Prints on Wood Blog

  • Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

    What would go better with a print on wood then a cold craft brew... ahem, uh.. I mean what would look better on a print on wood then a cold craft brew.   Thanks to Speakeasy Ales and Lagers we printed a few questionable characters and got the short story on their elusive release.

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    With humble beginnings in the foggy bay area of San Francisco and a passion for an era when tap's in America ran dry, a bold, amber ale, Prohibition Ale, paved the way for a new brand of craft beers, Speakeasy.

    Not forgetting or compromising on their commitment to small batch beers, Speakeasy released the Infamous Series beginning with Old Godfather Barley Wine Ale.

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    Reserved for the tenacious, the second release, Blind Tiger Imperial IPA, had over 10 pounds of hops added per barrel.  Don't let the sweet girl on the label fool you, she's a bit dangerous.

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    Not recommended for the faint of heart, Scarface Imperial Stout finished off this bold release.  We were just as excited to create something memorable and unique to match the craft put into brewing these Ales and Lagers.

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    While creating and designing the unique frames and prints, we had more fun then we should have, but then again, I think Speakeasy has the same problem.  Maybe that's why we worked so well together.

    Have an idea for a unique print on wood, let us know, we just might we crazy enough to try it!

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    For more information on Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, please visit: http://www.goodbeer.com/

  • App Review: Fuzel Collage

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    Have you ever wanted to make a collage of photos from your trip to the beach with friends or a fun family vacation or your favorite wedding photos BUT your not an expert at photoshop and don't want to pay someone else who is?   This week’s app review, Fuzel Collage, may just be the perfect solution!   And its not just because it has been generating a good amount of buzz on the app store. It primarily focuses on collage building, but you can also add effects, stickers, and other features to your pictures. Let’s see if lives up the hype!

    The first thing you’ll be greeted with when you open the app is an interactive page and three menu items at the bottom. The gear icon will take you to their settings page where you can rate and review the app, contact email support, etc. The bell icon on the right is simply the notifications alert icon. The icon in the middle is the one we want to focus on seeing as that’s how we are going to choose our pictures. Once you click the add button you are then taken to the photo chooser page where you can either choose an already existing photo from your camera roll or take a new one.

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    You can select as many pictures as you’d like apparently and you’ll notice the “select” ticker on the bottom right corner tell you how many photos you have chosen. I decided to go with 4 pictures I had taken on a hike to Griffith Park.

    After this you’re taken to a collage design chooser page. Automatically the app sets you up to the “simple” template chooser but there is also an animated one that you can use to add videos in your collages, a funky category with more complex layouts, and a free form category with even more options (all of these require an in-app purchase) I personally really like the minimalist approach and usually stick with that, so I chose a layout that I liked under “simple” and hit next.

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    After you have chosen a layout of your choice, you are greeted with the Edit page where you are given several options including layout, effects, frame, sticker, label, text, and fill.

    photo 5The first layout icon will allow you to play around with the foundation layout of your collage and change things like margins, spacing, and shadow. You can also adjust the thickness and roundness of your photos. I added some round effects to my margins and added some shadow for depth.

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    After which you can hit the customize icon on the far bottom right where you can then alter the shape of each of your pictures using the resize icon. I changed one of my picture’s shapes into a triangle as you can see.

    The next option is cut, which basically lets you cut your collage into more sections if needed. The last merge option will allow you to merge two pictures into just one photo using both the previous photo shape and the new one. I clicked apply once I was satisfied with the look of my collage and hit apply twice on the top right corner to confirm both the shape change and layout changes I had made.

    At this point in the design process, if you wanted to change photos and move their positions around you can do so by tapping on the photo and holding and moving it to the desired location.

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    Moving on to the effects section, this is where you can add effects to the whole collage at once or to individual photos. If you wish to add the same effect throughout, just click somewhere on the frame and all the pictures will be affected. If you want to work with specific photos at once, like I did, just click on the desired photo and you’ll notice a pink cutout line appear around the selected picture. All the effect filters are named after a geographical location to represent them, which I thought was pretty quirky. I chose Shanghai for the large picture on top, Paris for the bottom left, Santiago for the middle, and Moscow for the bottom right picture. You’ll also see that whenever you have a picture selected, a sort of transparent magic wand appears in the right middle corner of the app. This takes you to an even more in depth customization screen where you can work with lighting, color, sharpness, and vignettes. You can even flip the desired photo horizontally and vertically. All changes are made by dragging up & down, or left to right.

    Once you have made all the necessary changes, you hit apply and are once again taken to the customization home page. The next icon is the frames icon. You will need to download the free pack the app comes with, by the way. Once it’s downloaded you’re given several pretty cool looking frames. Click on the desired frame and you’re once again taken to the main page.

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    The next icon is stickers, which I never really like to place in my pictures, but to each his own. You’re given the usual options: flowers, hearts, peace sign, and some sayings.12

    If by any chance you place a sticker on your collage that you are unsatisfied with and wish to erase, just drag and drop to the trashcan that will appear on the bottom.

    Next up is the label option that allows you to place different sayings and mantras onto your collage. I went ahead and chose the first option and wrote the word California.

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    The next option is text where you can chose different fonts and styles to write out whatever wordage you like. Because I had already placed a label on my photo and don’t want to clutter it up too much, I skip adding more text to mine.

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    The final option is Fill. Here you can choose to add a color to your background. You can also choose from different patterns once you download the free pack. I chose a swirly black pattern which I thought was pretty cool and was finally able to hit done.

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    From here on you can continue to edit the collage, duplicate it, or delete it. You’ll see a share button on the top right hand corner where you can then save to device, share on Instagram, Facebook, email, Twitter, and Tumblr.

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    Overall, I give this app a rating of 4 because it was very easy to use and handled my directions very well. It did not lag and did exactly what I wanted it to. Not to mention a lot of options for a free app.

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    Now let's see how it looks printed on wood...

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    Bellissimo!

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    For more information on Fuzel Collage please visit: http://www.fuzelapp.com/

  • Chopping Block: Ursula X Young

    This week we chatted it up with painter and designer Ursula X Young, whose works have been featured in several magazines, countless album covers of dance music labels including Om records and Safe In Sound Music, and murals in Miami, Richmond and San Francisco. She gave us some insight on her world travels, inspiration, and love for electronic music.

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    POW: One thing I immediately noticed about your art was the use of the different colors that make up all of your subjects skin tones. Its never just an olive or nude color, which I found to be quite interesting! Is there a reason you paint your girls this way?

    Ursula: I like that most of the characters in my paintings can be from anywhere; I find women from all backgrounds (from South America to Eastern Europe to Asia and India) relate to the women in my paintings so they become almost multi-racial. I also really enjoy putting the paint down in textures - it becomes my meditation in the painting - where the line work and details need a lot of my attention, the mottled palette is something I can be really loose with and build up in an almost 3 dimensional way.

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    POW: I read that you are originally from Northern England and have both traveled and lived in many places, including San Francisco.  How has your world travels altered your art, if at all?

    Ursula: Yes, travel has definitely affected my work. People often ask me if the women in my paintings are people I know, and some of them are based on women I know... but so many of them are a melding of faces and people I have met along my travels to Asia, India, South and Central America. Also the backgrounds I use, whilst sometimes imaginary - and very often San Francisco inspired from my 10 years living there - are often dreamlike interpretations of distant places I have visited. 

    POW: Of all the different mediums available I notice that you seem to favor painting on wood, is there something about wood that you prefer over the other mediums?

    Ursula: I do like to paint on wood, although I am comfortable painting on other surfaces, I like that I can sometimes use wood as a background in itself. Recently I have been enjoying working with stains and other mediums on wood creating different backgrounds as a starting point for my paintings. My last solo show 'Against the Grain' at Luna Rienne Gallery in San Francisco was an entire show dedicated to finding new ways of working on wood in different mediums. It allowed me to explore much further than working on canvas or other surfaces.

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    Madame Butterfly by Ursula X Young

    POW: My favorite piece of yours in our POW collection would definitely have to be “Madame Butterfly”. Can you tell me more about your inspiration for this piece?

    Ursula: In 2007 I did an opera series as a solo show, the 5x5' Madame Butterfly painting was the star of the show, it now hangs in a home in Marin and the signed limited run giclee prints I made of it sold out pretty fast. Its nice to bring it back as one of the Prints on Wood options.

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    Dancing Like There is No Tomorrow by Ursula X Young

    POW: I read somewhere that you’ve been an avid electronic music fan since the early 90’s. What are some of your favorite artists? Has your love for this particular kind of music shaped your art in any way?

    Ursula: Yes for sure, house music and the scene surrounding it has been part of my life since I was 15 and going to raves in Northern England. I fully immersed myself in the culture whilst living in New York City and San Francisco in the 90's. The colorful, joyous, celebratory lifestyle has certainly become absorbed in the narrative of my paintings to this day. My husband is also a music producer/DJ and although our life has changed significantly since moving to the woods and having a child, we still try to keep one toe in that world and get out and dance once in awhile...

    Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 9.56.12 PMThe Celestial Gardner by Ursula X Young

    POW: I’m originally from Miami and was recently watching the video that was put together during the Few and Far art mural collaboration. What was it like working with other female artists on such a huge project? Did you take any inspiration from the city with you?

    Ursula: My work with Few and Far has been really inspiring, it's really great to be a part of an all-female art collective, there is definitely power in that. As artists, I think so much of our time is spent alone working in our studios, so I've loved being a part of the mural projects I have done with Few and Far, especially the social, collaborative side to it, that brings it outside and lets folks watch us work. It’s a very different way of working than how I work in my studio - but I have loved the new challenges that it brings up. The Miami wall was epic (and I don't use the term lightly!) we had just a few days working for hours in the blazing sun and late into the night to create that huge wall in Wynwood, and the end result was amazing - all the women on that wall are so talented, I loved the buzz of the Art Basel crowds surrounding us and all that amazing art in one place. It felt powerful being an all-female wall too. It was my first visit to Miami and I loved it so much more than I expected I would. We're already planning for this years Few and Far wall there this December.

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    For more information about Ursula X. Young, please visit: http://ursulayoung.com/

  • Strong to the Finich! A Tribute to Popeye the Sailor Man

    Anyone that is anyone in this day and age fondly remembers watching Popeye cartoons on a Saturday morning whilst having their favorite cereal. Since Popeye’s creation in 1929 by American cartoonist Elzie Crisler Segar, the sailor man himself has appeared in thousands of comic books, television shows, and video games. Not to mention his very own live action movie starring the now late and great, Robin Williams.

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    It’s no wonder POW was excited to work with artists Chogrin Munoz and Salba Combe, who along with many others, came together to collaborate on a Popeye the Sailor inspired art exhibit at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles this past Friday.

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    “Strong to the Finich! An Official Popeye Tribute Art Show: Celebrates 85 years of Popeye the Sailor Man” included art from more than 100 artists from around the world, and was curated by Chogrin himself, in collaboration with King Features Syndicate.

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    All Hands on Deck by Chogrin 

    Chogrin, who hails from Ecuador, has been a long time fan of Popeye ever since he was a child and stated that putting together a show inspired by the iconic cartoon has been dream of his for a long time.

    It was no wonder then that POW jumped at the chance to be a part of this special moment by coming to together with both Chogrin and Salba for two unforgettable prints on wood.

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    Fishing Mermaids by Salba Combe

    Chogrin’s piece, “All Heads on Deck” is a 24" x 24" wood print priced at $500 available through the Hero Complex Gallery.  Artist Salba Combe’s piece, titled  “Fishing Mermaids” is 11” X 17” and also currently available.   If you any of you are in the Los Angeles area sometime this month, the art exhibit runs through September 21st in the Hero Complex Gallery located on 2020 South Robertson Blvd, Studio D and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11AM-6M.

    For more on the Popeye Art Exhibit, visit the Hero Complex website at http://hcgart.com/

    For more on Chogrin Munoz, visit http://chogrin.tumblr.com/

  • Rookie App Review

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    This week’s app review comes courtesy of Rookie, a free photo-editing app that’s available on both iPhone and Android.  I decided to give it a try based on customer reviews on iTunes, so let’s see how it did!

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    The first thing you will see when first opening the app is the main camera screen. You will see various icons at the top including the option to turn off flash, white balance on/off, and a double arrow at the top right that switches from front and back camera. The bottom icons include the option to choose from your camera roll (bottom left) the main capture button in white, a settings gear icon that when pressed pulls up several more options including grid, anti-shake, and more and finally a color wheel that allows you to view your picture with the specific filter you choose.

    As you follow the app you’ll also notice that you may get some pop ups here and there where they advertise the in-app purchases. One of those pop-ups will also include a tutorial so feel free to use that as a reference.

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    I went ahead and chose a picture I had taken while hiking in Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside. You’ll notice the icons at the bottom changed slightly when you choose your picture.

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    The first camera icon basically allows you to take another picture and/or choose another picture when prompted. The color wheel allows you to choose between various types of filters that all pop up in nicely organized categories. You’ll notice that some of the categories are opaque, which means that they are only available if you purchase them. I chose the vintage classic category and played around with some of the filters. I particularly liked the “Turkish” filter so I stuck with that one. Once you select the filter you’ll notice a white progress bar appear at the top letting you know that the app is working. You’ll also notice a rewind arrow with a number on it at the top left and a Polaroid button at the top right. Both of these icons allow you to see your original pictures and compare them. The only difference is that the rewind arrow lets you go back between the two and work either one individually, while the Polaroid only lets you see a quick comparison of the two as you tap the icon.

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    Going back to the color wheel option, you will also see two other icons. One looks like a round checkerboard and the other a lightning bolt. The checkerboard option populates the textures menu.

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    Textures 1 through 6 are free, after which you have to pay $1.99 for the premium ones if you wish. You’ll notice you also get a slider pop up that allows you to change the opacity of the texture.

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    I chose texture #5 because it helped add a lot of color to my photograph. Once again, just click the check mark arrow at the bottom and your texture will be applied

    After this step, you can then click on the color wheel once again and you will be given the option to add different light leak effects to your photograph using the lightning bolt icon. You’ll notice the icon at the top left changes to a shuffle looking icon that allows you to change the direction of your light leak to bottom, top, left, or right. I placed mine at the top and hit the check mark.

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    At this point you are then taken back to the main menu. The next feature is the adjustments tab that when clicked will take you to another menu where you can work with various camera settings: (from left to right) cropping, rotation, clarity, brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, vibrance, color temp/tint, fade, hightlight/shadow, sharpen, and double exposure, which is the last icon.

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    What’s interesting about this last DE option is that it gives you the ability to basically ADD another one of your existing photographs to the one you are working on, which I thought was pretty neat. I chose a drawing that I had saved onto my camera roll and it was placed directly on top of my existing photo.  Within the menu you are also given several variations of exposures to work with including Lighten, Screen, Colordodge, and Lineardodge. I worked with several pictures before deciding on some trees using the lighten option. I clicked the check mark and was once again taken to the main screen.

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    The next icon available was a shooting star that populates the text, stickers, and shapes options. The text icon will bring up a keyboard where you can type whatever text you like. Stickers are always fun to play around with but because my picture is busy enough as it is, I opted out of that option.

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    Lastly the shapes option allows you to add different shapes to the picture and/or a letter/number shape. The first icon with the circle in it allows you to work with several shapes and frames, color, thickness, and roundness. I thought the Polaroid option was really cool. The other icon under that same menu allows you to place letters and numbers onto your photo. I played around with this feature but didn’t really see the point.

    At this point you can see that the top left icon now has a number 5 on it.

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    Once I click that I am shown every individual step I’ve taken in order to produce my final image. Here you can go back and choose to work on a specific step and tweak it further if needed. Awesome feature if you ask me.

    The final step would now be to upload the photo or save it to a location using the last arrow and rectangle icon.  You are given the option to save to your camera roll, open in other apps, and share on several social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I chose to save mine to my camera roll for later use.

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    I would give this app an overall rating of 4. The intuitive user interface was very easy to use. I also liked that there were a great deal of options to work with considering it's a free app. Awesome work, Rookie!  I think I may starting using this app instead of the built in iPhone camera, one less step to adding fun effects and cool features to my photos instantly.

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    Not to mention how nicely it translated as a print on wood!

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    For more information on Rookie, please visit: http://www.jellybus.com/

  • Art Happenings: Gallery Nucleus + Merry Karnowsky

    This past weekend was busy around LA area for a league of talented artists.

    A Prints on Wood favorite, Cuddly Rigor Mortis, was at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra on Saturday welcoming us to her solo art exhibit titled “Happy as Kings.”  The show was inspired by a poem titled “Happy Thought” by Robert Louis Stevenson, and features brightly drawn characters blissfully enjoying what makes them most happy.

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    "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."

    - Robert Louis Stevenson

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    King Nori by Cuddly Rigor Mortis

    You may not be able to notice from the pictures included in this article, but the amount of detail that went into creating every single one of these delightful characters was superb! Every piece is titled as “King (Name)” including “King Dunkin” and the uber cute “King of Z’s”.

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    King Dunkin by Cuddly Rigor Mortis

    If you recall last month, POW did a limited time release of Cuddly’s “Mr. Good Morning Waffle” print that was extremely popular. Well now you can catch the little waffle guy in all his glory in the “King Grand Slam” piece!

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    King Grand Slam by Cuddly Rigor Mortis

    The exhibition runs through September 21st at Gallery Nucleus located at 210 East Main St, Alhambra, CA. It’s definitely not worth missing!

    For more information on purchasing pieces from the show, please visit: http://www.gallerynucleus.com/

    On the same evening at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery, a group exhibition called “Parallel Universe” featured more amazing talent.

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    Toxic Birdie by Nathan Ota

    We ran into more Prints on Wood artists, Nathan Ota and Travis Louie, who both had two pieces in the show.

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    Tree Spirit by Travis Louie

    Travis and Nathan joined Caleb Brown, Hello O’ Monsters, Masakatsu Sashie, devNgosha, and Seonna Hongall with their incredible pieces, creating quite a crowd to see their pieces up close.

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    When we found this piece by Masakatsu Sashie, we immediately were struck by the attention to detail and interesting mixture of landscape and objects to make up an almost "Death Star" effect in his piece.

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    Oneway by Masakatsu Sashie

    A Prints on Wood piece was also at Merry Karnowsky Gallery, although it wasn't an artist print, per-say. Merry recently asked us to print her new logo on wood, "KP Projects", a custom size wood print on bright white finish.

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    “Parallel Universe” runs through October 6th, at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery located at 170 S. La Brea Avenue, LA, if your in the area, stop on in and see the pieces first hand.

    For more information about "Parallel Universe" please visit: http://www.mkgallery.com/

  • Chopping Block: Ana Bagayan

    We first meet Ana Bagayan last year at her solo show, "Children of the Sun," after hearing so much about her talent and beautiful pieces, we were excited to see them in person.  Ana was so kind and gracious in person, it was as easy to fall in love with her as much as her paintings.   After much anticipation we are looking forward to our first release with Ana this Friday, September 12th, "Nectar", a limited edition, signed and numbered timed release print on wood.

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    Ana Bagayan at her solo show "Children of the Sun

    POW: According to the bio on your website, you were born in Armenia then moved to America sometime in 1990. Did that transition of cultures play an integral part in the development of your art?  How old were you when you moved to America? Do you remember much of growing up in Armenia?

     Ana: I was about 6 when we moved to the States. One day we just packed up and left. I found out many years later it was because my family had won the Armenian green card lottery and had to decide if we wanted to leave right away or not. Right after we moved out of Armenia, in 1991, the country declared independence from the Soviet Union. However, I had brought some of my school books from Armenia with me which featured a lot of Soviet propaganda and my first solo show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery was inspired by the books, except I replaced the army with birds. I do remember a lot from when I lived there as a child and I have gone back to visit a few times since.

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    Spirit of the Wolf by Ana Bagayan

    POW: After graduating from Art Center College in Pasadena with your BFA in Illustration, did you notice a measurable difference in your illustration and art?  Can you tell us the best and worst part of attending such a highly regarded art college?

     Ana: I loved every minute that I spent at Art Center. I was 18 when I started going to school there. My family was very overprotective yet encouraging when it came to my passion so all I had was time to focus on my studies and developing my drawing and painting skills. I studied with some of the best artists and illustrators in the field and with other talented students so it was a very creative, inspiring environment to be in. I don't know if there was a worst part. I remember having so much work that I would stay up for 3 days in a row trying to get things done but I even enjoyed that part.

    POW: I was excited to see your original works at the solo show "Children of the Sun" in Culver City this past June.  Many of the pieces carried an extraterrestrial theme with alien beings and surroundings, is this a new focus of your art or do you see your art transitioning between themes past and present?

    Ana: The theme of my show was different times on Earth, past, present, and future. The paintings are all fictional, but they are largely inspired by ancient cultures like Atlantis, the Sumerians, and even ancient Armenia. I've also been researching ET/UFO phenomena, which is a huge subject by itself and I cannot help but be constantly inspired and want to make images to go with my learnings. The title of my show comes from the ancient Armenians who worshiped the Sun and were known as 'Children of the Sun." I thought it was a nice sentiment that connects everything in our solar system.

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    Sea Parade by Ana Bagayan

    POW: I read your husband shares your fascination with UFOs and extraterrestrial beings, was this something you discovered together through a shared experience?

    Ana: My husband was interested in UFO's and ET's when I met him and one day he popped into my studio with a film called "The Experiencers" and asked if I wanted to see it. For whatever reason, it resonated with me so greatly that I that finished up the final paintings for my first solo show at Thinkspace gallery back in 2012 and spent the last month before the show working on large charcoal drawings of alien-human hybrid children and UFO's just for fun. This was where my work began to transition. I wanted to explore these worlds in color and eventually began making up my own alien worlds and creatures. I was so inspired and fascinated by the subject that it expanded my imagination and realm of possibilities. I had been struggling with coming up with ideas and felt redundant so I let myself be as creatively free as I wanted to be and haven't stopped since.

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    POW: A few of your sketches have actual pieces of wood and leaves in them from your hikes around the Southern California mountains. How has nature influenced your works throughout the years?

    Ana: I really enjoy working with nature and think of it as a collaboration with the Earth. When I lived in the city, I would pick flowers from the nearby park and use them for painting reference and then put them in books so they didn't go to waste. When we moved to the mountains about a year ago, I had forgotten about the pressed flowers and found them by accident one day. I was working on a small painting and had planned on painting flowers into it but decided to use the pressed flowers instead and fell in love with the process. Then the forest became my art store. In addition to plants, I began using twigs and other found objects to frame my drawings instead of buying frames. I began collected other bits of litter as well from the forest and the lake. I've used bullet shells, crystals, coins, fishing hooks and weights, etc. I love the idea of removing litter from the forest and our water sources and reusing it as art instead of sending it off to the landfill.

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    Nectar by Ana Bagayan

    POW: We are excited to collaborate with you on an upcoming limited edition, signed and numbered wood print of "Nectar", can you tell us more about the piece?

    Ana: I am excited to be working with you too! 'Nectar' was the first painting I did for my show which set the tone for the rest of the pieces. I wanted to make up the piece as I worked so the end result would be a surprise for me. I gave myself a full year to paint so I could take my time and let the ideas grow organically.

    It contains two images on the subject of mining. The two parts are interconnected with the light rays from the spaceship which become sun rays in the bottom piece. The top part portrays a futuristic world where ethereal beings are mining flower nectar as their source of energy. In the bottom scene, the girl has found a crystal embedded with an alien fetus. The two parts are different worlds existing simultaneously, which was a theme I used a few times in the show in my larger pieces. In hindsight, its easy to see where the inspirations came from. I've been collecting crystals up here in the mountains and eating flower nectar!

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    For more information on Ana Bagayan please visit: http://anabagayan.com/

  • App Review: Popkick

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    Have you ever had to sit through a high school art history class? Yeah, me too. To this day, I’m not entirely sure that I got anything out of that class (sorry, Dr. St. George) except a few extra hours of sleep. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I can now spout off random facts and art terms (contrapposto!) and do have a somewhat longer attention span when it comes to art museums (10 min). In general, I had kind of forgotten that far off year of Italian Renaissance painters and friends.

    But then, in my long and valiant search for the next app, I stumbled across a review for PopKick that promised me Andy Warhol-esque art. Okay. Even I remember the soup can dude. It sounded promising and maybe vaguely entertaining, so I dished out the $2.99 to give it the old college try.

    To get in the spirit of things, I looked at the examples that other people created on the Instagram page.

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    As you can see, some were more successful than others. With that in mind, I picked a simple photo to start with, as the effects of the app seemed to work better with photos that weren’t already too busy. I am unashamedly a cat lady, so I chose a simple photo of my beautiful boy Bugman.

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    Yeah, it almost scared me away too. The other thing is, the directions screen only popped up once, so after that (not very) helpful explanation that disappeared quickly, I was left to click around and figure out what everything was. Once I realized that the little magic wand on the bottom of the screen was Popkick’s version of retouching, things got a little better. Bugman became a cat rather than a blob. My beef with these retouching tools, though, is that they all are labeled with rather nonsensical words. If I’m looking for a tool to lighten, I don’t want to muddle through ‘trast’, ‘juice’, and ‘boost’ to find it.

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    With that done, I swiped through a few of the other options, including the different filters that you can apply, and the color wheel to change said filters. For some reason or other, these two features are located in opposite corners, which also took a little finding. Once I was done being amused by twirling the color wheel around, I realized that there were not very many other options, so, slightly disappointed, I saved my photo.

    Photo by the PopKick App from Pixabi

    I mean, Bugman is adorable and all, but I was kind of hoping for more from this app. Especially since I paid $3 for it. While fun to use, the options were incredibly limited, the interface confusing and, while the finished product is cute, it’s what I would have expected from a free app. Overall, not the best $3 I’ve ever spent.

    Although the image printed well on wood, it wasn't enough to redeem the app.

    APP-Review

    I had so much hope for the app, but in the end I gave it a rating of 2 out of 4.

    RATE

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    For more information on the PopKick app, please visit: http://www.popkickapp.com/

  • Prints on Wood - Jenga

    There is a not a job to big or too small that we do not tackle with the same enthusiasm.  Such as when Sharon Yamamoto at Jenga, (yes that Jenga), approached us to custom print some game pieces she was sending to Troy Liquor Bar in NYC, we said, "Why, YES! We can do that!"

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    In some of the hipper bars, you may notice people at tables playing Jenga, and the bars provide the game pieces. They may as well be customized and become an extension of the bar's branding. Creative minds appreciate a creative approach!

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    These turned out great and you can see how Troy's logo compliment the iconic Jenga logo nicely. Troy better expect that some of these pieces may end up in a tourist or two's pockets as a souvenir.

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    Printing on wood allows a dimension not usually found in traditional print media. If you have a unique use for printed wood, we'd love to hear it. Let us help your creative mind's ideas manifest with a Prints on Wood project today!  Contact us here, for a custom quote.

  • Chopping Block: Aunia Kahn

    We are excited to collaborate on another upcoming fine art print release with artist, Aunia Kahn, entitled Frozen Era.  Aunia is a figurative artist, photographer, creative entrepreneur and inspirational speaker whose interests in tarot provides us with some hauntingly alluring art. We were able to catch up with her and talk about her impressive resume and inspirations.

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    POW:  The dark color palette and facial expressions of characters used in your paintings create an overwhelming sense of melancholy. Would you say that these works are a reflection of your-inner self, or is this just an aesthetic preference?

    Aunia: Thank you for taking the time to interview me, I appreciate it and appreciate working with POW.

    My art has changed over the years. If you look at older works they have a much more darker palette and also the subject is much more melancholy, however, my newer work over the last 2 years shares a brighter palette with the similar look, I feel more thoughtful and contemplative than melancholy. The older work was a reflection of a 10 year undiagnosed illness that left me searching for answers as doctors told me nothing was wrong and I was crazy; until I almost died in 2012. It was a very dark time in my life, especially after overcoming years of child abuse and thinking as an adult I would have a pretty normal life. Overall, the circumstances brought me to art, a deep love of mine and also the ability to help so many people. So as much as it was a dark place and reflected very heavy in my artwork, it was a place I learned so much from; and in a way I am thankful. To be on the other side of the illness now, I can see it’s been life changing. As I heal I see my color palette getting more and more bright, the subject will always be a bit dark no matter how healthy I am since I happen aesthetically like the juxtaposition of the two.

    Screen shot 2014-08-21 at 11.44.27 AMFrozen Era by Aunia Kahn

    POW: When I view the artistic interpretation of the female form the point of view of my male colleagues, they seem to base their style on personal preferences, putting an added emphasis on physical qualities or characteristics they find attractive in the opposite sex. As a female artist, is your approach similar when creating your character based works? If not, could we please have a little insight into your process?

    Aunia: Good question. I base almost all artwork off photographic references of myself, so I am acutely aware of the form beforehand since the form is me and has not changed too much over the years.  However, I find my focus more on the stances and postures of the characters, as well as the narrative aspect of the work rather than “attractive” characteristics of the characters. For me as a female artist, I find the female form very attractive and my focus is very strongly focused on the eyes. I find them the most captivating in both sexes, which seems to be where a lot of my attention goes. The gaze is very important for the mood in my work.

    Dominteria-crop-3x4.jpg.thumbnail_3Dominteria by Aunia Kahn

    POW:  While observing the female characters in you work, they seem to look like a combination of Elvira, Peggy Bundy, and Jessica Rabbit (coincidentally, all of whom I had a 3-way crush on while growing up in the 80s). While most men can appreciate this, I curious as to how women in general react to your work? Has anyone every accused your works of creating an unrealistic portrayal of women?

    Aunia: That’s quite the compliment, thank you!  Also, thank you for this question. I think it’s an important one to address. Over the years I can’t say anyone has accused me of creating an unrealistic portrayal of women, yet it would not surprise me that it could come up or has come up without my knowledge. Personally, I don’t feel my work has an unrealistic portrayal of women since it’s modeled off actual reference pictures of me, and are proportionally close to my size. I do however understand that we live in a society where women are expected to be overly thin, have big boobs and a well-rounded bottom, be perfect and airbrushed until she looks almost unreal. It is my hope people will continue focus more on the messages and storytelling aspect of my work. No matter what you do in life someone somewhere will find a flaw with it, you have to move past it and not let it bother you. Women seem to love my work and feel empowered by it, and from what I have gauged over the years I have more female collectors than male. Go figure!

    Embodying_the_Sacred-crop-3x4.jpg.thumbnail_3Embodying the Scared by Aunia Kahn

    POW: When I was conducting research for this interview, Google describes you as an "artist, author, singer, lyricist, web designer, graphic designer and photographer", which happens to be a VERY impressive resume! If you were forced to choose only one of those as an occupation for the rest of your life, which one would you select and why?

     Aunia: Oh Google! It’s funny you say that because I don’t write music or sing anymore because of my past illness wrecking my voice.  But I have added to the list being gallery owner at Alexi Era Gallery, an inspirational speaker and weekly podcaster hosting Create & Inspire, and of course I am still doing those other things too. Like a lot of artists I have a need to explore, I love to learn and try new things. If I had to choose just one it would be an artist because it can crossover into anything else if you let it.

    Screen shot 2014-08-21 at 11.40.24 AMLost and Found by Aunia Kahn

    POW: You first decided to collaborate with Prints On Wood a few months ago with the limited edition wood print of your painting, Lost & Found. Could you please give us some background into the context of this image?

    Aunia: "Lost and Found" is an artwork featuring a dog from Stray Rescue Saint Louis that I had the honor of painting a portrait of in a previous fundraising art show at the Saint Louis Contemporary Art Museum this summer. I fell in love with him and felt I needed to feature him in my work again, almost like a spirit animal of sorts. In times when I feel lost, or searching for answers I find peace with animals and nature, it always brings me such joy. This was one of the only pieces that had ever featured a dog, which happens to be one of my favorite animals. Well, to be honest, I love them all.

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    After the limited release of Lost and Found, we are excited to once again collaborate with Aunia Kahn on a new print release, Frozen Era, which will be signed, numbered and hand embellished.  The prints will be available during a five day timed release beginning Friday, September 5th at 12 pm PST.

    For more information on Aunia Kahn, visit http://auniakahn.com/

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