new art print and a gigposter amidst a bunch of illustration work.

09 November 2010

Some left over Black Keys posters

Hello, all!
Due to a slight mix up, there are a few copies of a poster I did for The Black Keys (9/27/10 at the Hollywood Palladium) available through the band on their website.

Regarding Expeditions For Momentum, the gallery currently does not take international orders. All remaining screen prints from the show will be available on my site in December for both domestic and international ordering. If any buyers from outside the US are interested in one of the remaining ink drawings or paintings (EDIT: All drawings and paintings have now sold), please contact me.

There are some new art prints in the works, as well as a new poster or two. I'm pretty excited about some of the ideas I've got kicking around.
I will also be working on getting a more cohesive "store" feature on my site by early next year. Any ideas and feedback regarding this matter would be awesome. If anyone has any recommendations for software or programs to create a coded webstore that can be integrated into a website, even better.
Lastly, in another week or so, I will announce details for the 2011 print subscription, which will be expanded to include a few more spots.

Okay, back to work!

07 November 2010

Expeditions For Momentum goes live!

The My Addiction Gallery webstore is now open, and the remaining work from Expeditions For Momentum is now available for purchase online.
Check it out.

01 November 2010

Cut into the earth

I was doing some long overdue cleaning of my workspace today, and I stumbled upon this interesting little composition in the tray on my light table. Small scraps of rubylith, paper, tape, and shavings of ink and acetate (from working subtractively on my films) sometimes accumulate in the tray. When I get really busy, the scraps can really begin to pile up.
Last week, I finished the last of the work for Expeditions For Momentum (the show opens this Friday at My Addiction Gallery), and spent an entire afternoon packing and shipping all the prints, drawings, and paintings. I immediately got to work printing a new poster for Lincoln Hall in Chicago. I subsequently ended up taking a full two-day weekend (my first in months).
Expeditions For Momentum opens Friday, November 6th at My Addiction Gallery in Tucson, AZ. For those in the Tucson area, there will be a reception from 6-10PM. All work in the show will be available for purchase through the My Addiction Gallery website on November 7th, at 12 PM EST.

Speaking of Arizona, remember SB 1070? Well, it turns out the controversial Arizona immigration law was heavily supported by, lobbied for, and drafted in conjunction with the private prison sector; proving that despite all the (disingenuous) rhetoric about "safe neighborhoods," the bill was about opportunism and profiteering at the expense of migrant families.
Check it: Prison Economics Help Drive Arizona Immigration Law

20 October 2010

Oh, brother!

I totally forgot about this video. Our friend James filmed my brother playing this song at a benefit for Haiti that was organized at The Inconvenience, a local artist/theater collective in Chicago.

Garret Santora

Crab, fight the worm!

Do You Suppose Everyone Fucks the First One Up?
14.5x24", five screens on Wausau cover, 2010.

This is a new print that will be in the upcoming show at My Addiction Gallery in Tucson, AZ. The show opens November 6th, 2010. It will feature new and current paintings, drawings, and screen prints. The work will also be for sale online after the show opens. I'll be sure to make an announcement here and on my site when it goes live.

16 October 2010

Ooh, do I love you

To the left is part of a film I'm currently working on. It's an art print that will be in my upcoming show at My Addiction Gallery in Tucson, AZ. The show is called, Expeditions For Momentum and will feature other new and current prints, as well as new paintings and drawings.

Shifting gears of mammoth proportions, has anyone ever used that Wayback Machine website? It's an internet archive site that catalogs millions of pages from as far back as the mid 90's.
Today, I used it to search for defunct web pages of my friends' old bands, my first band (formed in 1999, yo), old web zines, etc. It has brought back a lot of memories. More specifically, the memory of the general feeling from certain periods of time. I suppose I'm using archived web pages from ten and eleven years ago in the same Pavlovian fashion in which one might listen to old songs from a previous time period. At the moment, I'm feeling rather nostalgic.

To be clear, I am not hung up on the past, and I'm not feeling old. The present happens to be pretty awesome, and twenty-six years is not old, dammit.
However, being twenty-six means that when I use a phrase like, "ten years ago," I am finally referencing a time in which I was kind of the person I am today. I have many of the same friends, interests, beliefs, and I still draw all the time. "Ten years," I've apparently decided, is some kind of temporal right of passage. Perhaps it just seems significantly longer than "eight years" or "nine years." Either way, it's a pretty long time.
It's rather amazing what a simple cue like seeing an archived web page can do for one's memory. I suppose it's the digital equivalent of looking at old photographs, show listings and setlists from bands I saw in high school. They're still in a box somewhere in my parents' attic. I remember shitty third-hand cars with stickers on the rear window, the sense of urgency when the Fireside Bowl announced upcoming shows, playing on playground forts as teenagers, and a brief stint of punk shows at a coffee house in my hometown.
I remember skateboarding in my friend's driveway and on the street in front of my house on homemade boxes and grind rails. I remember reading copies of Thrasher Magazine on the bus, happy to be out of school for the day. I remember piling into someone's car to drive to the Fireside Bowl and making it a total adventure without having to make any special effort or even really think about it. I remember me and my friends genuinely being exited about each others' bands and when cassette tapes were still a relevant format. I remember listening to a Texas is the Reason seven inch in my room with my first girlfriend. I remember when an impending summer was essentially winning the lottery.
I'm not bummed out about this. As I said, I'm pretty stoked on the present. It just kind of felt appropriate to try to articulate what I was feeling when I started to write this entry. By now, I'm starting to think about how I need to eat something before I head to the Hideout to see my friends in Aids Wolf play a show.

30 September 2010

There's something wrong with my toast

Colored Gigs Volume 2 opened last night in Dresden. The turnout was great, and the show went really well overall. I ate lots of great vegan food from a nearby restaurant, learned some new German words and phrases, and I found that my inability to be photographed (without looking ridiculous) seems to know no borders. Tonight is night two of the show, and with all the work already hung, we're left with lots of free time until this evening. The sun is finally out, and I'm looking forward to getting outside and seeing some more of the city today.
On Tuesday, my host, Lena, took us to see Dresden's contemporary art museum, the Semper Opera House, the Frauenkirche, and other various beautiful sights in the city.

I have been getting some emails about two recent posters I did for The Black Keys. If anyone is curious and happens to be reading this, they will be for sale on my site in the next few days, hopefully before I fly back to Chicago on Sunday (but definitely by Monday).

27 September 2010

"...he sang the song that ended the earth."

Hello from Dresden! I am staying in an apartment here as we prepare for Colored Gigs 2, a rock poster show that will take place this week. We (Guy, Gina, and I) rode here with the Douze crew last night after the traditional post-Flatstock Europe boat ride. Much fun was had on the boat despite the rain and cold. Boy Division regaled us with some of the most punk rock covers of an expansive and eclectic selection of music (complete with a stack of broken cymbals, matching sailor suits, megaphone vocals, and the occasional keytar lead). They must be the only band in the history of music to do a medley of "The Final Countdown" and the Cure's "Killing an Arab."
Flatstock Europe 5 was an excellent experience, as was the show at Feinkunst-Kruger Gallery. I made some new friends, and I saw many of the awesome people I met last year, particularly Luke and Graham, who kept me laughing for a good portion of Flatstock. I brought my skateboard this year, so I got to skate Flora, an entirely DIY concrete park built behind an abandoned theater. It was certainly one of the most challenging parks I've ever ridden, but it's not impossible. I've been told the locals can rip the place apart, but I never got to see them. In any case, it's one of the most ambitious and impressive DIY undertakings I currently know of. I also met a nice gentleman from the north of Germany, who took me to another bowl, "The Granny Pool." It is a traditional swimming pool style bowl constructed directly behind an old folks home (hence the name).

Okay, more updates are on the way (since I now have regular internet access), so stay tuned. Lots of excitement!

21 September 2010

It's a long way back to Germany

Leaving town for any length of time is always a kind of strange feeling. Not at first, I suppose, but I can remember being a kid and taking in all the familiar sights of our town as we got closer and closer to the house upon returning from a family vacation. I recall always being struck with a bizarre (albeit profoundly obvious) realization that everything back home had gone on completely unabated in my absence.

I'm at my friends' apartment in Chicago. This is the last time I will be in this building (as far as I know, at least). For the past three years, some good friends of mine have lived in the second and third floors of a building on the north side of Chicago, and they're moving out in a week. I'm leaving for Germany this afternoon. By the time I get back, a going away party will have come and gone, bags and boxes and backseats will be packed up and emptied elsewhere, and this apartment will be occupied by a bunch of strangers.

19 September 2010

Thought I'd get away. You don't ask, so I don't say.

My good friend and roommate, Joel has a new photography blog up now. Five and six years ago, Joel and I used to take skate photos all the time in Chicago and the surrounding areas. He and I went skateboarding today and got a few new photographs. Above is me doing a backside tailslide this afternoon. This photograph (and the moment documented therein) was brought to you entirely independently of any marketing firms, soccer moms, or rapacious sporting goods companies.

Check out Dogs Not Taxis.

07 September 2010

Notes from gate N2

I am at Sea-Tac Airport waiting for my flight to Chicago to board. Flatstock 27 has come and gone, but it was an excellent experience. Highlights for me included going out to eat at 50's style diner with Kevin Tong and Daniel Danger, searching Bumbershoot with Kevin Tong for delicious vegan food, kicking myself for not bringing my skateboard but still getting to ride an awesome park with Ben from Diesel Fuel Prints (who shared his board with me for our two-man session), making plans to come back and do even more skating next year, anonymous rubber band wars between fellow Flatstock vendors, and meeting lots of great people, and seeing the familiar faces of equally great people.
I also bought a collection of short stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie entitled, The Thing Around Your Neck. I have already started reading it. It may be difficult to complete the sketches I am supposed to be doing on my flight home.

Fall mystery tubes and other new stuff available here.

03 September 2010

My Coffee With Niles

Greetings from Seattle! I arrived last night, hungry and tired. I took the Light Rail, which is Seattle's (partially) elevated train system, into the city from the airport. I met up with a friend, checked into my room, and wandered the streets for a bit. In a stroke of luck, I walked past a hotdog vendor whose stand had a pleasant vegan surprise: tofu dogs!

With my concerns about finding something to eat at midnight in Seattle put to rest under a bed of onions, Dijon, peppers, and Sriracha sauce; I hung out for a bit with my old friend, Dan. Dan is an archeologist who moved to Seattle three or four years ago. We grew up in the same town. He told me about Seattle, we had a beer, and caught part of a small jazz/blues quintet's set.

Today, I'm enjoying some tea and orange slices and trying to figure out what to do with myself for the afternoon. Flatstock does not begin until tomorrow, so I'm going to do some exploring and see what other awesome (animal-friendly) food this city is hiding!

29 August 2010

Hound two

Hello. Above on the right is my new friend, T Rex. He used to race under the name, "Alkay's Easy Come." His name was shortened to Easy at the shelter, and I was informed that his new owners would be calling him "T Rex" or just "Rex." Rexy quickly mastered the art of climbing and descending stairs. He got along swimmingly with my roommates Chesapeake Bay retriever, and the two even played with each other. He was an absolute pleasure to foster. I took him to his forever home in Evanston yesterday, where he will live out many warm and friendly years with a great family.
To the left is one of two posters I printed this past week. I've got two more to print this week before I leave for Seattle on Thursday.

21 August 2010

100% Tree

Hello, blog patron. I hope today's post finds you well. I'm organizing my studio, and getting ready to print some posters. I'm also gearing up to head off to Seattle for the first time to participate in Flatstock 27, and I'm preparing for my new houseguest, Easy. Easy is a retired racing greyhound whom I will begin fostering tomorrow. He'll be hanging out with me for a week until he goes to live in Evanston with his new family.

I currently have a show on display at Fillintheblank Gallery called "A Walking Tour of Here." Yeah, yeah, that's old news, but here's the fun part: The gallery is offering free shipping on all domestic orders, as well as discounted international shipping. Check it out here: http://www.fillintheblankgallery.com/justin-santora/

15 August 2010

Twelve roses

The opening reception turned out great, despite Chicago's trademark summer humidity. Many friends and family came out, as well as lots of other great people. Art was debuted, good conversations had, pictures taken, hummus eaten, etc.
When I was still in undergrad, a professor of mine told me about the art website, Bad At Sports. They've interview a couple friends of mine, and they just do a lot of coverage of what's going on in Chicago. I was pretty flattered to see that they had listed the show as #2 on their Top 5 Weekend Picks this week.
Lastly, for those of you who are interested, Fillintheblank Gallery just posted high quality images of the work in the show, and you can even buy prints and paintings through their website. Check it out here: http://www.fillintheblankgallery.com/justin-santora/

Okay, that's it for now. I'm going to go ice my slightly injured shin. That's what I get for going skateboarding on a school night.

06 August 2010

"A Walking Tour of Here" opening August 13th

Well, hey! Check this out:

A Walking Tour of Here - Recent Screenprints and Paintings by Justin Santora
Fillintheblank Gallery 5038 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL
August 13-Sept 4, 2010. Opening reception Friday, August 13th. 7-11 PM

I signed four stacks of prints last night and have more or less put the finishing the touches on the last couple of paintings today. I'm off to be a groomsman in my good friends, Logan and Vija's wedding.

Monday evening, we start the installation at the gallery.

05 August 2010

Thirsty Pixels

Today, I heard the sad but inspiring story of Emily Henochowicz. Emily is a Jewish art student from the US who has Israeli citizenship. She was studying in Israel where she became involved in the movement for solidarity with (and justice for) Palestine. In one of the Israeli army's trademark uses of indiscriminate and unnecessary force, Emily lost her left eye when she was hit with a teargas canister*. Her outlook on life, art, justice, and the world is positive and absolutely worth sharing. Plus her drawings are just plain rad. Check out Thirsty Pixels, Emily's blog.


International Solidarity Movement (ISM)

* Incidentally, she had been attending a demonstration in response to the IDF boarding international aid ships bound for Gaza, killing 9 civilians.

21 July 2010

The Sands've Turn'd Purple

Flatstock 26 has come and gone. To the left is Dan from Landland with friend, Mark. I took this picture just after the three of us had to scramble to put the front cover on our tent when some heavy winds and rain struck on Sunday morning. Luckily, the rain did not last long.
Despite nearly unbearable heat; this weekend was filled to the brim with conversation, laughs, meeting/seeing many awesome people, talking shop, print trades, and vegan ice cream cones (my total by Sunday was nine).
It was excellent getting to show right next door to Landland, as I am a huge admirer of the work they do. I managed to get that empty swimming pool print (upper right in the photo, entitled "Summer Ghosts/Winter Pool Party") from Dan in a trade. The print is absolutely beautiful, and it reminds me of skateboarding.
I rounded off the weekend by seeing Cap'n Jazz play a reunion set at the Bottom Lounge with Dan and Mark. It was one of the best shows I've seen in quite a while.
A photographer from Chicago Magazine came by and took pictures of all the Chicago poster artists at this year's Flatstock. Check it out.

16 July 2010

Flatstock 26!

Oh hi! I've just returned from Cantankerous Hellfighter, a collaborative art show between Chicago's Delicious Design League and Aesthetic Apparatus (Minneapolis), and let me just say it's quite awesome. Like, big time awesome.
Speaking of awesome, Flatstock 26 begins tomorrow (July 16th) at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. Come say hello.

I'll also be trying to keep track of how many vegan ice cream cones I eat over the course of the weekend. I'll post the final figure Sunday evening.

08 July 2010

Monoprints! Flatstock! Et Cetera!!

I just put a few mono prints up for sale in the gigposters.com classified section. These are one of a kind prints that are kept around my shop to test screens and check registration before starting a run. They're always a unique and fun record of what was being printed in a given time. This particular print (picture to the right) has elements from my print in the Crazy4Cult show at 1988 Gallery, a tour poster for Make Do And Mend, and some screens from a not-yet-finished art print.
As always, each print will come with a drawing or sketch or some bonus posters/prints.

So there's all kinds of Flatstock madness descending on various parts of the globe. This weekend is Flatstock 25 in San Francisco (which I will regrettably not be attending), Flatstock 26 in Chicago, Flatstock 27 in Seattle, and Flatstock Europe 5. You can keep track of all this awesomeness on the brand new FLATSTOCK BLOG.

I hope you're all doing well. I'm in the midst of a day filled with sketching, printing, and painting. Still so much to do! And there are all kinds of other fun things in the works, so as always, I hope you'll stay tuned.

06 July 2010

All I ever wanted was to be your spine

I set up a new skateboard deck on Saturday. A lot of factors are used when selecting a deck; size, shape, brand/prior experience with said brand, and of course, the artwork. To many people on the outside, the fact that art even exists on skateboards seems frivolous at best, given the fact that they're inherently doomed to be intentionally scraped against curbs, rails, benches, and coping. To someone like me, a skateboard deck is one of the finest examples of constantly changing functional art. It is created to be destroyed.
Some of my fondest grade school memories involve me and friends consumed by pages of mail order catalogs as we made our respective efforts to select the perfect board. I used to study each scratch, smudge, and nick in the paint of a new deck as I used it. Even fourteen years later, I am still taken with the beautiful effect that first lipslide will have on a previously unscathed skateboard graphic.

Sorry for the lack of updates and print releases. I have been incredibly occupied with creating work for my upcoming show at Fillintheblank Gallery in Chicago. There's a whole slough of other fun stuff up ahead:

- Collaborative print with Gina Kelly (Weathermaker Press) for Screens N Spokes
- Flatstock 26 in Chicago, Flatstock 27 in Seattle, and Flatstock Europe 5 (American Poster Institute/Flatstock)
- An art show at My Addiction Gallery in Tucson, AZ

Also, I have work in a couple of group shows that will be opening this week:
- Mini Print Show at Leia Bell's Signed & Numbered Gallery in Salt Lake City on July 11th
- Crazy4Cult print show at Gallery 1988 in San Francisco on July 9th

20 June 2010

Op ed

"Hey, look at me! I'm a [Republican or Democrat] member of Congress. I like to publicly interrogate the CEO of BP about its safety and environmental record even though it was my pushes for deregulation that helped cause this crisis. I have to apologize if the irony is lost on me, however; I'll be too busy furiously masturbating to my signed 8x10 photograph of Milton Friedman."

13 June 2010

I know I used to listen to a lot of ska, but I really don't like bowling.

Painting was always something I avoided while in undergrad. By the last two years of my college career, I couldn't create anything without some kind of outline. In the past year or so, I've become more comfortable with using a brush for ink drawing. I began to experiment with paint again when I was privately commissed for a couple of pieces.
For a recent commission, I decided to just dive in and try to do the whole thing in oil paint. I'd never used oils before, so this painting took me longer than it should have, mostly because I needed some time figuring out how to work with oils and to understand the medium. So without futher ado (but please do excuse the poor photo quality), here is my modest first attempt with oil.

An Expedition For Momentum, 16x20", oil on panel, 2010.

09 June 2010

Between a bike, a skateboard, and a machine gun; the machine gun is the safest choice.

I got back to Illinois last week following a two-week tour through eastern Canada with my friend's band. Many good times were had; we swam in five different bodies of water, played a lot of good shows, played a few not-so-good shows, ate a lot of cereal, slept in vans, slept on couches, developed bizarre inside jokes, met some great people, listened to a ton of Chumbawamba (seriously), fed cows, made new friends, and didn't see any moose.

I'm already hard at work on some art prints, as well as some new paintings for my show at Fillintheblank Gallery in August. To the left are some films for a new art print, which is based on a sketch I made in the van two weeks ago.

Sorry for the lack of updates here. I do, however, have one more item of possible interest:

Summer Mystery Tubes
Each tube will contain (at least): Three posters and/or art prints
, one slightly imperfect print, one uniquely hand-manipulated print OR a test print, and one original drawing or sketch.
Not bad, eh? But there are only 15 available! Check it out.

27 May 2010

The Curry is but a Metaphor

To the left is the Gummi House in Moncton, New Brunswick. We played our second Martimes show here with a bunch of great local bands who cooked veggie burgers and veggie dogs for us, as well as let us sleep on their couches. This was the only house show on the tour, so we made it count. It was one of our tightest performances so far. We also played in our underwear due to the intense heat accumulating in the house (and because it was funny).
This drawing was my little gift to our new friends in Moncton for having us play, letting me use their shower, and giving us couches to sleep on.
The next day, we ate at an excellent vegetarian restaurant and swam in the Atlantic Ocean before heading to the next show. It was really cold, but seeing a bunch of jellyfish, sand dollars, and hermit crabs was totally worth it.
The show in Halifax was more or less canceled, but I got to skate at a pretty rad spot and managed to buy a couple of Superchunk CDs from a used record store.
Yesterday, we were off and managed to make the drive from Halifax to Quebec City (which is no small feat in an Econoline full of four tired guys and a good thousand pounds of equipment). We made a few detours; stopping to see and feed some cows in New Brunswick, another quick swimming stop, and eating sandwiches at a Quizno's at which the employees traded us a sandwich for a CD and then (hilariously) requested autographs, even though they had never heard the band.
Tonight, we're in Quebec City. Two more shows to go after tonight, and then I'll be playing one last Montreal show with these guys. Then I've got to get back to Illinois and back to work. I can't wait!

19 May 2010


Upon arrival in downtown Ottawa, before we could even put the van into park, we were given a handwritten note from a man claiming they were "words for the future." It reads:
Iron man
at Salvation army shelters, they trying to kill him, he need civil support

The band we're on tour with received a similar and equally cryptic message:

Iron man at Salvation army ready to be kill, it is hepocracy

Just thought I'd help spread the word. You know, for the future.

18 May 2010

Never trust a man what's made of gas

We are in Peterborough, Ontario tonight. We just played at a small venue that has put us up for the night in a room on the above floor. The room is fitted with several beds, comfortable couches, and (awesomely) an original Nintendo. I think we have experienced more hospitality in the past two days than any of us expected. We spent the afternoon checking out the town, playing Super Mario 3, and eating a bunch food we bought at a nearby grocery store.

At yesterday's show, we managed to get a bunch of people to hula hoop for an entire song (the venue had a bunch of hula hoops for some reason). Tonight, we performed a twenty-second song that my friend Franck wrote using words from the window of a payday and loan place two doors from the venue. He insisted on playing it between songs tonight. Awesome.

16 May 2010

Sailboats, hummus, and forty-five dollar bills

Today is technically day three of the tour, although we didn't officially leave Montreal until yesterday (which was technically day two) due to some van troubles. We played last night in Toronto, and today's show was in Hamilton, ON. Today was one of those shows where everything that could have gone right did. The promoter actually prepared a ton of delicious vegan food for our band (since three out of four of us "swing that way," so to speak), including banana bread, sandwiches, and bean salad. Hamilton is a beautiful town, and we played with a ton of great bands.
Tonight, we're staying with some friends outside of Toronto, and we're off to Peterborough, ON tomorrow. I've taken to making a sketch/drawing for each city we play. I'll post a few of those when I can.
I'm still looking forward to getting back to work. The funny thing is that about eight years ago, I wanted nothing more than to be touring full time. This is a nice change of pace, but my place is at the light table cutting films and in my studio.

13 May 2010


Greetings from Montreal! I'm back in Montreal for a few days, staying with my friend, Phil. Before I moved back to Illinois at the end of last year, I promised my friends that I would fill in for their drummer on their spring tour through part of Canada. Well, that time has come, so once again, I made the drive from Illinois to downtown Montreal. We went over a bunch of songs last night, and we're playing the first show tomorrow night. This trip will take us to various cities in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. I'm especially excited about heading out east, as I've never been to the Maritime provinces.
Of course, I've only been out of town for two days, and I am already itching to get back to work when I get home at the end of the month. I have lots of new stuff to work on in preparation for Flatstock 26 in Chicago, as well as an exhibition in August at {fillintheblank} Gallery.

Stay tuned for updates from the road!

29 April 2010

You're a master of Karate and friendship for everyone

Hello, all. I hope this blog update finds you well. My sore arms and I are enjoying an open window and some chocolate soy milk after a whole lot of printing. I'm currently working on an art print diptych. I will be printing the eleventh screen tomorrow, and I anticipate a twelfth. Maybe a thirteenth, as well, despite objection from my wrists.
This year, I have received some emails from people inquiring about the process by which I make screen prints.
There's really no right or wrong way to make art, of course. The techniques of people I know range from photo based images meticulously separated in Photoshop, to CMYK with spot colors, to cutting every film from rubylith, to inking films and scratching at them subtractively.
I'm a staunchly analogue screen printer, meaning I do not use a computer to create any of my films or color separations. A big part of it is personal preference. I like to be able to touch and manipulate each film with my hands; that way I feel as though I know exactly what I'm getting.

I am always happy to answer any questions I receive, but in case anyone else was wondering about the process of screen printing, I posted some process pictures on gigposters.com. Check it out!
While you're there, be sure to look at all the other process threads, too. I personally can't get enough of them.

26 April 2010

Check out I Paint My Mind

My friend Evan recently launched a brand new (non-profit) version of his web magazine, I Paint My Mind. The online publication focuses on arts and culture; with exclusive interviews, features, art advocacy, articles, and more.
The site looks awesome. Check it out:


19 April 2010

Learned to surf

I'm unwinding after a long day of film preparation and printing. I just finished printing some posters that I will be getting trimmed down tomorrow (my first ever full bleed poster). Then I've got to sign them and bring them to the venue! I'm looking forward to resuming work on a diptych art print tomorrow. I'll be attempting to print the diptych on single sheets of paper and cutting them in half at the end of the run. The challenge will be planning each color to work for both compositions (split fountains will come in handy here). I hope to have these finished and available before the end of the week, but definitely early next week.

And just for fun, below is a picture of my roommate's dog, Radar. I took a frisbee break with her in between colors this morning. It's been her favorite toy lately.
Radar is a Chesapeake Bay retriever and is easily one of the most bizarre dogs I have ever met. I don't think you can find a dog who likes kale and lettuce as much as she does. Chesapeake Bays are a very high energy breed, and I think if she had her way, she'd put in at least six hours a day chasing sticks, frisbees, and tennis balls around the yard.

04 April 2010

Climbing the ladder

I've been working on inking drawings with a brush. I got a brush pen about a year and a half ago, and I still really like it. But lately, the Lowell Cornell #6 has been my weapon of choice. I'm enjoying the variation of line weight and control I'm able to get with it. Like pretty much anything else, improvement has come with consistently trying to work this way. I've sort of been easing into inking with a brush. Sometimes I will just do parts of a drawing with a brush and then go in with pen for most of the details. I really like the idea of completing a drawing entirely with one or two brushes, though. To the left is a drawing I did for the band Made To Mend to use as a logo. This was done with my trusty Lowell Cornell #6, as was the art for the Flaming Tsunamis poster below (save for lettering, which I did with the Pentel brush pen and a fine point Sharpie).

Just a quick disclaimer: The tortured phrase, "in this economy" will be used in this next paragraph. I apologize in advance.

I had a friend tell me that if you can make money off art in this economy, you'll be doing even better when things bounce back. For about a year now, I have been paying my bills by working full time doing illustration, studio art, and screen printed posters. Being able to (or rather to have to) work on art every day has been an excellent means for sharpening some of my own abilities. I have a lot more progress I would like to make, but I'm quite happy with much of the recent work I've produced, and that feels really good.
I usually tell people that I'm not opposed to getting a part time job if it ever comes to that, and it certainly might one day. My concern has always been that my productivity and prolificacy would suffer if I had to spend 20 or 30 hours a week doing something else. I know people who have made it work quite successfully, so I do know it's possible, though. My original plan was to go to grad school and earn an MFA so I could teach studio art in universities. This is something I still intend to do, but probably not any time soon. For now, I'm not terribly worried. I just keep reminding myself that I'm still very much on the climb.

26 March 2010

New Monoprints Available

Well, hello! It's a beautiful Friday afternoon, and I'm about to head over to the post office (lots of stuff to ship today). I've got a couple of posters to work on this weekend, so I can be ready to print them next week. Meanwhile, I've got sketches for art prints piling up, as well as an oil painting to work on. Also, my trusty skateboard has been giving me that look lately. She's all, "Justin, the sun's out. You know you want to go skate today." Yeah, I suppose you have a point there. If only it were 1998 and I had time to skate every day, instead of 1-3 times a week.

Anyway, I recently put some mono prints up in the gigposters.com classified section. As always, they're one-of-a-kind prints that result from using single sheets to test out screens from various posters/art pieces. I always include a free drawing or sketch with these, too. I've been keeping track of them; each mono print I release is assigned a number.
Here's #14, #15, and #16.

25 March 2010

Family Matters

The other week, my brother came by to rack prints as I printed posters for a show of his. He recently recorded a full length album, and this was the record release show. Here's a picture of him holding up the finished product in my studio.
My brother and I got into punk rock together. He began playing guitar in 1995 or 1996, and I started playing drums shortly after. I have fond memories of him dragging his combo amp into my bedroom to play Screeching Weasel songs when we were in middle school. My poor parents. Although, my mom did once tell me that she liked the song, "Veronica Hates Me."
Over the years, my brother's songwriting has deviated greatly from the traditional punk sound, but I would argue that there is a still evidence of his roots in the music he makes.
Garret's new album is excellent. Check his music out here. He's out on the road this week playing some shows with our friend Mike, who also recently recorded some solo stuff.

03 March 2010

A Chicago poster art exhibition!

Well, hello! Local screen printing hero, Steve Walters recently curated a screen printed poster show as part of this year's CIMM Fest. I will have a bunch of recent work on display, and the show will feature work from many of my local friends, who double as amazing artists and printers; including Dan Macadam (Crosshair), Dan Grzeca, Josh Davis, Kill Hatsumomo Prints, Kathleen Judge, Keith Herzik, Ryan Duggan, and Steve W. It opens tomorrow, as in Thursday, March 4th at 7PM at St. Paul's Cultural Center (2215 W. North Ave. Chicago, IL).
I'm very excited to be a part of this. Come say hi!

Also, check out some cool stuff other friends of mine are doing:
Visible Headphones
Weird Baby

15 February 2010

Where some people might know your name

Happy Monday, all. I hope you're doing well. I just finished packing up some mailing tubes and am now enjoying a rootbeer and an episode of Cheers. I'm also shipping a stack of prints to Gallery 1988 for a sports themed poster show. Check it:I'm excited to be showing work alongside many talented and personally admired artists in the poster art world. I chose to depict "Calvinball," which of course is the fictitious sport invented by the characters in Calvin and Hobbes. Which of course is the greatest comic strip ever published.

New art prints and posters on the way, including one for the excellent Appleseed Cast. I'm entertaining the idea of doing a run of giclee prints from a water color/ink drawing or two. I'm curious as to whether or not there would be any interest in something like that. Feel free to let me know.

27 January 2010

2010 Subscription/Haiti Relief

I'm all caught up on record keeping (ha, wish I could say the same for bookkeeping), and it turns out there is ONE spot left for the 2010 print subscription. I would like to fill this space, particularly since I've decided to donate all proceeds from this spot (save for postage, $50 US/$80 INT'L) to Partners In Health to assist in Haiti relief efforts. That means you and I would be making at least a $375 donation. Maybe consider going in on the sub with a person or two. Or just get it yourself and keep all the prints. Or gift them. Or make huge card houses out of them! Let's do this.

Contact me with any questions.

2010 Print Subscription
Partners In Health

23 January 2010

My new friend

Hi. This is Hornet. Hornet is a retired racing greyhound that I will be fostering for the next week until he goes to his permanent home. Greyhounds understand very little about a normal home life. When they leave the racetrack, they have to adjust to things that most dogs have already mastered from a young age. For example, it is common for greyhounds to be unfamiliar with (and even nervous about) ascending or descending stairs. They don't initially understand the concept of playing, as they simply have not lived the life of an ordinary dog. The job of a foster caretaker is help begin the process of socialization, as well as observe and report on behavioral patterns in the dog. I picked him up in Wisconsin this afternoon and have been spending time with him, letting him explore/adjust. He's had a pretty busy day so far and is fast asleep on the floor next to me as I type this.


12 January 2010

Let's paint, exercise, and print posters!

Hello! Sorry for the lack of updates here and on my site. I've been spending a lot of time in my new studio working on art prints and gig posters (a few for Chicago's Abbey Pub, as well as one for a Dinosaur Jr. show).
I've got lots of new stuff on the way, including new posters and art prints that will be for sale very shortly. I will be showing work alongside many other screen printers in a group show at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles.
In other news, I'm taking a cue from my pals Diana and Jay and working on fostering a retired racing greyhound for a short time this year. I hope to have more on that soon!