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General

  • Prints On Wood - Giving Back

    Now is the time for all of us to band together and help those in need.  Here is one way we can give back to those who have been affected by the recent hurricanes.  Starting today, Prints on Wood is giving $5 of every order to the Direct Relief to help the victims of these tragic events.  The give back campaign is running from September 12, 2017 - October 12, 2017.

    Prints on Wood wants to do what we can to help those who are suffering from the natural disasters that have hit Texas, Florida and the southern states.  All of us can make a difference, no matter how small it may seem.

    "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?" - Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Could your package withstand an atomic bomb?

    The life of a wood print is not easy, cutting, sanding, ink drops, UV rays, it's a rough start.  But the good life begins when they meet "Brad."

    Prints on Wood shipping

    Brad is one of the guys that has the privilege of sending the wood prints off to their forever homes, a feat he does not take lightly.  If you have not had the pleasure of receiving a print on wood packaged by Brad, let me share an email we received from a recent happy customer "Pat".

    Dear POW,
    Thanks so much for the lovely finished product. I know my husband will love it, and I sure do. Much appreciated.
     
    I would be remiss not to mention the amazing packaging of the product you created. If we'd had a nuclear attack while it was in Caitlin's custody we might have lost Caitlin, but my package would have withstood the blast.
     
    Since this is a surprise for Cal, I hid the unopened box in my closet until he was busy in the garage. Then I tried opening the box with scissors. That met with frustration, so I went after it with a box cutter. Some inroads were made, but it was a slow, slow process, and I was crouched in my closet which didn't give me a lot of room to manipulate. I gave serious thought to going to the garage (where Cal was) to see if I could smuggle the power saw past him. Knowing that enterprise would fail, I once again employed the box cutter and stepped up the fury of my attack. I may have said "Die, box, die" a time or two, but whatever it took the now blunt and misshapen box cutter finally breached the many, many layers of sealing tape so I could wedge my hand into the ragged opening and work the wooden picture out. My right hand is a tad swollen, and I need to vacuum the bits of cardboard, sealing tape, sweat and skin from the floor of my closet. My hat's off to the guy from the Department of Un-openable Packages. I hope he gets a good salary. His talent need not be improved upon because he's reached the zenith of his career.
     
    Many thanks,
    Pat D.

     

    Brad prints on wood packing

    No thank you Pat, your eloquence and praise are appreciated, we made sure each was delivered to Brad.

    Now you can rest assured when you place your next order the package will arrive in sound condition even when you box looks like this:

    distroyed shipping box

    Many thanks to the diligent focus and attention of our shipping department headed by the best in west, Brad.

    Brad packaging wood prints

     

  • CHOPPING BLOCK: CELANDINE DESIGN

    Our never-ending quest for world domination affords us the opportunity to cross paths with some incredibly talented people. One such person hails all the way from Southeastern Europe... Serbia to be exact.

    We recently had a chance to speak with the incredibly talented (and meticulous) Lidija Paradinovic Nagulov, owner of Celandine Design. We asked about her about growing up in the Eastern Bloc, her incredibly detailed floral patterns, and the legacy of Nikola Tesla. Much to our surprise, the answers we got back from her were so deeply layered with culture and wisdom, you'd think you were reading a Vice article. ;)

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    CD

    POW: My familiarity with Serbia is limited to what I hear on the news or read on the internet. Turbo-Folk and Soccer Hooligans seem to be discussed frequently in these outlets.

    As a "dumb" American, what are some positive aspects of your country that you think I (and other people like myself) should know about Serbia, and do they influence you as an artist in any way?

    LIDIJA: This is an extremely layered and interesting question. The truth is that Serbia has gone through an awful lot of turmoil during the last twenty years or so, with the breaking up of the old Yugoslavia (which I still think of as home), the subsequent civil war and the rest of that painful mess. This sort of hardship does damage the social structure, and it's true that we also spend a lot of time lamenting over the prevalence of turbo folk and football gangs. Part of the reason is that during the hard times many people sought refuge in other parts of the world (apparently there are entire Serbian quarters in Toronto, for instance), and those that succeeded in getting out were most often the brightest and the best educated. A lot of those who left found themselves rising to the top of their professions and gaining professional respect extremely quickly in their newly adopted homes, so I think it could be said that these lands seem to produce people with great potential, but our social and political structures for some reason seem not to know how to support and use that potential for the greater good. Being a full-time artist here is next to impossible, since economic pressure tends to strangle all non-essential trades.

    When I was a kid I used to tell everyone I was so super lucky, because I lived in the best country that had a beautiful coastline, and wonderful mountains, fertile flat plains for growing food, a strong industry, many different people, and just everything you could think of, all in one. That isn't entirely true any more, we have become much smaller and more homogeneous. But there is a quality of temperament to the Balkan nations that I haven't encountered in most other countries, which I'm not sure how to describe but if pressed I might call it 'heart'. If we like you, you'll know it. If we don't like you, you'll know that too. There's a certain sincerity, a forthrightness (I hope that's a word!) and lack of pretense or decorum that resonates well with me. Also we are reaching out towards the world again, and more and more small entrepreneurs are starting to make unique and premium-quality products, with great design, healthy/organic/eco-friendly ingredients and materials, and a lot of dedication and love. Hopefully someday soon we will hit the world news for some nice reason

    Also I can never go with that notion that Americans are somehow dumber than the rest of the world - I have so many American friends and they are among the smartest, nicest, and most talented people I know. The human race has its fair share of "dumb" to be sure, but it's spread out pretty evenly, I'd say.

    CD1I Hate Goodbyes by Celandine Design

    POW: One thing we here at Prints On Wood really admire about your work is the intricate amount of detail you put into it. When I was first observing some of your floral prints, I noticed little things like eyeballs and tentacles carefully hidden behind the petals and stems of the flowers.

    When illustrating, how do you create images that are so layered and complex? Do you start off with a basic idea and fill in all the little details as you go? 

    LIDIJA: My work process is very chaotic, and because I am drawn to complexity, there is no way I could actually plot out the basic outline of any piece in advance. Usually I start on paper, with a blank piece of A4, and I sketch out some starting element in pencil, then when I think I can 'see' it clearly enough I draw it out with a micron pen. Then I look at what I've got and think 'Ok, what can I put next to this?' Then the next thing gets sketched out, and drawn in ink. So I suppose in a way it's a little like quilting, adding one piece to the next. At the start I have no idea what I'm going to end up with, or more accurately, what I have in my mind is more a feeling I'm aspiring to, rather than a clear image. This is part of the fun, because as I go along I end up surprising myself, and at the end usually I look at the finished thing and go 'Huh, would ya look at that! Didn't know I could pull that off.' It's a weird feeling.

    CD2Lidija inking individual elements for her fine art wood print, Garden Party.

    LIDIJA (cont'd)When I started drawing I wanted to do these complex pieces, but I didn't think I could. I'd look at some elaborate and wonderful piece of art and I'd feel hopelessly overwhelmed, thinking it's only some special sort of magic art people that could make those. Then I'd force myself to look at its parts and think 'Ok, well, could you draw just this rose? No, probably not. Well how about just that one petal? It's just a line, right?' Then I'd draw the one petal, and then I'd put another one next to it. I'd suggest this method to any new artist who feels they can't break through into a higher level of complexity. At its simplest, all art can be broken down to the level of that one line, one shape, one color. When you look at it like that it's like Neo looking at the Matrix.

    I often debate with myself whether I should keep doing the layered and complicated pieces or try to simplify. They take a lot of time and effort, and they aren't as versatile as some simpler or more generic designs. But I think it's my nature and my artistic signature, something that sets me apart - so I'll keep at it, and keep experimenting with different ways to make them more approachable for the average consumer.

    CD7Garden Party by Celandine Design

    POW: A few weeks ago we posted a photo of your Wild Side Spring Version print on our Facebook page, and it gained over 100 likes in a very short period of time. This response inspired me to seek out your other submissions to different Print-on-Demand outlets. You seem to get a lot of positive feedback on all of your submitted work.

    In your opinion, what is it about your artwork that seems to resonate so well with the people on these sites?

    Lidija: Haha, I get great feedback on PoD sites - completely disproportionate to my financial success so far. A part of it is that I haven't been at it for long yet and I'm still learning about consumer preferences. Another part is that perhaps the sort of art I make - with overly strong personal traits - is loved more by other artists than by the general public. I have a lot of artist friends and artists as a community are very supportive of each other, because we can feel that passion that other people put into their pieces. I've often noticed that complex, elaborate and distinctive pieces will get a lot of 'buzz' online, but it's the really simple and iconic designs - think cute animals and chevrons and florals - that hit the highest sales. Even within my own work, it's actually the simplest designs that are selling the best. I understand this somehow on an intuitive level - there is a sort of art that I look at with great admiration and I will like, comment on, and share on my wall, but I wouldn't wear it or put it on my duvet cover. It's the distance between art as an ideal and art as a commodity. Then there are the absolute masters, like the wonderful Fan Brothers for instance, who marry those two worlds with a sort of modest charm that makes it look easy.

    I guess that was a very long-winded way of saying I don't really know. From what I see of the online art world so far, it's a lot like alchemy, and success is the Philosopher's Stone. Because art is liked or disliked on a very primal gut level, no amount of intellectual analysis can actually tell us what will 'work' for wide audiences, and what won't. So we all just pour everything we've got into it and hope for the best. One thing is definitely true - people feel the love and effort you put into your work. It's something that always gets a response.

    CD4Wild Side Spring Version by Celandine Design

    POW:  Although not entirely “Art” related, I’ve been dying to ask this question.

    One of the most influential & creative minds in the past 100 years has been Nikola Tesla, an eccentric Serbian electrical engineer well known for his showmanship and achievements in science. He happens to be incredibly popular in certain corners of the Internet (Reddit, Cracked) and there’s even a very successful electric car company named after the man.

    As a Serbian native, is Nikola Tesla a celebrated folk hero in your country? (If not, he should be :P)

    LIDIJA: Yes, we are extremely proud of Tesla and often argue with Croatians over whose citizen he really was. When I was a kid he used to be on the 500 dinar banknote and my grandfather would give one to me every so often as pocket money, particularly choosing the one with Tesla to inspire me to strive for academic greatness in the field of natural science. It didn't work out exactly as he planned, but I have fond memories of those exchanges. He's still on our money today, and there is a lovely Tesla museum downtown which, although small, is run by a wonderful group of enthusiastic young curators who really breathe life into the experience, telling you all sorts of anecdotes from his life and letting you touch, hold and test out some of his experiments. If you're ever visiting Belgrade it's definitely worth a look. I think we probably haven't grasped all of his legacy yet, and I wouldn't be surprised if a few hundred years down the line we come to some amazing new discoveries and finally go 'Aaaah, so this is what Tesla was talking about that one time!' Also for anyone not familiar with Tesla's exploits, here is my favorite online resource on him, the Oatmeal article, of course.

    CD5Les Fleurs Du Mal by Celandine Design

    POW: As an up and coming artist, what are some of your more lofty/long term goals you’d like to accomplish, and how would you plan to achieve these goals?

    LIDIJA: I could probably write a book on this!! I'm very new to the art world, so all of my conquests still lie ahead of me. I originally started in illustration, but since discovering pattern I have fallen in love, and found myself in an odd place between two worlds - most of my pieces now seem to look like some strange hybrid, like illustrations that seamlessly repeat. I feel there must be a market for this somewhere out there. I'm reading a lot of material these days on the business side of art and pattern design, and my first goal is to figure out how to climb into that sweet spot that is right in the center of the Holy Trinity of art success - being Original, On Brand, and On Trend. These three are forces that each pull in their own direction, and balancing them is still a bit of a mystery to me. In terms of concrete achievements, my list of dreams is long. I want to make art my career. My university major was Japanese language and literature, and at the moment I work full time in administration/ finance (it all flows very naturally from one another, I know), so my drawing time comes late at night, once the work day is done and the kid has been put to bed.

    If art would be the job, then the night could be reclaimed for sleeping! I want to have a studio, with lots of art on the walls, all printed on wood. Seriously, it just looks so much more impressive than paper. I would love to be represented by a good agent. I'd love to break into a number of different surface design fields, like fashion, kids' fashion, and home decor. I'd love to do collaborative projects with some of my favorite artists. I have a pretty wide 'dream client' list. I'd love to see one of my super-elaborate patterns used as a wallpaper on the walls of some fancy boutique hotel somewhere in the world. At the moment a lot of these are still daydreams, but I'm slowly weaving my web, so we'll see!

    CD6Singing Forest In Yellow by Celandine Design

    LIDIJA (cont'd): It's hard to plot out a precise course with such a diverse list of goals, but my first steps consist of just reading everything I can get my hands on about the business of selling and licensing art. Making beautiful things is really only the start - so many people make amazing work they will never sell at any larger scale. The rest of it is understanding the market forces, the competition, the consumer, the rules and customs of retail - and finally that little bit of magic pixie dust that pulls it all together in the end. Perseverance is definitely the key. If I come across anyone I can imagine myself working with, I send them an e-mail. The other day I wrote to the Alternative Limb Project, asking if they'd consider using one of my patterns on a prosthetic limb, for free. That would be such an amazing initiative to be a part of. They haven't written back yet, but I never give up!

    It often feels like there is a taboo between artists on the subject of art as a business and a way of making money, but the truth is that if we want to be able to devote our lives to doing this, something needs to pay the bills. And with so much talent out there, the competition is fierce. One day when I've got things figured out, I'd love to work with young artists and help them out somehow. My first tentative step in that direction is this seamless pattern tutorial, which was a whole lot of fun to make, and I plan to make more as soon as time allows. One thing I can't forget is how much selfless help and support I have received at every step from many wonderful and talented artists I've met along the way. I definitely want to find a way to pay that forward.

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    Thank you so much Lidija for your honest & intelligent answers to our silly questions. I think we all feel a little bit smarter for having talked to you.

    To learn more about Lidija, visit her website at: http://probablypretty.wix.com/celandine

  • 2014 LA Art Show

    LAS_1

    Last week marked the 18th anniversary of the LA Art Show held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Created by the FADA, the LA Art Show has been going strong for the past 18 years and showcases historic, traditional, modern, and contemporary art. Sadly, given the fact that we're a couple of uncultured bros from Riverside, we don't really know the difference between any of those genres. What we do know is that we did see a lot of rad looking art!

    LAS_2

    Take these sick looking wood installations from Alex Yanes for example. Here we were thinking that we do some pretty cool stuff with wood this whole time, and here comes this guy giving us a serious run for our money! Once we figure out how to incorporate these wooden sculptures with wood printing, we're totally going to bug this dude until he finally caves and agrees to work with us.

    LAS_3

    We also came across this completely badical painting by Brian Viveros. (Pardon the glare)

    Is it just me, or is there something insanely attractive about heavily tattooed women who smoke cigarettes and dress up like Bull Fighters? (Probably just me) Incredibly specific fetishes aside, his art style got me thinking... where have I seen this guy's work before?

    Oh yeah, we actually did a couple of large format wood prints in the past for the dude!

    LAS_4

    This job turned out looking mighty fine if I do say so myself. Whether it's on wood or canvas, Brian's art always looks awesome. Although if you asked us we'd say wood, but then again, our opinion might be a little biased.

    Lastly, our 3rd favorite wood-related artist exhibiting this year was the ridiculously talented Low Bros.

    LAS_5

    Palm trees? Bright pink men's t-shirts? Bulging veiny eyeballs? Animals wearing sunglasses? Skateboards with ONE kicktail? It feels like they took everything awesome about the 80's and cut out all the embarrassing haircuts and dance moves. Once again, these images are painted on wood, but I'm sure this amazing artwork would look just as stunning if it was printed on wood. (I'm looking in your direction Low Bros, call us!)

    Sadly, the 2014 LA Art Show has come and gone, but that doesn't mean you can't start preparing for next year. In fact, you SHOULD go! We insist! No really, it would be fun! Not only because it's a stimulating visual feast for your eyeballs to gorge on, but we're probably also going to need a ride.

  • Chopping Block: David Chung

    Remember that weird kid in middle school you sat next to in Social Studies? You know, that one kid that was just a little too... different? The kid who allegedly had a "really hot girlfriend" who conveniently went to a different school? The kid who would draw weird and offensive pictures in all the margins of his text books?

    Well guess what, he's all grown up and his name is David Chung.

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    DC_1

    POW: When doing research for this interview, I couldn't really find anything online art-wise when I searched for "David Chung". I did however find a lovely cornucopia bursting with NSFW paintings when I googled "THE CHUNG!" instead.

    Are you one of those weird/ annoying people who like to create their own nickname?

    DAVID: Well, I hope I’m not one of those weird/annoying people! I mean my wife finds me incredibly annoying, but that’s a different type of an annoying. No, actually the name “The Chung!!” came about years ago when I finally decided to put up a web portfolio. Unfortunately, every variation of my name was already taken for a suitable domain. I had no idea there were so many David Chung’s out there who wanted a website with their name on it. So it started as a joke that there can be only one Chung, I made a search for thechung.com, lo and behold it was totally available. Anyways, long and boring story short, it sort of just stuck all these years. I still only introduce myself as David though.

    DC_3

     F*ck This Sh*t by David Chung

    POW: Your style leans heavily on what appears to be a dark and twisted sense of humor... how and when did you become so evil?

    DAVID: My work is generally played off of highly exaggerated emotions or experiences based off of my own life and what I’m going through, or have gone through at the time. So it’s not that I’m trying to be evil to the characters that I paint, but more so that I’m trying to find a more humorous way of looking at things so that myself and perhaps others won’t linger so much on bad feelings. When you look back at everything at the end of the day, it’s really not as bad as you made it out to be.

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     Happiness Is Killed By Removing The Head Or Destroying The Brain by David Chung

    POW: Does your Mother know what you're painting? Or do you lie and tell her you have some boring desk job to avoid the guilt and shame?

    DAVID: My mom knows what I’m painting, but I also DO have a “boring” desk job as well! I have no shame about what I’m painting, if I did, that would be the complete opposite intention of what I’m trying to get out of painting what I paint. My mom doesn’t always understand what my work is about, but honestly, how many mothers understand anything their children are doing?

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    The Virgin Shrimp Ramen Noodle Soup by David Chung

    POW:  I read that you work in the animation industry as a background designer.  Given your particular brand of humor, if you could create your very own uncensored dream-cartoon (without having to worry about upset mothers and the heads of studio executives exploding) what would you call it, and what would it be about?

    DAVID: Yep, that’s the “boring” desk job that I have haha. It’s actually not boring at all, it’s pretty awesome. It gets stressful, but what job that you love doing isn’t? I’ve actually had a show that I pitched to Cartoon Network about 2 years ago that got picked up. Unfortunately nearly a year after it was purchased and worked on, it was dropped. No hard feelings though, it was just bad timing. That show was however the show that I would have created if I had my own cartoon. It was called, “Okay! Let’s Go!!” and it was based around my go to characters Herro Cat and Kyle, following them on their adventures working at an interplanetary pet rescue. Although they’re not going with that show anymore, me and my writing partner just sold another property back to Cartoon Network, so we’ll see where this goes!

    DC_5

    Smurfin' Go For It Man by David Chung

    POW: Despite the fact that we market to Soccer Moms, every week I see about 2-3 CHUNG!™ wood prints on the shipping table when I pass through the POW warehouse. How has your experience with Prints On Wood been so far, and do you think Soccer Moms are actually buying these?

    DAVID: So far my experience with POW has been awesome! As an artist, I’m really digging the quality of the prints as well as the ease of use in creating new prints. I barely have to do anything and I get great products that I can offer to fans and collectors, it’s awesome! As far as soccer moms buying my work, I actually wouldn’t be surprised. The types of people who approach me telling me that they’re fans are surprisingly parents majority of the times. As I tend to favor using bright vibrant colors and cutesy looking characters, something that children are attracted to, the actual content of my work seem to relate more to the parents. I guess that’s the inner child and my adult self working together.

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    Thanks for being a good sport David, and may your inner child never grow up to wear pleated khakis.

    For more information on David Chung, please visit his website: thechung.com

  • Highlighting Hangar 24

    H24_0

    What do we like almost as much as wood printing? BEER! (The cause of and solution to all of life's problems!) What do we like more than beer or wood prints? Printing wood prints for awesome local beer companies! That's where Hangar 24 comes in.

    Inspired by a love of beer and flying (interesting, but definitely not the weirdest combination involving beer), Ben Cook and his buddies would meet up at Hangar 24 after a day jam packed full of aviation to hang out, play music, and drink his home made suds. Next thing you know, BOOM! they're making beer full time. (If only other stories that involved drinking could have such happy endings.) How does Prints On Wood fit into all of this?

    Plot Twist: We print their wooden signs!

    Yeah, I know, I'm skipping over a lot of details here, but I was planning to write this article about going on a tour of the Hangar 24 Brewery and documenting my experience. Funny thing about that is they aren't offering any guided tours at the moment, so now we're at Plan B: Pull a Mr. Rogers and give a (written) tour of the POW process when printing signs for Hangar 24. : /

    H24_1

    As we step into the print room, we see a very hunky (and hairy) POW production associate flexing his guns by hoisting up blank sheet of wood. Note how he carefully avoids ripping the sleeves on his shirt with his arm cannons. After he places the sheet of wood onto the flatbed printer, he saunters out into the parking to take off his shirt so he can drink a diet coke in the most attractive way possible.

    H24_2

    While our hirsute friend is outside torturing all the single women in the nearby office buildings with his raw swarthy appeal, through the combination of science and magic, our printer is doing the REAL work. Slaving away at an unforgiving blank sheet of wood and transforming it into a beautiful butterfly of bundled wood prints.

    H24_3

    Once all of the artwork for the signs has been printed onto the blank sheets (above), our attractive friend carries them one by one over to our die-cutting machine were the signs are individually cut out of the sheet with pin-point precision. Which brings us to our finished product...

    H24_4

    In it's natural habitat, these signs go up in pubs around the world, promoting the sweet delicious nectar that Hangar 24 produces all year long. Inspiring patrons in bars everywhere to raise their glass to friends, fun, and flying.

    That, my younger readers, are how signs are born.

  • THE TWICE-TOLD TALES ART SHOW

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    Holiday blues got you down? Didn’t get that jetpack you wanted for Christmas? None of the clothes you were gifted fit after your month long egg-nog binge?

    What you need is an intellectual slap in the face to get you out of this post-seasonal funk, and we got just the thing: The TWICE–TOLD TALES Group Art Show this month at the Flower-Pepper Gallery in Pasadena!

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    Who’s going to be showcasing their impressive artistic feats at this exhibit? Oh, just a couple big time fancy-schmancy artists such as Aunia Kahn, Cuddly Rigor Mortis, David Chung, Deanna Rene Adona, Jeremiah Ketner, & Ruel Pascual.

    Any of those names sound familiar? They should, seeing how they’re all featured artists from Prints On Wood. That’s right! If you like what you see at the show, then you’ll love what they’re selling on our website.

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    A few of us from Prints On Wood will be in attendance at The Twice-Told Tales Art Show on it's opening night: Saturday, Jan 25, from 6:30 PM to 9:30. We'll be handing out some free mini wood prints to anyone brave enough to come up to us and say "Hello", so don't be shy.

    This exhibit runs into the next month, ending on it's it's final day: Feb 28, at 7:30 PM. This group showing will feature brand new creative works that draws inspiration from the beloved Brothers Grimm fairytales through the perspective of the artists’ weird, wonderful minds.

    Unfortunately, we understand that everyone perusing this newsletter wont be able to attend this art show in person, but fear not! You can always purchase a several Fine Art prints from Prints On Wood and have your very own art show in your living room. (Just don’t forget to invite us)

    For more information on this upcoming event, please visit: http://www.flower-pepper.com

  • CHOPPING BLOCK: VIVIANA GONZALEZ

    Starting off as a small family owned business in Southern California, we here at Prints On Wood are humbled to see that our company has grown exponentially to resonate with Artists and Art Enthusiasts alike from all over the world.

    This week we were incredibly fortunate to get in touch with one such person, the incredibly talented Viviana Gonzalez, hailing from the beautiful Republic of Chile.

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    CB_1

    POW: Your profile states that you’re a Graphic Designer by trade (a profession which clearly involves a sharp eye for color and detail). Growing up, did you always have a strong artistic inclination before your involvement in this line of work, and did it effect your decision when pursuing this as a career path?

    VIVIANA: Yes, since I was eleven years old I've been interested in design. This interest began in art classes at school, I used to draw logos and posters. My art teacher in that moment noticed my interest and introduced me to graphic design. So at that early age I already knew that I will dedicate myself to this.

    CB_2Cosmic Dreams by Viviana Gonzalez

    POW: When I view artistic imagery, I like to try and deconstruct the process in my mind, creating a step-by-step procedure on how I think the artist completed their final image. When I observe your work however, I’m completely stumped as to how you create your beautiful compositions.

    Without giving too much away, tell us how you’re able to create such realistic landscapes while still maintaining a certain hand-painted look and charm, and has your background and experience in Graphic Design contributed to these techniques?

    VIVIANA: I always liked works of oil on canvas. When I started to work with landscapes in Photography, I searched for the best way to achieve that technique digitally. And exploring that I found two photographers that have been a great inspiration for me in that area: Paolo Cirmia (Italy) and Dirk Wüstenhagen (Germany). They work with texture in a brilliant way, which inspired me to study more about this subject. Now days I create my own textures which satisfies my search and technique as an artist.

    CB_3Observe by Viviana Gonzalez

    POW: It seems that more old school/traditional Artists have a great disdain for any form of art created with the assistance of digital software (i.e: Illustrator & Photoshop), believing that they’re a substitute for actual “talent”. On the other end of the spectrum, it seems that most up-and-coming artists embrace the idea of combining hand drawn images with digital elements to create their art.

    Out of these 2 groups of artists, which would you say that you belong to and why?

    VIVIANA: Right now my work consists of a mixture between illustration, photography and digital elements. Personally I respect both the old school and the new one. Times change and techniques develop and evolve. I use everything that can help me to express that sensation or image that I have in my mind at the moment of creating. I don't have prejudices and neither can I judge or say what is more valid or what is "real" talent and what isn't. For me everybody that has the need of artistic expression deserves my respect.

    CB_4Inspiration (II) by Viviana Gonzalez

    POW: A good portion in your body of work reflects a very somber and mysterious tone, but you reside in South America, an area well known for it’s bright vibrant colors in both nature and art.

    Would you say that your experiences in Chile has affected your artistic style in any way, if at all?

    VIVIANA: I live in Viña del Mar, a city located on the coast of Chile. I think the element or natural phenomena that is reflected in most of my works is the sundown. Living all my life near the sea, without a doubt it has been inspiring for me, because of the beauty and melancholy.

    CB_5

     Paths of Light by Viviana Gonzalez

    POW: As an exhibitor in the Prints On Wood Gallery, what was it about our product that piqued your interest as an Artist, and what kind of feedback have you received so far?

    VIVIANA: As an artist I seek to see my work in something special. Prints on Wood are really unique and beautiful. To see my work printed on this natural element is to me the perfect mix. I am truly flattered to be part of Prints On Wood.

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    Aww shucks Viviana, as are we to have a moment of your time. To you and your beautiful work, we say "A TODO CACHETE!"

    Find out more about Viviana Gonzalez at her website: www.vivigonzalezart.cl

  • CHOPPING BLOCK: TERRY FAN

    In a constant changing world where mediums collide, one man has managed to keep his head above water and keep it (sur)real.

    We recently had the wonderful opportunity to chat with gallery artist, Terry Fan, for a glimpse into the insight and wisdom needed to create such beautiful imagery.

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    POW: When did you first pick up a pencil, and at what point did you finally realize that you were able to make a career out of your artistic abilities?

    TERRY: For the first question I really have no idea, but I must have been pretty young because apparently I was drawing airplanes all over the walls before I could even talk. I first realized I could make a career out of this just a couple of years back. About five years ago on a rash impulse I quit a relatively well-paying, full-time job as a hospital pharmacy technician. I had been working there for about eight years and it was pretty soul-destroying work. At that point I didn’t even care what happened, even living on the streets would have been preferable, that’s how much I hated it. After quitting, I did indeed struggle for the first few years, but I slowly started to get more exposure and recognition and it just kind of snowballed.

    It was great timing in a way because that’s just when print-on-demand sites started to arrive on the scene so I got on that boat early. POD sites have really changed the rules of the game and given a lot of power back to the artist. Personally speaking, they have been a complete life-saver. I actually don’t even do freelance work anymore unless it’s something really cool and I pretty much just work for myself, which I couldn’t have even imagined five years ago. So although there were struggles and sacrifices along the way, I’m glad I took that big leap into the unknown. I’m just so grateful that through the incredible support of the people I work with and my fans that I’m finally able to make a living at this, for me it’s a mini-miracle.

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    POW: What was the biggest challenge facing you at this point in time when you decided to make the leap?

    TERRY: Okay, I’ll have to backtrack a bit. I had my formal training at the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto long ago (actually it’s a University now). After graduating I didn’t have any practical game plan career-wise so I got really discouraged and basically gave up on the idea of making a living as an artist, it just seemed impossible. Part of it was my own lack of organization and immaturity, but also at that point the internet barely existed and it was much more difficult for artists to get exposure. I dabbled with other creative mediums sporadically over the years, but nothing that would allow me quit my day job.

    The biggest challenge after I took the leap many years later was just polishing up my drawing skills and also tackling the technological demands of the modern artist. For instance, I didn’t even know how to use Adobe Photoshop and it was excruciating for me to learn it because it was so out of my usual realm. In college I was only taught traditional methods and at first I was resistant to the idea of producing any kind of work done even partially on a computer. So yeah, the steep learning curve and getting past that self-imposed mental block was quite the challenge.

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    POW: When creating your illustrative works, how does your creative process progress over the course of the project? Do you start out with a theme followed by a round of sketches, and from that, decide on a composition? Or do you just approach a blank canvas and start working on it until it's finished?

    TERRY: Sometimes I start out with a general idea, more of a feeling than anything else, and other times I have something very specific in mind, especially if it’s conceptually based, it really depends. My approach will be determined by this as well, but most of the time I start with a very rough sketch, just to help visualize the idea and get the basic composition down. I also keep a notepad beside my bed because sometimes I come up with some really cool ideas when I’m falling asleep, dreaming or waking up. So if it’s a good enough idea I then proceed to a more worked up illustration usually done with pencil/pencil crayon, sometimes also micron pen or watercolour depending on the type of illustration.

    The next step is scanning the illustration into my laptop at high resolution (usually 600 dpi) and then importing the image into Adobe Photoshop. From there I do all the colouring and may also add additional texture, shading, highlights or lighting effects. Often if a design is complicated I’ll draw and scan individual elements so I get higher resolution and then I’ll compose them in Photoshop. Photoshop is awesome that way and allows for tremendous freedom and flexibility, I guess the downside being that the end result often ends up looking very different from the original illustrations. The Photoshop part of the process usually takes longer than the actual illustration because this is where I experiment with different approaches and colour palettes. I’m kind of a perfectionist so I tend to endlessly tweak things, something I’m trying to get a handle on!

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    POW: Several reoccurring themes manifest themselves in your work (such as trees, flying, deep-sea diving, etc), what is your relationship with these elements and why do you draw inspiration from them?

    TERRY: Ha ha, yeah, those themes tend to crop up a lot. I’m not exactly sure why, my current theory is I used to be a sailor in a past life because I’m really attracted to nautical themes. As for trees, there’s just something so primal and wonderful about trees that puts me back to my childhood. When I was growing up I always had a very close connection to the natural world and it directly tied in with my creativity. Actually a lot of my work is based around this kind of nostalgia I have for my childhood and the past in general - that sense of wonder and mystery that many people innately posses as children, but then lose somewhere down the road. I’m always trying to re-capture that feeling in some way, to tap into that reservoir of imagination that lies buried and forgotten under layers of social conditioning.

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    POW: Here at POW we have fallen in love your art pieces, they look so natural printed on wood. Have you gotten any feedback from your collectors who have purchased your art printed on wood?

    TERRY: Well, thank you! In turn I’ve fallen in love with the way my work looks printed on wood. I’m a big fan of natural materials when it comes to pretty much anything, that’s actually what attracted me to your site initially. When I saw the pics on your Facebook page of actual finished prints that customers had ordered I was completely blown away. Even though I’ve sold quite a number of pieces I haven’t actually received much feedback from customers or collectors to be honest, but from what I’ve seen in the pictures I’m throughly impressed, by the depth of the colours, the quality of the printing and the way the wood grain sometimes shows through. For some reason there seems to be a rich luminosity to the prints that I don’t see in paper prints, I’m not sure whether it’s the wood or your printing process, but whatever the reason, it looks awesome! I really respect the way Prints on Wood does their own printing and takes pride in each and every piece that’s printed, it really shows in the final result. I also love that you’re so environmentally conscious, that means a lot to me.

    Anyway, thanks for the interview and for being such a wonderful and supportive group of people to work with!

  • PHOTO(WOOD)SHOP

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    What is Photo(Wood)Shop? It's an exciting new feature we've integrated into the Create Your Own process that lets you edit your images.

    Today, we'll go over the steps needed to start editing your own photographs and how to adjust the color scheme of your image with this step by step process.

    1.) Visit P.O.W.'s Create Your Own page.

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    2.) Select the thickness of your wood canvas

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    3.) Upload your image from Facebook, Instagram, or your Hard Drive.

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    4.) Once you've uploaded your photo, two images should appear on the right side of the screen. Above the top image is a green button that reads "ADD IMAGE EFFECTS".

    Click on this button to access the Photo(Wood)Shop!

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    5.) A new black window will appear with your image in the middle and several icons across the top. Each of these represent a different effect or filter you can add to your image.

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    6.) Today we'll play with the color scheme of our image by using the Effects tool.

    Click on the 3rd button from the left, a roll of film with text underneath it that reads "EFFECTS".

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    7.) Once you select the Effects tool, several variations of your image will appear at the top.

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    These effects can enhance the look and feel of a dull or lifeless photograph by adding character with a charming antiquated look. Feel free to cycle through all the different image variations the Effects tool has to offer, keeping in mind that your image will take on the characteristics of these effects.

    Selecting a cooling effect will result in your image having richer blues, purples, and greens. If a warming effect is selected, it will enhance the reds, oranges, and yellows, making them more vibrant in your photograph.

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