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Baby Tattooville

  • Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder

    Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder may be over, but the whirlwind of activities and goodie bag full of tech toys is leaving my head spinning from a weekend full of unexpected surprises.  If you are not familiar, Boing Boing is a blog that covers a variety of topics like technology, fringe culture, science, politics, gadgets and more. This self established web blog has grown tremendously over the years from its humble beginnings as a print zine in 1988.  The ever evolving Boing Boing crew created this intimate event in cahoots with some of our favorite people, Baby Tattoo Books, where art, innovation, magic, comedy and technology came together.

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    Boing Boing Crew at Weekend of Wonder (Photo: Star Foreman)

    Once we found out the weekend was to be hosted at the Mission Inn in Riverside, we thought it would be only fitting to see if they wanted to visit the Prints on Wood factory.  No only did they say yes, but they persuaded Starry Kitchen, an LA Asian fusion pop up restaurant, to bring some of their famous Crispy Tofu Balls for everyone to munch on during the tour.  Besides the Crispy Tofu Balls, the other best part of Starry Kitchen is the banana suit Nguyen Tran wears while serving up his delicious food.

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    Starry Kitchen's owner Nguyen Tran in his favorite banana suit. (Photo: Star Foreman)

    The tour began with a little history on how the Prints on Wood story began back in 2005 with the Sea No Evil Art Show and then evolved into what it has become today.  There was also a quick overview of the evolution of the Shepard Fairey Lotus Woman coffee table from the R&D stage thru to the finished tables.

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     A brief history of Prints on Wood by founder Derric Swinfard

    The tour ended with watching the transformation of a sheet of wood into a fine art wood print.  A special thanks to Coop for collaborating with us on the print and signing the 100 limited edition prints exclusive to the Weekend of Wonder attendees.

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    Coop at the Prints on Wood factory with his print "hot off the press"

    Saturday and Sunday were filled with workshops on making juggling balls, then learning how to juggle, getting out of straight jacket, picking locks, some slight of hand card tricks and uncovering a 50 year old puzzle with artifacts both written and real.

    Straight jacket escape with Andrew Mayne

    Straight Jacket escape by Andrew Mayne (Photo: Star Foreman)

    Not to mention a tour of the catacombs beneath the hotel that showcased the mysterious and meticulous work of Thomas Kuntz automatas.

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    Thomas Kuntz in the Mission Inn catacombs with one of his automata (Photo: Star Foreman)

    The Weekend of Wonder lived up to it's name and then surpassed it.  We are already trying to figure out a way to be apart of this event again next year.   Click this link to see more pictures from the Weekend of Wonder.

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    For more information on Boing Boing and Weekend of Wonder please visit: http://boingboing.net/

    For more information on Baby Tattoo Books, please visit:  http://www.babytattoo.com/

  • Baby Tattoo: Carnival of Astounding Art

    If you have ever had the chance to experience an event curated by Bob Self, then you have had the opportunity to be swept off your feet with amazing talent and wonder that surrounds his events.  In his upcoming exhibit Baby Tattoo: Carnival of Astounding Art at the Oceanside Museum of Art, Bob Self is bringing a collaborative experience from all of his events to one place. This is a huge exhibition featuring the many artists who have been apart of the Baby Tattoo story, including Mark Ryden, Marion Peck, Jeff Soto, Tara McPherson, Luke Chueh, Joe Sorren, Audrey Kawasaki, Robert Williams, Travis Louie and Lola to name a few.

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    Bob Self has been hosting Baby Tattooville events that bring together artists and collectors in an intimate weekend experience at the timeless Mission Inn.   The exhibit will feature the art collaborations created at each Baby Tattooville event, the Art Jam.  The Art Jam is the culmination of the weekend long collaboration by all the attending artists.  The Art Jam piece from each of the last eight years will be on exhibit at the Oceanside Museum of Art.

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    The ninth and final Baby Tattooville event will feature Mark Ryden and Marion Peck.  The culminating event will feature, for the first time, a Surrealist Ball with grand costumes and more to be announced.

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    The Carnival of Astounding Art will present a sampling of all the art and artists that have contributed and have been a part of Bob Self's events and book publishing.  We have had the privilege to be a part of two of the Beyond Brookledge events in 2014 and 2015. We were able to donate two fine art prints on wood, "The Amazing Mort" by Travis Louie and "We See What We Seek" by Zelda Devon, shown in the top and bottom photos.

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    The Carnival of Astounding Art at the Oceanside Museum of Art opens Saturday, August 22nd and will be on exhibit until January 3rd, 2016.  Please visit this link to find out more: http://www.kpbs.org/events/ongoing/oceanside-museum-art-presents-baby-tattoo-carnival/

  • Boing Boing X Zelda Devon

    One of the most rewarding feelings is having your work recognized by other people. Not only does it provide a feeling of acceptance and reassurance, but it also serves as great motivation to continue your work.

    Here at Prints on Wood, we take pride in each wood print as if we were one of the many artists that provide us great art!

    Zelda Devon Beyond Brookledge Print on wood

    We came across a post on BoingBoing.com that featured one of our custom wood prints and we were stoked for the shoutout! The wood print in the post was “We See What We Seek” by the very talented Zelda Devon.

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    Photo: Jason Weisberger

    The prints were for made exclusively for Beyond Brookledge, a weekend-long vaudeville inspired event with music, magic, and other entertainment held at the Mission Inn Hotel produced by Bob Self of Baby Tattoo Books. Zelda in collaboration with Prints on Wood gave each attendee of the event a wood print of “We See What We Seek” and it received great acclaim from its recipients.

    We were pleased to hear everyone enjoyed Zelda’s work as much as we do, we are looking forward to working with Beyond Brookledge and Baby Tattoo Books again!

    Here's the original post on boingboing by Jason Weisberger: http://boingboing.net/2015/06/02/this-amazing-print-on-wood-by.htm

  • chopping block: Joe sorren

    One of the best surprises at Baby Tattooville this year was not the bag full of cool art collectables or watching the art jam take on a life of its own, don't get me wrong, those were high points of the weekend!  But...the most unexpected, wonderful piece was getting a chance to sit down with the one and only Joe Sorren only to find out he is more personable and genuine then I could have ever imagined.  He felt more like a long lost friend then an artist we have been collecting for over 10 years.  In fact he was the first art print we bought and still love today.  And now to  be releasing a series of Sorren prints on wood!  It's an honor all its own.  If you have not heard of Sorren or have been wondering what he has been up to the last few years, read on!

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    POW: When did your formal artistic career begin? Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?

    Joe: I couldn't help but draw, all day in class, after school. Didn't really consider a career until college. Felt more like a pipe dream than a career. Still does. I guess that's part of the appeal.

    Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 10.30.45 AMBecause of Toast by Joe Sorren

    POW: We are beyond excited to be working with you on the release of your new piece, “Coronation” and the mini-portfolio collection of four classic prints which include, Because of Toast, If In This Fire, The Portrait of Roger Meanie, and The Mushroom Hunter. From so many amazing art pieces to choose from, how did you narrow it down to those four?

    Joe: Thanks guys, I am beyond stoked to be working with you all as well! After we discussed the possibility of a recreated mini-portfolio, I started looking through my past pieces. I wanted to show 4 pieces that felt like they both belong together, but where each had its own unique voice within the collection, you know?

    Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 10.31.57 AMCoronation by Joe Sorren

    POW: I was looking through your Facebook the other day and stumbled upon an animated video made by your son of George Harrison’s “What is Life”.  I found the video incredibly beautiful.  How does it feel to see your son follow in your foot steps of artistic expression?  Does your son share the same passion to create art, even if in his own medium, as you do?

    Joe: He is definitely following his own footsteps. I am constantly bowled over by the simplicity and grace he naturally displays in his work as well as his life. Inspiring.

    POW: It was beyond an honor to meet you in person at Baby Tattooville earlier this month where you were joined alongside some of our favorite artists, including Jeff Soto, Bob Dobb, Johnny "KMNDZ" Rodriguez and Tara McPherson.  It was quite a memorable experience in so many different ways.  It will probably be hard to pick one, but did you have a favorite moment from that weekend?

    Joe: I happened to wake up at around 5 am or so on the first morning and was curious if anyone was painting on the shared piece. Being that the piece was not so large, and there were to be 14 artists contributing, I thought it might be my best chance to work on it a bit. So I went down there and only found KMNDZ working on it. I jumped in and we worked together a bit, followed shortly by Brom. Having the chance to work with those amazing painters in the quiet of morning was a special treat to be sure.

    Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 10.36.07 AMThe Mushroom Hunter by Joe Sorren

    POW: One thing I love about your art is the fact that it is almost impossible to find any harsh lines in your work. Your brush strokes make everything seem so light, almost airy. With that being said, what are some of your biggest artistic inspirations? Are there any artists from both past and present that you admire?

    Joe: Sure! I love the usual gang of idiots over at Mad Magazine. Growing up staring at Al Jaffee's line work, Don Martin's incredible characters and sick sense of humor. Sergio...

    Within the art world, I love Twombly; the manic raw nature in his work. The impressionists are a little like Dylan to me. I keep rediscovering them and learning new things from them over the years. I went through a Dutch period not long ago, who doesn't I guess. Painting has so much more to express, and so many incredible ways in which to express, it is an endless fascination for me.

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    For more information on Joe Sorren, please visit:  www.joesorrenlivestream.com/

  • A weekend at Baby Tattooville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Chopping Block: Baby Tattooville 2014

    This year we are excited to be apart of Baby Tattooville 2014, an annual interactive art event that will converge upon the historic Mission Inn Hotel and Spa in Riverside, CA on October 3rd through the 5th. Limited to just 40 guests, Baby Tattooville gives each participant a unique opportunity to be apart of the intimate, creative process with the guest artists which this year includes Tara McPherson, Joe Sorren, Brian Smith, Eric Fortune, Brom and Laurie Lee Brom.

    We were able to grab a few minutes with Bob Self, founder of Baby Tattoo Books, who also happens to be the brain child behind the eclectic event.

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    POW: How did you come across the idea of starting Baby Tattoo? What was your inspiration for such a quirky name?

    Bob: My sister came up with the name Baby Tattoo based on my baby (at that time) daughter's temporary tattoos. I thought the name was both catchy and indicative of the type of genre-bending books I was interested in publishing.

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    POW: Your "cast of characters" includes some well-respected artists such as Jeff Soto, Lola, Luke Chueh, Travis Louie, Brian McCarty to name a few, when and where were some of these connections established?

    Bob: I am honored to have published books by many artists I greatly admire. Early on, when I began publishing books, I would introduce myself to artists and let them know that I was interested in publishing their work. As my reputation as a publisher grew, some artists began to approach me about publishing their work. Regardless of who contacts who, productive relationships are usually the result of respectful and enthusiastic communication.

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    POW: This years Baby Tattooville runs October 3rd-5th in Downtown Riverside. What can we expect to see during this year’s event?

    Bob: The ticketed event Baby Tattooville is cloaked in a bit of secrecy. Over the course of the three day, immersive retreat at the Mission Inn, artists and attendees create and celebrate art in a multitude of ways. Eating, drinking and socializing are interspersed with art discussions and demonstrations. A good time is had by all. There's even a collaborative Art-Jam painting created by all of the participating artists over a 24-hour period. Baby Tattooville attendees receive a high-end art print of this collaborative painting as a souvenir of the event. For those who are not able to purchase one of the 40 tickets to Baby Tattooville itself, there is a related exhibition at the Riverside Art Museum that is open to the public. During the weekend of Baby Tattooville, there is an artists' reception at RAM with all of the participating artists in attendance. This RAM exhibition provides some public access to what is an otherwise private event.

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    POW: Did you always have a passion for the arts or was it something you just stumbled upon?

    Bob: My first real connection to art was through book illustrations and animated films. To this day, I am still very attracted to figurative and narrative art.

    POW: How would you describe the art that Tattoo Baby advocates?

    Bob: I sometimes call the type of art I like "strange fun art". I have also referred to the type of art I like as art that demands one's attention… art that achieves the goal of the classic playground taunt, "Made you look!"

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    POW: How was your experience at Comic Con this year? Did you meet any new artists you would be interested in working with?

    Bob: I love the energy and epic scope of Comic-Con. I spent most of this year's Con within the 10'x20' confines of the Baby Tattoo booth, but I managed to meet an astonishing number of longtime associates and newfound friends within that small space over the course of four and a half days. Comic-Con is always a journey of discovery.

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    POW: Your other event "Beyond Brookledge" was extremely successful this year and was also held in Downtown Riverside. How are "Beyond Brookledge" and "Baby Tattooville" different?

    Bob: Baby Tattooville is a celebration of the visual arts. Beyond Brookledge is an epic (yet intimate) magic and vaudeville show. Both events share a similar structure, and both are remarkably entertaining weekends; but one is all about fine art and the other is all about theatre. Of course, it can be argued that art is show business and that show business is art. I certainly like to blur the lines between the two.

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    Thank you Bob for giving us a little bit of your time to talk about this spectacular event.  We are even more excited to be apart of it this year.

    For more information on Baby Tattoo Books, visit http://www.babytattoo.com/

    For more information on Baby Tattooville 2014, visit http://www.babytattooville.com/

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