What a fun time I’ve been having in the studio lately! I’m really excited to be working on the projects I have in progress and most of that has to do with how much fun and how interesting it has been to print on all of the new materials I’ve been working with. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been challenging, demanding and required me to think very, very critically and creatively about how I want to make things. But all in all it’s also been really fun!
For the last few years I’ve really been focused on printing exclusively on paper. Learning how to make work that is more edition based and how to keep things a bit more consistent from print to print. Adding all of these new materials to the mix has really shaken up my expectations of how my screens will print, how the inks I use will print and which inks might print better. I’ve been doing lots and lots of tests and trying new things! I’ve also been realizing that I want to make some of these projects/products for a bit- it’s a whole lot of work to figure out a new process so I want to be able to capitalize on that investment and offer the projects I’m developing on a longer term. So I’ve also been doing a lot of research about wholesale purchasing and learning who might have supplies for my projects that I’ll be able to consistently order for some time.
Los Angeles is place where you can find pretty much anything to try out a new idea but at some point you have to establish a long term supply connection. I’ve had a lot more success finding those connections online. This last week I ordered and received a pile of new materials based on materials I’ve tested and suppliers I’ve been researching. I received a whole bolt of the silk I’ll be using in the hand printed hand dyed silk scarves- yards and yards of beautiful silk just waiting in my studio to be folded, dyed and printed on! I also received my first wholesale purchase from my new felt supplier. My initial run of pennants were printed on a few yards that I purchased retail in order to try out the printing and see if you guys liked the idea. and you did! So I ordered 40+ yards of felt of a beautiful wool blend felt in some really nice colors! Which is like 400+ pennants!!! I also ordered a new batch of one inch button supplies – 1000 buttons just waiting to be made. I figure I usually sell a few hundred of these every few months at various shows so why not stock up!
Holy moly. Is it scary? You betcha. It’s a bit terrifying to spend a good amount of money on something you’re not absolutely sure you can sell. Because even though everyone has been really excited and enthused about the things I’m working on right now, there really are no guarantees. It’s a big leap of faith, there’s no doubt about that. Having faith in the response I’ve had thus far, having faith in my own creative process and having faith that I’ll be able to do the actual marketing and promotion work to get the new projects out into the world different way than I have been pursuing before.
I’m getting down to work this week to make a batch of the pennants in the new colors and to start really, really working with that silk in larger volumes. Last week I cleaned off all my screens and on Monday I re-exposed them with the designs I’m going to be working on. The pennant designs you’ve already seen plus a new design to represent Joshua Tree as well as the two designs I’ll be using for the hand printed silk scarves. If you’ve been following along on instagram you’ve seen a lot of images of tests on silk so I know some of you are super excited about that (me too!!). Wish me luck on all this, I would really appreciate it!