Prints on Wood Blog
Posted on August 26, 2016
Kii Arens is an Minnesota-born contemporary pop-artist, graphic designer, photographer, director and musician as well as the owner of Los Angeles' La-La Land Gallery. Arguably, Arens has lived a pretty fascinating life thus far. He grew up in the Twin Cities music scene inspired by his musically inclined family and by the mid 1980s, Arens was DJ'ing around the state-- even stumbling upon a brief stint in rap music opening for quite pivotal hip hop acts such as Gang Starr, EPMD, DJ Quik, among others.
Through music, Arens was exposed to many other elements of creativity that would become important fixtures within his life. Beginning in the realm of music and stretching outward into visual art, Arens used his self-taught knowledge of graphic art and design to create album art work, package layout, photography, poster design, creative direction, music video direction, merchandise design/creation and music production. Although Arens was an avid creator of visual art throughout his youth, his career as an artist was only really kicked into effect after solidifying a design gig for the Woodstock '94 festival, offering key creative direction for a contemporary way to commend but not emulate the iconic 1969 event.
That same year, Arens began working for Niceman Merchandising where he supplied design and layout for an expansive number of projects. Within the agency as well as alone, Arens has executed design work for a number of notable musicians including: Dolly Parton, Ziggy Marley Pete Yorn Radiohead, Beck, Queens of the Stone Age, DEVO, Diana Ross, Lana Del Rey, The Pixies, Glen Campbell, Tame Impala, Beach Boys, The Replacements and many more. He also has created prints for various widely attended events such as Bonnaroo and Coachella.
Obviously, you can see just why we are so elated to chat about Kii Arens and share his very first Prints on Wood collaboration today. Arens has worked with us to bring forth a 12 x 12 in. fine art wood rendering of his painting "The Red Planet," available exclusively through POW beginning Wednesday, August 24 at 10 am PST and ending Wednesday, August 31 at 11:59 pm PST.
Because each print is hand signed by Kii Arens with rockstar artist love, the prints will ship out beginning September 16th. For more information about Kii's "The Red Planet," and to make your purchase, head here.
Posted on August 25, 2016
Mikael Brandrup is a Danish visual artist who recently emigrated to Los Angeles. He began his art career under the pseudonym KETS within the graffiti world. Naturally, the skilled urban artist segued into the worlds of graphic design as well as fine art, creating a name for his combination of graffiti aesthetics with the two. To add insult to injury, Brandrup's also a creative branding tycoon as a co-founding member of a successful Copenhagen-based branding and design firm.
Throughout his extensive years as a visual artist, Brandrup has worked on projects for companies such as American Express, LinkedIn, Heineken, Google and Nike, which hired him to paint a 10 x 10 ft. canvas on the Santa Monica Pier in celebration of the launch of a signature sneaker for NBA player Chris Paul. Brandrup, who commonly works under the name Mikael B. has as well worked on a number of mural projects including his three-part mural series with friend of POW, Bumblelovesyou.
Bumblebee is associated with figurative designs, skilled stencil work and a controlled color palette creating a contrast between his and Brandrup's styles. However, after the two met at the Corey Helford, they decided to collaborate on a series of murals, blending their varying aesthetics.The first of these three murals was on an 80 ft wall in South Central, the second, a private commission at the Google headquarters in Santa Monica and the third, an outdoor wall at the Container Yard in the Downtown Arts District that was photographed for the Los Angeles Times.
For his first Prints on Wood collaboration we are immensely excited to announce "Ice Breaker, new piece from Brandrup's breakthrough solo show "Just Be" on view in Copenhagen through September 6th. "ice Breaker is a 24 x 12 in. representation of key elements practiced within Brandrup's work from the graffiti inspiration and color usage down to the shapes involved.
"Ice Breaker" will be available exclusively through POW during a seven day timed release beginning ending Monday, August 29th at 11:59 pm PST.
Posted on August 17, 2016
Jessicka Addams is a Los Angeles-based artist and vocalist of riot grrrl band Jack Off Jill whose no-holds-barred ethics is exhibited in her fashion, music and paintings. We recently had the pleasure of collaborating on a wood print with Addams utlizing her painting "Xanax Rainbow." We spoke with the artist to learn more about her process, her passions and everything in between. Get to know the artist, below.
Hey Jessicka. Can you describe what is was like for you growing up in your Florida hometown?
Usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Florida is sunshine and amusement parks. The juxtaposition of that state is really quite bizarre. The state certainly has its fair share of madness — there’s the Miami cannibal attack of 2012, an alligator being thrown threw a fast food window and the majestic, mind blowing Coral Castle. Growing up there had its challenges, but it made me the person I am today; happily weird. Being an overweight teen goth, dressed in black, dripping with eyeliner and ill-fitting thrift shop boots isn't the worst thing in the world. I think it allowed me to create another universe in my head, one that I still use in my art today. It was not a good look, at least not for me. I definitely had some fun in Florida but I always knew that someway, somehow it would not be my permanent home.
What ideas or themes do you find yourself consistently revisiting in your work, if any?
My work explores issues of identity, vulnerability and loss of innocence while maintaining an element of absurdity, thus lightening the heaviness of the sculptures and paintings. Inspirations include Goth culture, religious iconography, the Easter Bunny, cats, decapitations, sea creatures, rainbows and all things John Waters.
Can you describe what your current work or studio space is like?
Right now it is a bit of a mess. I actually work in a round room that's located in the ground floor of my home. It's currently under construction. I have plenty of ideas for it, but right now it is in need of a good cleaning and a bathroom remodel as the filthy shower resides in the closet. I bet that paints a grim picture, but by this time next year, I am hoping it will be glorious.
Who are you aside from being an artist? What are the other adjectives or descriptive words that make up your character?
Eccentric, eclectic, self deprecating, cat lady, dictionarian, humanist, weirdo, feminist, witch, wife, riot goth, friend and survivor.
What artists do you find yourself to be inspired by in this era of your life?
There's just way too many to list. I was lucky enough to attend Camille Rose Garcia's newest series of gothic-psychedelic nature paintings, titled “Phantasmacabre" at the Corey Helford Gallery and it was mind blowing; that woman is a force of nature.
As the frontwoman of a riot grrrl band, what would you say to young girls who may be feeling insecurities, particularly about their bodies and beauty?
We only have so much control over our genetics, let's not spend our lives hating what we don't have or trying to lose what we do. Self-loathing only makes things more difficult. Try and take up as much space in the world as you can, because there are too many assholes who will if you don't. Support each other by supporting yourself. Remember what you see in magazines is not the norm, the standard or the prerequisite for beauty. What you see in the mirror is beautiful. Don't let anybody make you feel less than because they feel you don't fit a certain archetype. Who decides what is beautiful these days? In my humble opinion not magazines, stogy politicians or Internt trolls. Block out the noise and be the best version of yourself.
Everyone has personal insecurities I know I sure do and everyday it's an uphill battle to do my best to practice what I preach. I've definitely been guilty of having cocaine confidence and then the next day hate what I see in the mirror. Ask yourself: "What is the source of my self hatred?" If you think the source of the so-called flaws you see are based in prejudice then recognize that and don't give it credit it doesn't deserve.
What individuals -- who are not artists -- are you inspired by in this era of your life?
I love John Waters.
Strange question, but do you dream? If so, do you remember any of your recent ones or any reoccurring dreams by chance?
I do dream often. I have been plagued by what some might consider nightmares, mostly stress related. The last really interesting dream I had was about a group of people who broke into our house only because they needs to use our toilets and iPhone chargers. I dream about my cat who passed away a lot. He's always chasing something or somebody that I can never see before I wake up.
What work/ creative projects do you have coming up that you're looking forward to in the coming months?
I just finished a panel and signing with some truly inspiring brave women who contributed to the zine I helped create with my friend Carrie Tucker called AFTER GRRRL at The Last Book Store in Downtown Los Angles. It was one of the most fulfilling nights of my life. A room full of love and healing. I'll be participating and helping curate with M Modern Gallery, "Crime on Canvas" group art exhibition in Las Vegas, September 23- 25. Some truly incredible artists are in the lineup, too many to list!!! I'll be more involved in GRLCVLT events. I'll also be doing an art collaboration with my friend Damien Echols in October. I'll also be adding new items to www.houseofaddams.com before the holiday season.
What projects and plans, completely aside from work obligations, are you looking forward to in the coming months?
I look forward to finishing the repairs on my studio and my home. I'd like to do some traveling outside the US and I'd like to see my 92 year grandma Josephine as soon as I can. She is my strength.
Posted on August 8, 2016
David “The Chung!!” Chung is an illustrator and painter born in Albany, New York, but who spent the majority of his early childhood growing up in the city of Hong Kong and island of Taiwan. David works in the animation industry as a designer and illustrator has taken his creations to the eyes of audiences viewing shows such as “Futurama”, “Robot and Monster”, "Clarence", "Regular Show" and “Sanjay and Craig.”
Chung attended the University at Buffalo for 2 years, eventually transferring and graduating from the Detroit, MI's College for Creative Studies in 2006 with a degree in illustration. The Chung's creative style is often characterized as colorful and expressive, containing adorably stylized creatures in poignant and hilarious scenes. Occasionally placed in unfortunate and/or awkward scenarios, Davig Chung's characters are an examination of his own personal day to day life. Full of self-deprecating humor, Chung's work is a gentle reminder for us all to quit taking life so seriously and to sit back and take a moment laugh at ourselves-- embarrassment, confusion, shame and all.
Today we take the time to appreciate Chung's ninth Prints on Wood installment titled "Pendleton Becomes Self Aware," featuring a soft sentiment comically surrounding realization and actuality. Pendleton is a tiny futuristic robot who is exposed to the concept of self-actualization, obviously spinning the little guy into a bit of an emotional crisis. When Chung isn't painting, working on designer toys or doing POW collabs, he's relaxing in Los Angeles where he lives and works with his wife and dog.
Posted on August 7, 2016
San Antonio, Texas- born painter and sculptor, Jason Limon, is somewhat of an honorary POW veteran in a sense. The creator of mythological and paranormal creatures has produced a total of 53 Prints on Wood collaborations thus far. His 53rd installment in his POW run, titled "Meridiem," just released today, and its a cryptic little creature with a story.
"Meridiem" is a term meaning noon or midday pulled from the ancient and often referred to as "dead" language of Latin. The term is tied into the concept of time showcased throughout Limon's latest POW release. Within the piece is the visual term "meridiem" laced in with the English word "post" and the latin word of "ante." Broken down, "post meridiem" translates to afternoon and "ante meridiem" translates to "after noon," creating the AM and PM-related time abbreviations.
The dream world and the concept of time as a subtly fleeting concept seems to be the underlying sentiment of Limon's latest work. Measuring in at 9 x 12 in., "Meridiem" is a dreamy little treat for your home or office with highly contrasted tones, amazing details and cryptic undertones adding to its allure.
Known in the illustrative circuit for his easily recognizable design, his series of over four dozen POW prints is quite astounding. Limon began as a graphic designer, executing 12 years in the field before changing his focus to painting and illustrating full-time. Jason Limon's last Prints on Wood collaboration "Light Rider" released back in March of this year and is a great place to start if you'd like to see more of his work. Check out his entire POW catalog by simply heading here.
Posted on July 31, 2016
The first Prints on Wood's collaboration with Los Angeles-based artist Jessicka Addams has been announced, and we're especially excited for fans of the vocalist and artist to get their hands on this one. The print measures in at 12x12 in. and is aptly titled "Xanax Rainbow." Featuring a black backdrop with a quintuplet of floating cat heads superimposed against a rainbow, the minimalistic print is then finished off with the term 'X A N A X' spelled out across the feline's foreheads.
Born and raised in the town of Sunrise, Florida, Jessicka spent her time post-high school graduation getting inspired by goth culture, religious iconography, gay iconography -- literally anything to do with John Waters -- and feminist literature. At the age of 17, Jessicka decided to start her own band becoming the frontwoman of riot grrrl alt rock group Jack Off Jill. Formerly known as 'Jack In Jill' in its earliest days, the band got their start after being asked to open for fellow Floridian and friend Marilyn Manson and his band, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. Following this fateful night, Manson suggested a name change to 'Jack Off Jill,' and the rest is riot grrrl musical history.
Jessicka's passion for music is complimented by a intrinsic love for art, as the self-taught creative is as also the resident curator and researcher at Dark Dark Science, where her research revolves around an ongoing investigation into the relationships between art and music. Jessicka is particularly interested in the methods of individual visual artists and in the nature of their relationships with music and film. Thus far, Addams has been displayed throughout the United States and featured in numerous magazines.
To get a piece of her magic, head here to pick up a print of "Xanax Rainbow" between August 1 and August 8 at midnight. You'll love the verrrry relaxed addition to your home or office space.
Posted on July 7, 2016
Bay Area- originated artist, writer and apparel designer Alex Pardee has graced Prints on Wood with his very first collaboration titled "Shunderland." The creepy, ghoulish, hairbow-laden gal comes at us in vibrant color, dawning a drippy and nightmarish appeal.
The print, which measures in at 12 in. x 16 in. is cut-to-shape, making this an especially unique and atypical print for your home, studio or office. Produced on 100% birch wood, "Shunderland" is eco-friendly, highly durable and just simply a cool decorative addition to any eclectic-minded space.
As what some may rightfully consider an 'artist's artist,' Alex Pardee possesses multi-medium talent, not only exhibiting his graphic design, fine art paintings and illustrative creations in galleries and museums across the globe, but also having acted as art director for a number of musical, animated and film projects throughout his career. Pardee has had his art showcased in numerous ways, including within the creative realm of tour posters, band t-shirts and additional merch for acts including The Used, In Flames and hip hop artist Cage. Pardee is widely known and respected for having contributed to the aesthetic of beloved post-hardcore band The Used, illustrating the bulk of the covers from the band's discography.
Now, fans of Pardee and friends of POW can own an Alex Pardee relic by copping his very first Prints on Wood release. "Shunderland" is available July 7 until July 12 and can be purchased here.
Posted on June 29, 2016
Lately, there has been so many different photo applications, but I have yet to find one that was simple and easy to use, until I stumbled across Fotor. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to edit photos. Before sending over your images to be printed onto wood, playing around with a Fotor can definitely make your image look like a professional photo. First and foremost, being a new to the app, it was fairly easy to navigate around because before continuing onto the app, Fotor would give me a quick directions on how to use a specific feature.
Fotor gives you three different options from the starting page: editor, collage, and camera. Personally, my favorite is the editor page because not having an updated iPhone, my photos definitely needs some rendering. I'll be editing the image below!
As part of the social media department, the images we post need to be great in quality. Dark and fuzzy images won't cut it. I started off with playing around by enhancing the image. Fotor gave me two options: detail and gradation, and I increased the details to +21 and gradation to +14, which enhanced the colors of my image.
Fotor also has preset filter effects that allow you images to look super rad! I added the Tranquil filter, which gave my image nice, soft tones.
Lastly, I used the sharpen feature in the adjust section to personally go in to edit the small details. The sharpen feature sharpens all the edges on your image, which gives it a more crisp feel. I like that crisp feel because it makes your image look more high definition. Fotor also offers many other features such as adding text, frames and cool clip art, which will make your image more one of a kind!
...and that's the finished product!
This brings me to the end of the review, and t'was a simple and fun app to work with. I enjoyed not only the simplicity, but also how it allowed me to edit my photos without any boundaries. The only down side to the app is that some of the cool features were featured in the app, but I needed to pay for it. Also, the app froze a few times, which had me edit my image from the start. With that said, I'd give Fotor 3 logs for it's simplicity and fun features.
Fotor is free, which makes it worth downloading! For more information on Fotor please visit, http://www.fotor.com/
Posted on June 25, 2016
Chris Ryniak is a long-time illustrator of mini monsterized characters and big-eyed cute and creepy things. We recently had a chit chat with the artist discussing his first POW release "Mothpup," and much more.
Hey Chris. What were your early childhood career aspirations? Did they include illustrating tiny, beloved and bug-eyed creatures?
Early on I just wanted to make cartoons, but once I started watching monster movies, all I wanted to do was make monsters.
"MothPup" is your fourth release with POW and your first cut-to-shape project with the team. Can you tell us about this release and who this little guy is?
"Mothpup" sprung from one of my daily drawings that I post on social media. The original drawing is of him just below a light bulb, looking wide-eyed and mesmerized. I think "Mothpup" is just a monsterized version of a baby moth, full of curiosity! I saw a post on the Prints On wood Instagram showing some cut-to-shape prints they were testing out and commented how much I liked them, then Erin contacted me to do one!
Years ago, good friend of POW, Jeff Soto, actually interviewed you for FecalFace.com. That was really cool and refreshing. How did you and Jeff decide to have him interview you for the publication?
Jeff has been a good friend of mine for a really long time now. We kind of came up in the same galleries in the early 2000's, but only saw each other when I was out in LA. I know Jeff knew the Fecal Face folks, so I think it was their idea. It's still the best interview I've ever done, I think because he knows me so well, so he knew what to ask!
When you are beginning on a piece, what are the routines, practices or rituals you engage in before getting to work?
GET OUT OF BED! I start working on my drawings every day before I do anything. A lot of days, it hurts to do it, but it's like any exercise, you have to do it because you know it's good for you. I think what works best for me is to just get to it, no matter what I'm doing. Thinking too long on projects often slows me down, so I try to just keep moving. I grab some clay or a pencil and just start working.
Can you describe what your studio/work space is like?
I actually have 2 now. The new studio upstairs in a brand-new addition to my house that I share with my girlfriend and collaborator Amanda Louise Spayd. It has vaulted ceilings and 16 linear feet of custom work tables along one wall for us to work side-by-side.I do all of my design work, business operations and initial sculpting in there. The other studio is my messy basement workshop where building, molding, casting and painting get done. I need a lot of space because I'm often working on multiple projects at once that require different media.
Where is your attention focused on these days artistically? What are the main projects taking up your time?
Mostly sculpting, molding, casting and painting. I have 1-2 big gallery shows every year and it takes 4-6 months to complete the work for each one. The molding and casting process is tedious and time-consuming, so I have to really plan ahead. The rest of the time I spend drawing, working on new merchandise and toy-designing.
Who are you aside from being an artist? What are the other adjectives or descriptive words that make up your character?
I'm a Dad and BBQ-er. I'm anxious, hungry, relentless and often complaining about my aching joints!
What individuals -- who are not artists -- are you inspired by in this era of your life?
I'm a big fan of Adam Savage, who is more of a maker than an artist. Guillermo Del Toro has been someone I've admired for some time. He's also an artist, but he's a director, a fan, a big kid, a visionary and has a huge heart.
What are you most looking forward to this summer that has zero to do with work or creative obligations?
Walking down the creek with my kids and catching snakes and tadpoles!
Posted on June 24, 2016
For his first Prints on Wood release, California-native and illustrator Sugar Fueled offers up his painfully adorable cut-to-shape release, "Sprinkle."
Sugar Fueled is the alias of Burbank artist Michael Banks who is a specialist in pop surrealism, lowbrow oil paintings and comics conveying a number of adorable, big eyed characters depicted in colorful, candy filled scenes. Michael began his career in art over 20 years ago when he was selling tattoo flash around the world. Banks has since ventured into the world of tattooing, clothing, music, street art, stencil pop art, sketch cards, children's stories and comics, all of which mediums have shaped the artist's career today.
Michael's art has been taken to and showcased in every major city across the United States, traveling to hundreds of comic conventions and art galleries from coast to coast. Michael, along with his wife and manager, Sarah Banks, runs Sugar Fueled clothing, which is a line based on Michael's art and his trademark broken star insignia which represents perseverance and revolves around the goal of making the world just a bit brighter.
For his innagural release slated to debut June 25th at 8am and hold availability until July 2nd at midnight, he brings us "Sprinkles," a cut to shape wood print which will arrive ready to hang with a keyhole in back. Sugar Fueled's "Sprinkle" release is in conjunction with the artist's attendance at Los Angeles' CatConLA, set to take place June 25th and 26th.