Prints on Wood Blog
Posted on May 5, 2016
Just in time for the spring season, which always ushers in plenty of transformative vibes, revered graffiti and political artist, Mear One, hits us with his first Prints on Wood released, "New World Revolution."
Mear One is one Los Angeles' most celebrated graffiti/street art natives, having made his mark on the city throughout the allies of Melrose Ave in the 1980s, helping birth a localized culture that has since set the tone for community aesthetics in major ways. As a pioneer of his style, Mear boasts countless murals on numerous walls, giving him inarguable clout in the street realm, but as well holds an impactful fine art career-- one of the first graffiti artists to truly bridge the gap.
Mear holds his place in history as the first graffiti artist to exhibit at Melrose's infamous and highly influential 01 Gallery, as well as Silverlake's 33 1/3 Gallery, where Banksy would later debut his first North American show. Setting a new trend of blurring the lines between "high" and "low brow art," Mear acted as a early component in the art world shift.
So to begin the spring season off with a bang, Mear greets the POW audience with his very first Prints on Woods release, entitled, "New World Revolution."
"New World Revolution" embodies strong vibes of strength and rebirth, depicting a woman -- adorned with a yellow rose playing host to a butterfly -- fist raised. In her arms, a seemingly very aware infant mirrors her raised fist, giving off feelings of full circle understanding of revolutionary inclinations. Deep-seated messages aside, the artistry showcased in the new print is totally worth a mention, with its warm shades and lush tones, Mear One makes each of those tricky brush strokes look comically simple.
Hitting the streets as a 7-day timed release print this week, you can purchase "New World Revolution" beginning May 6th through May 13th by simply clicking here!
Posted on May 5, 2016
Renee French is revered for her uncanny ability to work with detailed and meticulous cross-hatching illustration methods to create tiny characters and beloved cartoons with anthropomorphic tendencies. Well-known as a respected illustrator and cartoonist, Renee is as well a treasured author, constructing children's books under the pen name Rainy Dohaney for little art enthusiasts in the making. Scroll below for a conversation with Renee about her inspirations, dream oddities and more.
1. Hi Renee. Tell me about your first print release with POW titled "Stu." Who is this little guy, how did he come about and what's his backstory?
Hi Kim! The whole POW process was a great experience. Stu was part of a collection of animal portraits that started with my muse, Ivey Breiman -- an incredibly cute, tiny, round, chihuahua with her tongue sticking out -- and morphed into other animals who had similar emotional pull for me. I fall in love with each character as I'm working on them. I really wish they'd just start walking around in the real world, but I guess that would be terrifying.
2. What ideas or themes do you find are consistently revisited in your work, if any?
Cute animals with tiny hands and emotional eyes. Swarms of insects, and sometimes those things together. 1970s hair, unrealistic facial deformity, water, islands, and cliffs. And flies.
It depends on what kind of image it is, but almost always, it's got to do with my mood when I sit down. If it's a character, it doesn't matter how much I try to control the emotion, it ends up looking the way I feel at the time, and it can change midstream since the drawings rarely take less than a day to finish.
4. Can you describe your current studio/work space for readers?
Mostly I end up working in rooms other than my workspace; wherever there's a comfy chair or couch, or in hotel rooms on the bed. I draw on a board on my lap, on top of throw pillows, or a rolled up jacket, or whatever, and I wear magnifying glasses and listen to podcasts while I draw, so it can be almost anywhere. My workspace is a little room with a stand up desk, and a computer and a tiny tv.
5. What artists do you find yourself inspired by in this era of your life?
I love the whole LA art scene lately, but the artists I look at the most lately are Scott Teplin (@steplin ), Benjamin Constantine (@plumpe_ostere ), Allison Sommers ( @allisonsommers ), Mike Lee ( @immikelee ), Matt Gordon ( @mattgordon_paintings ) William Kentridge, Anke Feuchtenberger, and Paul Barnes, and the ones I forgot.
6. Do you dream? If so, do you remember any of your recent ones? Do you have any reoccurring dreams by chance?
Yes, for sure. I have a lot of cliffs in my dreams. Pushing Mark Ruffalo off a cliff (I love Mark Ruffalo so that was a nightmare, man!), flying up to the edge of a cliff and seeing it covered in snails so I couldn't grab on... and last night I dreamed that I was living in a carnival tent that was half hanging over the edge of a cliff, and training tiny monkeys to drink from tea cups, and apparantly it was a crucial job, like serious Interpol business with tea drinking monkeys.
7. What themes/lessons of life do you feel you're encountering right now?
Life is short. Do what you love. The classics.
8. What work/ creative projects do you have coming up that you're looking forward to?
Scott Teplin -- an amazing New York artist and friend -- and I are working on a 2 person show where we're drawing and painting our school teachers from memory. Some are hazy, pretty, giant hair studies (the hair is giant not the drawings) and some are grotesque and some are sad. I think the exhibition will be at La Luz De Jesus.
I'm also working on a portrait for the Archibald Prize in Australia, and some portraits for the next issue of Tiny Pencil Magazine, and a secret picture book project that involves tiny animal hands.
Posted on May 2, 2016
I can’t help but notice the swarm of Tumblr images that have been sneaking their way onto my Facebook stream and Instagram feed. In lieu of the "inspirational" quote pics, telling me to “keep calm and carry on,” then “dance like no one’s watching,” I’ve decided to make my very own tumblr “inspirational” image to print as a custom wooden sign. And I’ll be doing it with the popular photo editing app, PicsArt. From what I’ve heard, this App has received a lot of buzz for the creative freedom it allows so let’s check it out.
From the get go, this app provides four options for the user. Edit, Capture, Collage, and Draw. I went with edit because that’s the main focus of today’s review.
A photo I took while road-tripping through Arizona has been sitting in my photo stream for some time now. Let’s see what I can do with it on PicsArt.
On the surface, the editing page seems simplistic and limited. Like many photo editing apps, an options bar sits below the page. While scrolling and clicking around I came to find that this app is anything but your average photo editing app. It’s loaded with features similar to those from Photoshop. If anything, this app is pretty much a computer image editing suite shrunk into a free photo editing app. I toyed around a bit with a few of the photoshop-like tools like curves.
In the tools tab you've got your basic options like adjust, enhance, resize, etc. you've also got a few unique touches like shape crop which I found pretty refreshing for a photo editing app. Here's a quick sample of the feature.
Next up, is the Effects tab which holds over 15 filters, pop art, color, and distortion effects. I'm usually on the hunt for more subtle filters so some of these didn't catch too much of my attention. After testing out a few samples I decided to go with the Dodger filter and topped it off with Cinerama.
The tabs list goes on and on with this powerful app, providing a lot of creative variety. Mask tools lay at the bottom of the photo, providing you with the option of adding impressive quality effects such as lights, bokeh and texture. Tested out a couple of filters then decided to go with a subtle bokeh mask instead.
I'm pretty much amazed at how PicsArt manages to somehow fit hundreds of tools and options into smooth and simple interface. A few other bells and whistles included are the shape mask tool and ability to add frames, text clipart and much more. I thought these would come in handy for my quote pic so I added a few shape masks and the text "Wanderlust"
And here's the final product! Looks pretty tumblr-esque if you ask me.
This brings me to the end of the app review and I must say, PicsArt was a fun one to work with. the plethora of editing options opened up a lot of creative freedom that your basic photo app doesn't allow. It's got a smooth, simplistic interface and speedy loading time to boot! The only down side was limited number of steps you can undo while editing. With that'd I'd give PicsArt 3 logs.
Priced at free ninety nine, PicsArt's quite a steal and will definitely be going in my photo editing tool kit.
For more information on PicsArt please visit, www.picsart.com
Posted on April 21, 2016
OBEY founder and street art icon, Shepard Fairey, has been engaging audiences with his unique brand of artful propaganda for decades, and now, the artist, designer and political visionary is releasing an extra special piece to add to and extend his collection of art prints, apparel and home decor products.
Available April 27th, Fairey gears up to release "Hi Fidelity," an art print that simultaneously operates as a stylish and functional coffee table. This exclusive, handmade art piece is hand-embellished and features stenciled black and gold spray paint creating its unique design. Consisting of signature OBEY insignia, the print showcases a distinctly recognizable Andre the Giant visage, plus the referencing of musical signage and symbolism.
"Hi Fidelity," -- Fairey's 10th Prints on Wood release -- is limited to only 15 hand- numbered, signed and resined prints. Preparing itself to be one of the most unforgettable products to come from the Sheperd Fairey/OBEY creative dynasty, "Hi Fidelity" will be a super versatile piece for art collectors to enjoy.
Capable of dual uses, this 40 in. x 40 in. print on solid black walnut hardwood frame consists of a satin finish, and is capable of being either hung or used as a stand alone coffee table by simply attaching the steel hairpin 10 in. handmade legs-- which will come in a separate box with hardware included. To nab this unique art print x coffee table hybrid for yourself, be sure to click here on April 27th and order yours.
Posted on April 20, 2016
It seems as though today, everyone has a high powered digital camera in their back pocket or purse, capable of taking stunning images at the slight tap of a finger. But if you ask me, what good is a nice phone camera without the right tools to get the most out of your photos? I've just downloaded Snapseed, one of the most popular editing apps out there. The Google-owned photo app claims to enhance your scenic landscapes and selfies in a quick and easy way, allowing you to showcase them at their fullest potential. Today, we'll put this claim to the test.
Snapseed loads swiftly to a clean minimalist screen that features an "open photo" button which allows you to capture a picture or grab one from your photo-stream.
As usual, I scrolled through the archives and found something I could put to work.
Tapping on the bottom right icon leads you to the editing options which separates the sections by tools and filters. In tools, you've got the standard controls, like Crop, Rotate, and Tune Image which we'll check out a bit.
After hitting the Tune Image button, you're lead to back to the photo-page to begin editing.
Fingers ready to swipe and slide, I scanned the screen, looking for the editing toolbar. Now, this usually lays below the screen or to the side. After a few seconds of experimentation, I found that this app operates with a interface completely different from that of its competitors.
Swiping up and down on the photo selects the effect and swiping right to left adjust its strength. Odd chance you get confused, there's a vertical ellipses that rests in the top right corner. tapping on it leads you a number of options including Help & Feedback.
Back to Tune Image, If you're new to the world of photo-editing or you simply don't feel like toying around with adjustments, Snapseed makes things easy for you by giving an Auto Correct button. At the swift tap of a button, Snapseed corrects your image's contrast and color. I applied that then swiped down to see what else the tools had in store.
With the Tune Image tool , I tweaked the brightness a bit, decreased warmth, increased saturation, and increased the highlights. Usually, there's no way I would remember all these steps. The app comes in handy here, by showing my action history when I select the middle button in the top right.
The photo app takes things a step further with its Selective Adjust tool. With this feature, you can select a section of your photo to be adjusted in brightness, contrast, or saturation. You're also given the options to cut, delete, or expand the area affected. I decided to go with a simple effect here and increased the saturation of the center.
And now for the good stuff, FILTERS. Snapseed offers 12 filters with an even wider array of options for each filter. After testing out a few filters, I went with Retrolux
Looking to give my photo a little bit of a kick, I added a frame which I soon realized wasn't working out. If you decide to undo an edit, as I have, you can tap the vertical ellipses menu which holds the options "undo, redo, and revert"
I hit undo, and decided to stick with this as my final product. What a beaut! Once you've made the adjustments to your liking, you can head to back to the vertical ellipses button to share or open your photo in another app.
Not a bad photo editing app, it has all the basic features plus a few extra, I give it 3 stars. Definitely will work to make a beautiful custom print on wood
For more information on Snapseed visit: https://support.google.com/snapseed
Posted on April 11, 2016
Artist and writer, Renee French, has just released her long-awaited Prints on Wood collaboration entitled "Stu," available today, April 11th, through Sunday, April 17th. The 10x10 inch wood print is the first collaboration between POW and the artist.
French is regarded as a treasured participant in the literary and illustrative world, having released numerous comics throughout her career including the award-winning graphic novel, The Ticking. French' work is internationally distinguishable by her almost exclusive use of fine pointed graphite pencil on miniature pieces of paper. Her unique method of choice has brought her great clout in the fine arts world, making her style immediately recognizable to art connoisseurs and collectors.
French's legacy in the literary and art world transcends that of fine art prints, comics and graphics novels, and stretches far into the realm of children' books as well. Her signature style has met the pages of many children's book titles, and her dreamy, fantastical characters continue to act as a recognizable figures for both kids and adults alike.
With her first POW release en tow, French brings forth a pleasantly plump and furry figure entitled "Stu." French describes "Stu" by saying, "He's a bear and he's got teeny hands and his name is Stu."
"Stu is available for purchase with or without a classic, white wooden frame for your home decor needs. Check back on the POW blog for an interview with Renee French in the coming days, and be sure to click here to make your purchase today!
Posted on April 10, 2016
Moira Hahn's anthropormorphic and eastern-inspired paintings offer a vibrant and unique layer to the contemporary art scheme. In honor of her solo show at Los Angeles' Gregorio Escalante, and her first Prints on Wood release title "Under Water World," we chat with the artist about her methods, inspirations and more.
1. Hi Moira. You just had a solo exhibition open at the Gregorio Escalante Gallery in LA this weekend. Can you tell us about the show and the content?
Hi Kim, Thank you! The show is an exploration of my art, spanning the past twenty years, with a large component from the past two years (eleven paintings).
2. You just released your first print with POW titled "Under Water World" earlier this month. Can you talk about that print and the visual elements showcased in it?
The image is a meditation about disasters -- including earthquakes, tsunamis and financial hardships -- that have affected Japan and the United States recently. Friends in Japan told me first-hand about the devastation caused by the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami. Five years later, a quarter-million Japanese are still homeless. Meanwhile, at the peak of the ‘Great Recession’, a third of the mortgages in LA County were ‘underwater’ due to the crash. The economies of both countries are still precarious. So my image is about cherishing, protecting and sustaining our families and friends, through difficult times.
3. Your style is very notable and distinct. What are your tools of choice and what does your method entail?
Most of the works are transparent watercolor paintings on Rives BFK (a printmaking paper) or Arches cold press watercolor paper. I glaze with multiple layers of color to get a very controlled and saturated effect, akin to the look of Japanese woodblock prints, or fin de siecle (end of the 19th century) American lithographic posters.
4) When preparing to begin on a painting, what rituals, practices or routines do you do in order to get equipped for the task?
When I start something new, I clear my drafting table and clean all my brushes and paint dishes. The open space makes me feel like working. I have an extensive library of reference books, and also spend time visiting art galleries, museums, and conventions to get inspired. Recently, I’ve started using Google image search and Pinterest for research. I also buy (or make) 3D props, as needed, for compositions underway.
5. Can you talk about the Asian influences expressed in your art? I understand your father was really intrigued by the culture also.
Right, he lived in China for a couple of years during World War II. He was an avid documentary-type still photographer, fascinated by Chinese culture and art. I grew up with Chinese art that he acquired in the 40s. His best friend served in Japan as the US Envoy to Kobe and Osaka in the 1950s-60s, so he also used to send my family art, traditional attire, folk toys and miniature architectural models. My sister and I were mesmerized by these beautifully handcrafted visions of another world, which seemed like a precious, lost world, or like heaven. To my mind, as a child, it was a much cooler world.
6. You've also been known to showcase your interest in "Persian miniatures, Tibetan Thanka paintings, Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, Indian animal drawings and Chinese guardian figures," can you talk about these specific influences and why you feel you're drawn towards them?
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) hosted an exhibition about Mughal (Indian) miniatures a few years ago that was so breathtaking; I visited it four times with and without classes of my college art students. My cousin, Ed Bernbaum, is a trekker and mountain scholar who has traveled extensively through, and written books about, Tibet and Nepal. I illustrated his first book, “The Way to Shambhala”, over 35 years ago. Viewing Ed’s slide shows of his travels, including images of Thanka art, when I was a child, fostered my interest in the art form. My parents collected Ukiyo-e. A curator gifted me with a book of Indian animal drawings. We acquired a large scale Ming Dynasty painting of a guardian figure at a moving sale a few years ago, which was authenticated by a curator at LACMA. The curator later introduced me to other Ming and Quing dynasty paintings of ‘our’ guardian, Guan Di, and to other Chinese emperors, Gods, and cultural heroes. I seem to have had a natural affinity for Eastern representational and narrative art from as far back as I can recall, fed early on by my parents’ and their friends’ travels and aesthetics.
7. You've worked in the animation industry and for some great publications and media entities. Can you talk about your animation background and how that's played out through your career?
I fell in love with Disney animation at an early age, probably with the film “Bambi”. When I studied the craft in a graduate program at CalArts 20 years later, however, the repetition (drudgery) of the work dismayed me. I worked in the field for a few years, to pay the bills, but I think that viewing animated films such as “Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke”, decades after I worked as an animator was much more inspiring than working in the field, at a low level, in the 1980s.
8. As a trained artist who has studied in various states of the U.S. and abroad, what do you feel are the most vital tools you've acquired from your collegiate training?
A strong work ethic, and the ability to think independently, draw and paint. I later taught at several local colleges and universities, from 1989 until 2011. I taught exactly the way I’d been taught, because I got so much out of my rigorous academic training. It seems as though many of my students expected art to be easy, and always fun, so those guys were probably in the wrong class. The hard working young talents who appreciated my challenges seem to be doing well now in their studies and careers. I feel honored to still be in touch with many of them via social media; couldn’t be prouder of them.
9. What themes do you feel are playing out in this stage of your life currently for you?
So this is my ‘Kanreki’ year; I’m about to turn 60. When (if, the birthday is months off!) that happens, I’d have made it through five cycles of the 12-animal Asian zodiac calendar. I’d be back to the animal and element (Monkey + Fire, or ‘fire monkey’) year that I was born in. ‘Kan’ means ‘cycle’; ‘reki’ means ‘calendar’. At 60, a full cycle is achieved. Life from that point forward is a rebirth. I expect not to waste time obsessing about what other people think I should do, say, draw, or paint. At this age, it’s clear that time is a finite gift. I plan to spend more time creating. Other goals are to ‘give back’ by teaching and doing workshops, sometimes, because I enjoy helping people enrich their lives with their own visions and creativity. I also want to learn the process for creating murals and large-scale works. A talented friend, Jose Loza, has graciously agreed to let me observe as he starts a mural nearby this coming week.
One of my paintings will be in a cat-themed show at the Worcester Museum from May 21st to September 4th. The title is “Meow: A Cat-Inspired Exhibition”. I will also have a solo exhibition at Azuza Pacific University, this fall, from October 18th through November 18th.
11. Completely aside from work or obligations, what personal things do you have coming up that you're looking forward to embarking on in the coming months?
I grew a bumper crop of fruits and vegetables in my garden last year. Hope to continue that experiment. Our other, ‘drought garden’ (lawn replacement) has grown so spectacularly this spring that passers-by on our busy street stop their cars and ring our bell to ask us about it. My husband and I are also looking forward to visiting Canada and Alaska, later this year.
Posted on April 8, 2016
Instagram will be updating their system soon, and they will be ditching their chronological feed. Instead, they will be allowing their system choose which photos are most relevant and popular for each user. Chances are, you'll miss out on our awesome updates, releases, posts, Instagram specials and more! If you don't want to miss out on our cool posts, it just takes two easy steps to get notified when we post on our Instagram page.
Step 1: Click the three dots on the top right hand corner of our Instagram homepage.
Step 2: Click Turn on Post Notifications.
That's it! Make sure you do this, so you won't miss out on our cool prints, releases, and sales.
Posted on April 7, 2016
After a well-received series of limited timed release prints, Haunt returns again with his latest launch, set to unveil April 8th. "Mystery" is a 14 in. x 25 in. print on sustainable birch wood showcasing the artist's signature galactic, spaced-out and color-infused style. The Los Angeles native, born James Gillette, has worked under his pseudonym and alter ego James 'Haunt,' for several years. The artist, who holds a collegiate background in digital art and design, works to bring his creations to life on small and large scale platforms for audiences internationally.
As a muralist, Haunt's work can be found extensively throughout the streets of Los Angeles to San Francisco and beyond. His vibrant creations are accented by pops of colors and bold lines, gracefully constructed to produce a career's worth of iconic, female-centric work.
His intrigue with the female face stems from his desire to display areas of emotion in subtle and not so subtle ways. Through focusing on the face, eyes and lips, he's able to playfully toy with a number of expressions through one, consistent and universally appreciated vehicle.
With "Mystery," the title does well encompassing the gist of the piece. An enigmatic gaze peers through the subject's impossibly blue eyes, alluding to vibes of seduction, longing and secrecy. To make this James Haunt limited timed release print a part of your growing art collection, be sure to make your purchase here between April 8th and April 14th.
Additionally, be sure to scroll below to catch visuals of James live in action as he erects "Mystery" as a mural right at the POW offices. Plus, be sure to check back for an exclusive one-on-one interview with the artist in the days to come.
Posted on April 6, 2016
Earlier this year we caught up with Johnny "KMNDZ" Rodriguez at the 2016 DesignerCon in Pasadena, Ca. We followed up with the artist to talk life lessons, origin stories and aspirations. Check out the Q&A below.
1. Hi Johnny. When we met at DesignerCon a few months ago, you were explaining to me a few of the things you'd learned recently about love and all variations of relationships, and how that was playing out within your work. What themes are at the forefront of your mind lately and how do the vibes relate to your recent creations?
It’ll always be a constant in my work as I try and keep my message personal. However, lately I’m more focused on painting to get better versus focusing on the message or story. Not having a show to deliver for has enabled me to explore. I know, I’m kinda avoiding your question here.
2. Can you talk to me about the piece you painted during Air + Style a few days back. Where as your mind at with that one?
I came across a photo of a bird bulleting through the air, it seemed to fit my current mood. It’s a painting of a bird speeding through the air while its being shot at with arrows. I’d say that sums up the last year for me.
3. Tell me about where you're from and what it was like for you growing up there.
Was born in LA and grew up in Baldwin Park, home of in-n-out. As with any city, you get what you make of it. I grew up in the streets and was able to survive it because I had good friends around every corner. The block I grew up in (Phelan) was full of all the neighborhood kids playing till it was time to come in. I could walk five minutes, run into a completely different set of hoody kids, and jump right into what ever was being played. Gangs made it tough but I grew up breaking with most of them, so there was no real threat. A few close calls but again I had back up everywhere I went.
4. What simple lessons are you learning right now in your life as you continue to live on and practice being present through the experience?
Do good, don’t be a dick. I feel like I’m in the middle of a new life lesson so things are a little foggy. It becomes clear once the dust has settled and I’ve had to time to meditate on it.
5. With a full time career in art, how do you balance what is work and what is personal, reflective or leisure time? Does it all meld together?
They are all monsters in my life. While some get fed others starve; I’ve yet to learn balance. The hungriest of them all is sleep.
6. Which one project have you most enjoyed working on thus far in your career and why?
Loaded question!!! I’ve been extremely blessed as a creative, from my personal work to my commercial work. Rebranding Disney Junior, working on NIN video, NIN mural in London LA, Baby Tattooville, the fun I had with NC winning the Munky King Battle, Tron work, working on Pimp My Ride, my Disney days. I can go on and on... And It keeps getting better.
7. When preparing to get to work on a painting or illustration, what rituals or activities do you practice leading up to beginning your work?
Lots of meditating on what I want to say and paint. Endless nights of conversations at two in the morning in bed with my self. It kinda sucks, but most necessary.
8. If you were only able to paint with three colors/hues for the next 3 months, what would they be and why?
Black, White, and red Iron oxide. Why? There’s something about the combination that gets me excited about creating. And yes I just referred to black and White as colors.
9. Some people feel empowered by dedicating their work to others, but you've expressed that you create art primarily for yourself; has that idea, feeling or intention changed as you continue to paint and transform as an artist?
No way... I’m selfish and that can never change. I paint to please my own eye as I hold my point of view in high regard. Making my self happy enables me to serve others with my work, it keeps the work honest.
10. In terms of work projects and upcoming creative obligations, what do you have coming up that you're looking forward to?
Nothing and It feels great! All im working on is getting better, painting larger, and trying new ideas.