Why Letterpress?

Relationships

As a conceptual artist I’m fascinated by relationships, the dynamics that pull together and tear apart, and the intimate communications that occur in this space. I’ve been with my partner my entire adult life, so you could say relationship, communication, and the concepts of self and other have been a recurring theme after nearly 20 years. I explore genuine sentiments we share across the spectrum of human emotion. Shared emotional experience creates a vulnerability that binds us to other people in ways we can’t rationally explain, a knowing that transcends the world of words and form to dance throughout time and space. These people become a web representing our friends, family, home, neighbors, cities, states, countries, and planet.

Communication

As a designer i’m fascinated how effective communication and presentation can change people’s minds, compel them to act, invoke empathy, and create connections. Graphic design has spurred movements, sold both innovative and completely useless products, changed lives, and been telling us what to believe since it began. Again, i’m fascinated by relationships, but instead of the intimate personal ones, these are the ones we have with our culture, society, economy, and environment. This craft is where we create a unified language for ideas to express needs, desires, and problems as an organized collective.

Space becomes form

If design is the practice of intentional communication. The goal of graphic artists is to create an experience within the intersection of ideas and material. What better medium to communicate on behalf of the human condition than a handcraft you can literally feel? The tactile sensations and inking techniques of printmaking and letterpress are ideal for establishing these emotional connections. Each piece from the studio is a personal intention as every sheet is crafted by minds, connected to hearts, and touched by hands. Once received, the texture of quality paper is felt under your skin and you have a response you can’t resist, it makes an unforgettable impression. You know you’ve never experienced anything quite like it before and you may never again, so you desire to hold on to it.

Unity within diversity

As a variable inking medium no two pieces come out exactly alike. Subtle differences emerge within the relationships between the paper and the ink, the speed by which the press has moved across the form, the height of the inking rollers, the relative humidity and the temperature of the room. So in letterpress, just like our lives, no two connections between any two people, or groups of people could ever be the same, they all have to be explored and respected for the potential they could be when combined in new ways.

Practice love

I chose letterpress for two key reasons. Objectively, it’s a conceptual manifestation of the conversation i seek to have through my work — relationships, feelings, intentions, integrity, connectedness, compassion, community, and humanity. Subjectively, it’s a space to explore my own human condition through a practice that requires patience, abstract and detailed thinking, creative problem solving, and intentional action. Printing also frees me to collaborate with artists from a variety of backgrounds and explore communication arts together to benefit our community while creating a community in the proces.

The medium and this work remind me daily that everything emerges from the present moment, the big picture and tiny details are equally important, we’re only as strong as our relationships, and diversity makes us even stronger.