Prints on Wood Blog

  • Chopping Block: Greg "Craola" Simkins

    This week, we release our first print with Greg "Craola" Simkins, called "Still I'm Grateful", a partnership we are really excited about!  A few days ago we were able to catch up with the California native to find out more about his creative process, musical influences, and latest project, a stop motion animation film!

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    POW: When I first look at your art, I become lost in the different directions and characters of the piece, but at the same time it pulls me in deeper where I find a connection that would have otherwise been missed.  How do you go about creating such surreal pieces of art?

    Craola: I start with an element, a bird, an old couch, a book. I then look through my sketchbook at all the places my mind has been going. I keep a pretty current sketchbook full of notes and thumbnail drawings of ideas that I want to paint. I flip through the book and look for the most interesting content and then start adding them together in the attempt of composing a dynamic image filled with outlandish things that wouldn't really exist together. To say that I 100% know what I am doing when designing the next piece to paint is a lie. What I do know is that there is a place where these things exist, and there is a story unfolding, I am just creating the next snapshot in that place trying to capture everything that is going on. I call that place "The Outside" and I attempt to escape to it every time I paint. Most recently, the 8'x6' piece "Good Knight" had me locked in that world for many months. It was hard putting down the brush and leaving it when it was done. I need to do more pieces like that. It's where I can truly get lost.

    Screen shot 2014-10-17 at 11.53.18 AMGood Knight by Craola

    POW: I was looking around and stumbled upon your “Be Street” play list, which I was jamming out to by the way! Such a diverse mix of genres. Does music affect your art in a way or is it just a means to escape while working?

    Craola: A lot of pieces and ideas have jumped from the lyrics of musical artists. I look at all the mixed mash of genres as a historical timeline of growing up. The more classical, Jazz, big band, oldies stuff is what my parents and Grandparents would listen too when I was young. I have great memories of listening to my Grandpa sing Perry Como songs. The kids songs and folks songs are from the old cartoons I enjoyed as a kid and still do. The old hip hop was from my obsession with late 80's and early 90's rap. From there on I was deeply influenced with Punk rock and most my life was spent seeing shows and being involved with bands and had my toe in that world out here in the South Bay of Los Angeles. I designed show fliers, band merch and album covers for many of the bands that came out of our area. I was always into rock bands like the Cure, the Smiths, Nirvana, Violent Femmes, Sonic Youth, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles and anything that they influenced as well so I guess you can say I am completely all over the place with my musical interests. There is too much good stuff to listen to to lock yourself to one genre because you are trying to identify yourself with a subculture.

    unnamed-4Still I'm Grateful by Craola

    POW: You recently made a stop motion animation film titled “I’M SCARED”. Can you tell us a little bit more about the movie? Where can we view it?

    Craola: We are actually still working on the Short and it is about to go to animation. The sets, puppets and props are all finished and I am excited to see what will become of this little piece of film we are making. The team involved has all been top notch and I am beyond humbled and appreciative of all there hard work.

    POW: Personally, I am in love with your graffiti work above all your other stuff, but that is just my personal taste. Is your creative process different for each medium? (Paintings, Illustrations, Graffiti)

    Craola: Definitely. My approach changes for each medium, but especially with my graffiti work. If I am doing letters, I really don't need a sketch, Although I do them and bring one to the wall, I generally just start with the 'R' or the 'A' and then throw the sketch away and try to make the piece flow with the wall. It is good that all these outlets fulfill a different need. It's like an itch that needs scratching. When I am painting a canvas, I want to paint a wall, When I am painting a wall, I want to ink some cartoon inspired tattoo flash, when I am doing that, I want to do some finely rendered pencil or charcoal drawings, and when I am doing that, I want to design logos and vector art in the computer. Each is satisfying in a different way but comes together in the end under the envelope of this same world I like to create.

    Screen shot 2014-10-17 at 11.55.56 AMSafe Haven by Craola

    POW: You mention in your bio that you were inspired by Hawaii’s pristine natural settings to create several of your worlds, so to speak. What other locations do you channel through your art?

    Craola: It's funny, that last trip to Hawaii made sense of a lot of what I do. It's all about habitats and the creatures who live there. But I want those creatures to journey into other places. Places that I haven't even been. Maybe it's my own desire to travel and see the world more. I definitely have the ocean town I live in when I create, even when you down't see the water, its just out in the periphery. Forests and cliff sides, caves and wells, trees and open places. That's where my head goes whether its not always conveyed.

    CRAOLA_mural_GraphaidsCulverCity1Craola's mural outside Graphaids in Culver City

    POW: Out of all the murals you have done, do you have a favorite? Where are some of the places I could go to see one of your murals?

    Craola: I don't think I have a favorite. I always enjoy the time spent with my friends at each wall so it is hard to choose one. Anytime I get to paint with Dabs Myla and Witnes is a good time and this last wall we did together in Long Beach was a lot of fun. I just painted a wall on Washington near USC with my WAI & CBS crew members and that was a lot of fun. Painting walls has taken me to some interesting places. All up and down the coast to every corner of California, some pretty shady spots in the earlier years before marriage and kids, spots that we weren't always sure we would get out of intact. To some invitations to  great locations like Miami art Basel and similar. The furthest I have gone was to Croatia for a graffiti Jam a few years ago. It is a highlight for me as I got to hang out with many graffiti artists who I have respected for many years growing up and beyond stoked to have gotten to paint with Sub and Ces, two of my all time heroes in the scene. I have become great friends with Sub and have learned a lot from his vast knowledge of all types of art. He is the true multi-talented renaissance man in this art world of ours, go look at his work or just google Tony Curanaj. Your mind will be blown. If you want to see some local walls, I have a few running around Los Angeles and Orange County. A new large one is on the side of Graphaids in Culver City which I am stoked on especially since they are my favorite art store by far. Go check it out and dip inside and get some supplies, they have everything!

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    For more information on Greg "Craola" Simkins, please visit http://www.imscared.com/

  • App Review: Giant Square

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    A question that comes up every so often is: "How do I split my photo into three different wood prints?"  We do not currently offer an option for creating a tryptic wood print from one image but we did find an app that promises to split your photo into multiple images with ease.  Giant Square can not only cut up your image, but can create picture collages and creates custom banner images for your Facebook and Twitter cover photos.

    An important note, although the app itself is free, in-app purchases are required in order to remove photo watermarks. I recommend doing this before starting on your project or you will end up with a "Created with GIANT SQUARE" in large beautiful letters on your photo.

    When you open the app the first screen is very plane and to the point showing three social media icons, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. At the bottom is is two icons, one is the app message board and the other shows examples and helpful tips.

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    I clicked on the first icon, Facebook.  This took me to a screen with two options, Giant Cover and Collage Cover.  These options allow you to customize your Facebook cover photo.  Pretty cool too, but not what I am looking for right now.

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    Under the Instagram and Twitter icon, you’ll find a “Giant Square” option and a “Collage” option.  I chose the “Giant Square” option under the Instagram icon and got to work.

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    Once I chose "Giant Square", I was taken to a screen full of little squares. From here on, all you have to do is choose the number of squares you want to appear (you’ll notice the check marks turn green).

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    I went with a cross like design and headed to my camera roll by choosing the stacked photos icon at the bottom left hand corner.  The middle camera icon would have opened up the camera and the "“X” on the bottom right corner allows you to delete a square if needed.  I picked a photo from one of my favorite beaches.  Once the image in placed inside your design, you can scale it to fit your needs.

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    On the top of the screen, a little block says "1 of 3." If selected this will number the blocks 1 of 5, 2 of 5, 3 of 5.. and so on.  This will stay on the image when saved to the camera roll.  I choose not to include it in my pictures.  The "?" next to it goes to a quick tutorial and examples page.  It included very helpful information laid out in a simple, straight forward way.

    I selected the “Export” button at the top right corner which saved the 5 square images to my Camera Roll!  In my camera roll, the photo is now cut into 5 different squares, which is exactly what we wanted to do here.

    Next I uploaded each image as an individual print and ordered five 6x6 wood prints through the Create Your Own page.

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    They turned out pretty good, my only complaint is the resolution of the images were a bit low.  If you don't mind a bit of pixelation and stick with small prints, this app is a great option to create a collage of prints with one image.

    Considering this app has other great applications, the ease of navigating through the different screens, the helpful examples and tutorials, I think it deserves a rating of 3.

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    For more information on Giant Square, please visit: http://thegiantsquare.com/

  • Chopping Block: Pako Pablos

    For this week's artist interview, we grouped up with Mexican artist Pako Pablos, who is internationally known for his detailed and culturally driven portraits of high profile celebrities. We talked about his surprising beginnings as a basketball player, what inspires him, and his charity work.

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    POW: You grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico where you participated in several interests such as playing basketball for the Mexican national team and even runway modeling. What was your motivation for finally deciding on art as your lifelong career?

    Pako: Though I’ve been interested in art since my childhood, I’ve always thought that you should use all the tools that you have, so I guess that’s what I was doing back then -  testing my skills and gifts and seeing how I could best use them.  I’m 6’7”, and being that tall helped a lot in both basketball and modeling, but after a while I realized my real passion would always be art, so that’s what I started to focus on and eventually dedicated myself to developing my skills and finding my style.

    POW: You’re known for your extensive work of celebrity portraits. Which portrait was your favorite to work on?

    Pako: All of my pieces have been a favorite at one time or another and all of them are an extension of myself.  Until recently, the Walter White portrait stuck with me most.  I think its depth and dimension makes it really appealing.  But now that I’ve completed the third portrait in the “tech giants” series, I’m really loving it.  The OG Jobs is probably my favorite because it feels like I was able to capture a truer element of who he was by representing him as an original gansta.

    Screen shot 2014-10-13 at 11.03.47 AMWalter White by Pako Pablos

    POW: At what age did you become aware of your artistic abilities? Did you ever receive formal artistic training or are you completely self-taught?

    Pako: I’ve had a pencil in my hand since I can remember.  I was always getting into trouble for drawing cartoons of the teachers when I was a kid in school.  In high school, I started working on little projects like comic characters and then started to experiment with different mediums like acrylics and pastels, even some digital artwork.  I then went to college and received my degree in fine art and graphic design, which is where I got my more formal training, which helped me to smooth out my rough edges and understand artistry and technique better.

    POW: Your bio states that you are now living and working in La Jolla, CA, with a studio overlooking La Jolla Cove. With such a beautiful backdrop do you find it hard to focus on painting or does it inspire you to paint more often?

    Pako: Funny you ask that - I just recently left La Jolla and that that was one of the reasons I had to go.  I’m the type of artist who likes to “feel” what I’m doing and I need to get lost in the process.  With so much traffic and the crowds of people there – not to mention the noisy seals and sea lions just outside the door - it was kind of hard to get my groove going.  Now I’ve got a home on top of a mountain in the California desert just outside of San Diego with a great view, beautiful sunsets and a lot of quiet.  I also have a show room and much larger studio space, which lets me focus 100% on the pieces I’m doing.  Loving it there so far.

    Screen shot 2014-10-13 at 11.04.13 AMModern Day Miracles by Pako Pablos

    POW: You’ve worked with several organizations that provide the means for children in the U.S and Mexico to pursue their artistic ventures and educations. Can you tell us a little bit more about these charities and what they mean to you as an artist?

    Pako: I’ve worked with a variety of organizations, particularly in Mexico to help promote the arts with young people and with developing artists.  One of the reasons I came to the US was because of the limited opportunity for growth and exposure for artists south of the boarder.  It took sacrifice and hard work, but I feel so fortunate to have achieved a level of success here that I want to share it with others.  Let them know anything is possible and that there is someone out there who will support their efforts and look out for them.

    That’s one of the reasons I moved to the mountains, too.  The property I just bought includes 10 acres and it’s my intention to develop part of the land into an artistic retreat.  My goal is to create an inspirational place for select artists to come stay and work for a few weeks or months. I am working on the logistics of sponsoring emerging artists who are visiting the US and who may not normally have the chance or the space to produce works here.

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    OG Jobs by Pako Pablos

    POW: Your take on Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs are awesome!  They are in fact the “Original Ganster’s” of the tech industry. How did you come up with the idea for these pieces?

    Pako: Well…I’d done a number of portraits of ganstas and rappers previously.  When I saw a documentary about Steve Jobs and found that he was ruthless and scary to the people around him, it struck me that he was just another gansta. No black sweater could hide that!  So I decided to merge the two genres and see what came up and the OG Jobs piece is the result.  After that piece, I thought to myself that he wasn’t the only one, so started to look at Bill Gates, then Mark Zuckerberg and found that they had similar reputations – single minded and ruthless, focused only on getting the job done no matter what it cost them or others. So I did portraits of them, too.

    Each is different and represents a specific aspect of the person’s character – like Jobs has a certain hard yet intimate quality about him.  Gates has a crown like the famous Notorious BIG picture, and he’s the undeniable leader in old school tech, but he doesn’t quite pull off the same “cool factor” that Jobs does.  And then there’s Zuckerberg, who may be ruthless and successful in business but is still sort of a dorky young dude.

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    For more information on Pako Pablos, visit http://pakopablos.com/

  • Peace Project helps victims of Typhoon Haiyan

    Helping people, organizations, children, education, life, survival, that is what we are called to do at our core.  Truly care for one another not with just our words but even more importantly, our actions.   A few weeks ago we visited a festival in Los Angeles doing just that, Affair of the Arts.

    Affair of the Arts produced by the Whole 9 Gallery and the Peace Project who donate a portion of the money raised at the festival to fund the construction of 200 homes for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.   A donation of $500 not only builds a house in the devastated areas of the Philippines but helps a family and community begin to rebuild their lives.

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    At the festival, the Whole 9 Gallery debuted the 2014 Peace Project art selection.  A traveling exhibit of the 100 chosen artist visions of peace from over 700 submissions.  This year the selections are printed on 12 x 12 wood prints.

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    The next stop for the traveling exhibit is in New York at the Whole 9 Gallery East located at the Landmark Arts Building on West 27th Street.  An event on Thursday, October 16th from 6 pm - 10 pm will celebrate the use of art to change lives through the joining of 500 artists from 30 countries on 6 continents with one message of peace.

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    If you don't happen to be in New York, you can still participate, each piece is available for sale through The Whole 9 online gallery "Peace Shop" priced at $100 each.

    To find out more information about the Peace Project or how you can help build a house for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, please visit: http://www.thepeaceproject.com/

  • A weekend at Baby Tattooville

    What is Baby Tattooville??  I pondered this question myself for many years, 7 years in fact.  But this weekend, during the 8th annual Baby Tattooville, we not only found out what it was, we were lucky enough to experience it.   Unlike the name sounds, it was not a convention about babies with tattoos, it was an immersion into the pop-surrealist art world with twelve of the top pop-surrealist artists in the world.

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    Created, produced and curated by Bob Self of Baby Tattoo Books (sound familiar?) and his crew of miracle working staff, Baby Tattooville is a one of kind experience for a small group of art collectors and fans.  Limited to 40 tickets, set in the historic and enchanted Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside, CA over a three day weekend, the event uncovers the magical process of creating all types of art right before your eyes.

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    Each of the twelve artists produce a unique "gift" for each of the attendees that is included in a gift bag received the final day of the event.  We were select by Brandi Milne to create a special print on wood of her piece titled "Autsch" from her recent show at the Corey Helford Gallery.  This limited edition, signed print is only available to the attendees of Baby Tattooville 2014.

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    Tara McPherson hand silk screened a new print for each attendee with help from Andy at Diesel Fuel Prints who flew down his silk screen equipment from Portland.

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    Other artists created original pieces for each attendee, such as Jeff Soto who created 40 individual 3"x3" sketches and Joe Sorren who created 40 painting sketches.

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    While the days were filled with painting, silk screening and sketching, the night was filled with food, giant margaritas and great conversation.   With busy schedules it is rare to get a few hours to chat and catch up, but at Baby Tattooville, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to share a few laughs together over dinner.

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    The real miracle of the event is the transformation of a blank canvas on Friday afternoon to a completed masterpiece by Saturday at 10:00 pm.  The first brush of paint on the blank canvas begins the art jam on Friday afternoon.

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    From that point all twelve of the attending artists collaborate together over the next 36 hours to create a final work of art.  This culminates at the final art jam Saturday night where in the last hour each artists squeezes in to make their final touches on the piece.

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    Once the clock strikes 10:00 pm, the painting is whisked away to be photographed then on to Prints on Wood.  We then print 75 copies of the final art jam piece that arrive back at the Mission Inn Sunday morning just before Sunday bunch is finished.  Each artist then signs the prints and each attendee goes home with a piece of history they watched unfold before their eyes.  The magic and memories of the event sealed in the characters and aspects of the final Baby Tattooville 2014 Art Jam print.

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    If you want to be apart of Baby Tattooville, you will have one last chance.  Bob Self announced Baby Tattooville 2015 will be the last but also the biggest, most bizarre one to date.  With the artists he has already confirmed to the 2015 event, it will surely be one not to miss!  The artist roster includes: Mark Ryden, Marion Peck, Camille Rose Garcia to name a few, while the tickets are $2500 each, with that line up, they will surely not last.

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    For more information on Baby Tattooville please visit:  http://www.babytattooville.com/

  • app review: Line Camera

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    Line Camera is an interesting app. Think a decent photo editing app interspersed with odd looking cartoon animals offering various tips. Actually, Line Camera is one of those catch-all photo apps that lets you take great pictures or edit the ones you already have. There’s a ton of great features that let you mess around with your photo to your heart’s content.... and sometimes that can be a bit too much.  Watch out for the sneaky "saturation", you may end up with a bit more color (orange) then you want when printing on wood.

    Now, I chose a picture of my lovely roommate taken with my regular iPhone camera app. What she’s posing with is the Penn State Nittany Lion, which is currently battling with the Liberty Bell as the most photographed thing in Pennsylvania. Now you know.

    Anyway, while Alex is lovely, the lighting is not, so the first thing I’m going to do is to brighten the picture a little, and while I’m there, I always end up messing around with the saturation and contrast.  Beware of adding too much saturation, this is where your photo on wood can go a bit sideways!   Too much saturation adds an orange tint to the photo which is accentuated when printing on wood.

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    Next, I flipped through some of the token photo retouching options, like smoothing, cropping, etc. before finding this.

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    Well then. That’s. . . straightforward. Now, I didn’t use these (didn’t need to!) but if you do, then be careful. The person you’re fixing does not want to look like a clown (or Betty Boop.) Resist the temptation.

    There’s plenty of great filters on this app, which I did use, and then that’s pretty much it for the free portion of the app. One of the things that this app offers that many other editing apps don’t is the option to add frames, text, paint, or clip art things to the edited photo. Adding text and paint are free (again, NO CLOWNS) but many of the frames are in app purchases. My photo didn’t need any of that, but there are some pretty cool options should you choose to use them.

    Which leaves the finished product:

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    You know, I like this app. It’s got some really good editing features, some of which I only scratched the surface of. Though larger and perhaps a little clunkier than some other similar apps, Line Camera has more options for customization, especially for a free app.

    Overall, I’d give this app a 3 out of 4.

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    Now let's check out how my photo looks printed on wood... uh oh, too much saturation!   Don't make this same mistake, be careful adding saturation to your photo, the yellow of the wood mixed with the saturation = orange skin.

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    If I would have left off the saturation, this would have printed completely different, something to keep in mind when printing skin tones on wood.  If you love the look of saturation and want to print on wood, choose Bright White finish and the image will print just as it looks on your camera or phone.

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    For more information on Line Camera please visit: http://camera.line.me/en

  • Chopping Block: Caia Koopman

    A long time personal friend and extremely talented artist, Caia Koopman is a name you may want to remember if you love art with edgy girls with tattoos.  If you haven't heard of her, you have probably seen her art and portraits of bad-ass women on your neighbor's surf board or whilst shopping at an Oakley retail store.  We catch up with the unstoppable Caia Koopman, whose illustrations of strong female characters are forces to be reckoned with.

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    POW: I gotta say, as a woman, I find your art to be very empowering. None of your subjects have that "damsel in distress" look that often accompanies women in art and other media. What is your thought process when creating your characters?

    Caia: Yes, I'm happy to hear you say that, my ladies are my spokeswomen and they bravely relay the message to the viewer. I often paint them as protectors, guardians of the birds and the bees, the flora and the fauna.

    seamonsterderric-a654d6fe66-crop-4x5.jpg.thumbnail_3Diving Buddy by Caia Koopman

    POW: Your characters are often juxtaposed with various nature elements. Is nature something that you've always used as inspiration for your art?

    Caia: Yes, I am truly inspired by nature, my pieces often incorporate the theme of our human connection with nature and the world around us, we are all connected to everything and need to work harder not to offset this balance.

    Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.31.40 PMGenus Rainbows by Caia Koopman

    POW: You grew up in Santa Cruz, CA, immersed in the punk scene which definitely translates into your work. What made you want to be become an artist?

    Caia: Actually I grew up in Livermore and went to college in Santa Cruz, and yes, immersed in the punk scene which was a lot of fun, high energy, excitement and great music. I had always been good at art so becoming an artist was something that just happened along the way. I was a math major but my calculus book mysteriously disappeared after my roommate borrowed it and I got behind in class so I switched my major to art.

    caia-koopman-liberty-16x20Liberty and Blaze by Caia Koopman

    POW: Recently, you were part of a Daft Punk inspired exhibit in San Francisco's Gauntlet Gallery. Do you think the translation between music and art is difficult to capture or was it something that came naturally?

     Caia: I hadn't attempted to incorporate the idea of music in any of my paintings before, music is one of those ubiquitous things, like air, and it hadn't occurred to me to paint it until being invited to the Daft Punk show. And then it did come naturally, music and bright colors seem to relate perfectly.

    love-crop-1x1.jpg.thumbnail_5Love by Caia Koopman

    POW: You've designed pieces for brands like Oakley and Rossignol, which are major action sport companies. Is your creative process different when it comes to designing snowboards and other active apparel versus traditional paintings?

    Caia: I love doing collaborative projects like that, working with action sports companies can be a lot of fun and seeing my painting out there in the world and on the mountain is a bit of a rush. As far as the creative process I don't have to differ much from painting for a gallery, often the company will pick something existing that has already caught their attention. Oakley really liked my little zombie voodoo doll and Rossignol seemed to be able to pull a flower or a bird off any of my paintings and make it look like it was made for that board or ski.

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    Raining Pink by Caia Koopman

    POW: We are excited to have an upcoming signed and numbered print release with you that coincides with a solo art exhibit at Distinction Gallery in San Diego, CA in October, can you tell us more about what to expect at your show and the print release of "Raining Pink"?

    Caia: I'm excited too, thank you for working with me on this! My show is almost a year in the making and there will be a lot of colorful, painterly yet detailed, sad but cheerful, and even fury, new images to sink your eyeballs into. Raining Pink is one of my favorites from the show and the print on wood looks fantastic!!

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    For more information on Caia Koopman, visit http://caiakoopman.com/

  • App Review: Diptic

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    When just one photo won't do, tell a story with 3 or 4... even 9 with a cool app from Peak Systems called Diptic.  For just under a dollar the app gives you over 165 frame options that can be customized by shape, colors, backgrounds, text and more!  Or maybe add a cool effect to one photo?  I love the look of triptych images, why not try it out with this app!  Let's see what we can do...

    The first option given when opening the app is choosing layout frames. There are several categories including "Classic", "Jumbo", "Fancy", and "Fresh". I went with a three-column triptych design because I wanted to keep things simple and neat.

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    After this you’ll be able to either choose an already existing photo or shoot a new one. I chose an already existing image and went from there. You’ll be given the option to change up several adjustments including brightness, saturation, and tone. You can also add different filters to your photos by clicking on the “Filter” menu button. I used the cross process 2 filter because it gave the picture a cool feeling.

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    A quick side note, when going through the app, tips and instructions will occasionally pop up, which was very helpful. The next option you have is the "Flip" option that will allow you to invert your pictures horizontally, vertically, or clockwise. I wanted my picture to be uniform through out so I did not do this to my design.

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    After you have customized your photo you can then move onto the "Borders" menu icon. Here you can change the thickness of your columns ("Size"), "Color", "Texture", and choose to use a "Canvas" in the background.

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    I played around with the thickness of my columns and added a texture to the frame. For the canvas option, you first have to make sure that your original frame has some roundness to it in order to be able to then place a canvas color in the background.

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    The next item is "Frames" and it’s where you’ll be able to change the spacing between each of your frames if needed. You can also change the direction of your columns if desired and slant them at an angle.

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    The next option you can play around with is "Aspect". Here you can turn your square designs into rectangles and/or landscape and portrait formats. I was satisfied with the look of my image already so I moved on to "Text".

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    Under the "Text" menu you can change the "Color", "Style", and "Font" of your writing. I was considering placing text in mine but it felt out of place, so I opted out of that option.  Once satisfied with your design, you can then hit the upper right "Publish" icon where you will then be taken to a customization and sharing screen.

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    I liked that you have the option to change the export size of the file and make it bigger or larger depending on your needs. You are also given a number of sharing options such as the usual social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr) and a really cool postcard option which allows you to turn your finished design into a postcard to then be sent anywhere in the world, very nice. I saved my photo in my camera roll and went on to the next step, the wood!

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    I really love the option of customizing my photos into a tryptic and the way it turned out on wood just added to the custom look of it. I give Diptic a score of 4.

    RATING

    It was simple, straight forward and easy to navigate.  It did't try to upsell other features, rather it exceeded my expectations for a  $.99 app!

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    For more information on Diptic please visit http://www.dipticapp.com/.

  • D*Face - Scars and Stripes

    A few months ago we released an exclusive Print on Wood with D*Face titled "Going Everywhere Fast" which sold out in 30 seconds!  The fastest release we have ever experienced.  We had no idea how serious and devoted D*Face fans and collectors were!   Well...except for those that immediately tried (and failed) to flip the prints, but that's a story for another day.

    Smashed-Lapd-Dface

    Fast forward to September 26th, the private viewing for Scars and Stripes, D*Face's premier art exhibit in the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles.  If you are not at first impressed by the mural "Your Dead to Me" on the side of the gallery, then maybe the smashed smoking LAPD car will catch you attention?  On second thought, maybe too much attention...

    Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 10.53.15 PM

    Either way, once you enter the gallery, it's hard not to be awe struct by the brightly colored characters, D*Face's nod to the master Lichtenstein, each facing death in one way or another.

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    2014-09-26 19.58.37 2014-09-27 12.37.27

    Of course we were drawn to the old school wooden desk tops that were transformed into icon images of those who died before their time.  If you look close, the desk tops are filled with grade school graffiti from years gone by, a collaboration of sorts with the unknown school aged youth.

    2014-09-26 18.52.42

    Speaking of collaborations, it was fun to catch up with Shepard and Amanda Fairey at the opening.  It was a perfectly timed break from Shepard's current international mural tour.

    FullSizeRender (1)

    With over 30 pieces on exhibit, it's hard to choose a favorite, it's definitely something to see in person if you can.  So If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area in the next few weeks, make it a point to see this show!  Open until October 12th, at a pop-up location in West Hollywood, 315 S. Robertson Blvd.

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  • Chopping Block: Bob Dob

    When we first meet Bob Dob at ComicCon this summer we instantly knew we had to figure out way to do a print on wood with him!  We immediately connected with this artwork and ended up buying his ComicCon exclusive, newest Mouseketeer Army figure from 3DRetro.  This Friday we are excited to release our first fine art wood print with Bob Dob called "California Here I Come" which first debuted at the Corey Helford group show, "Art Collector Starter Kit II" on August 30th, 2014.   In case you haven't had a chance to meet Bob, we figured we would share a quick interview we had with him a few weeks back.

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    POW: Bob, your bio states you were once studying musical theory in college but decided to switch to art after having taken drawing and painting classes. What did art do for you that music just couldn’t?

    Bob: I was playing in a Thrash/Punk band at the time and there wasn't much theory in that genre. Most of what was being taught in Music at El Camino College was theory. Now I appreciate the theory being any song or musical piece.

    San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Mouseketeer Army Vinyl Figures by Bob Dob - Mouseketeers Liberty & Devil LockMouseketeer Army figures by Bob Dob

    POW: I like that you add a dark twist to otherwise safe themes in your pieces. Is this how you view the world around you?

    Bob: I am rather morbid in my thinking, I think it's  a release for me to get it out in my artwork so I can be more positive on a daily basis. There's always a humorous spin in each work though.

    Screen shot 2014-09-19 at 1.17.19 PMCalifornia Here I Come by Bob Dob

    POW: Tell us a little bit more about your piece “California Here I Come”, which you will be releasing on wood this upcoming month. What was the inspiration for it?

    Bob: I love California. It's a very diverse state. One of my favorite TV programs was hosted by a man named Huell Howser called California Gold and the theme song for it was "California Here I Come".  I put a punker playing a Ukulele riding a Grizzly Bear which has been killed off in California but it's on our state flag.  Trying to capture the diversity.

    Screen shot 2014-09-19 at 1.22.38 PMBeer Head by Bob Dob

    POW: I really love your use of clouds as a backdrop in your art. They remind me a lot of Rene Magritte’s work. What do the clouds in your imagery represent?

    Bob: Rene Magritte has been an influence on my work, yes.  The clouds and blue skies represent hope in most of my work.  A sense that things are going to be OK.

    POW: How has your upbringing and current life in Southern California inspired your creativity?

    Bob: Growing up in Hermosa Beach is the reason I do what I do today.

    image_paint_43Where Crows Dies by Bob Dob

    POW: I notice a lot of you characters are tattooed and wearing Misfits t-shirts. Are there musical genres or even films, which influence you as an artist?

    Bob: The Misfits were a big influence on my band as well as my paintings. Chinatown, LA Confidential are movies that I enjoyed and anything James Ellroy has written.

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    Bob is a man of few words but holds great talent!  Thank you Bob for letting us pry a bit into your world.

    For more information on Bob Dob, please visit: http://www.bobdob.com/

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