Posts By: Angee

Last Chance to Support Our 10th Anniversary Campaign

Last June, Spudnik Press Cooperative entered our 10th year or programming. When we reached this milestone, we announced our goal of raising $65,000 from individuals and businesses by June 2018. We are already 80% to our goal and need your support to raise the final $12,833 by June 30, 2018.

Support the Campaign

Your donations are enabling:


Ways to Support our Campaign:

  1. Join our Giving Circle.

  2. Become an Annual Member.

  3. Contribute specifically to the Equipment Fund.

  4. Ask your employer to become a Business Sponsor.

  5. Add a donation when you attend Open Studio sessions.


Make a Donation

Announcing The Frame Shop: Our New Member Program Sponsor

We are excited to introduce The Frame Shop, our newest business sponsor!

Their staff says “Every great artist needs an equally great support system behind them,” and that’s part of why they have committed to offering our members discounted framing services. The Frame Shop staff are seasoned designers and framing consultants who have decades of experience. Plus many are practicing artists that understand the challenges of finding the best way to present your artwork with a limited budget.

Many Thanks to The Frame Shop!

What does this mean for you? Anyone who becomes or renews their membership before 12/31/18 receives:

  • Complimentary 5″ x 7″ frame
  • One time “Buy one, get one” framing discount for all first-time customers of The Frame Shop
  • 20% off all framing through 12/31/2018.

But wait, there is more! Join Spudnik Press today and your membership dues will support the tail end of our 10th Anniversary Campaign. This year-long fundraising effort is allowing our studio to expand our professional development opportunities and establish a reserve fund to ensure we are resilient for years to come.

Member or not, we encourage everyone to support The Frame Shop – a local businesses that is dedicating to supporting their community!

Join the Community! Become a Member!

Professional Practice: Browne Goodwin Private Collection Tour

Friday, June 8, 2018
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (does not include travel time)
Plainfield, IL

$15 for Spudnik Press Members
$5 for Resident Artists and Studio Fellows
Register Online


Have you ever wondered what an art collector thinks about when looking for their next acquisition? What excites them about collecting?

What are the places and spaces collectors visit when looking for new artists?

Have you, as an artist, thought about what you can do to facilitate a relationship with a collector?

Or are you someone interested in starting an art collection, but don’t know how?

If any of these questions have crossed your mind, this June we have a very special opportunity to visit and speak with collector Browne Goodwin. An avid art collector and supporter for more than 45 years, Browne will speak with our members about how he started collecting with his wife and what it is about fostering the career of an artist that he most enjoys. He will also share some of the risks they took with their collection and what he does to stay in touch with artists, galleries, and other maker spaces. In addition to receiving a tour of his collection, members will have an opportunity to guide our discussion with Browne and ask questions of their own.

This program is part of our Professional Practice: Off-site Visit series, intended to introduce members to the numerous and diverse art spaces and individuals that contribute to Chicago’s vibrant arts landscape. In addition to connecting with other professionals in the city, these visits present our members with a range of resources and career paths.

Browne Goodwin Bio:
Browne Goodwin has been an art collector and supporter (with his wife until her death in 2014) for more than 45 years. Involved with many art organizations over the years, Browne is currently a Spudnik Press Cooperative Board Member, is part of the Chicago Artists Coalition Annual Committee, and participates in several museum support groups. His collection includes some 300 works of art in all media, with an emphasis on contemporary art from emerging artists in the communities where he has lived – Los Angeles, Austin, and Chicago. Fine prints form a major portion of the collection, and continue to be added. Browne’s collection will be exhibited at the Illinois State Museum Gallery in Lockport, IL in October of this year.

Registration Details:
Space is limited to twelve members. Advanced registration is required. The non-refundable registration fee can be paid online. Please note, Browne’s home is located in Plainfield, IL. Transportation to and from this off-site visit will be available to members without a vehicle. An itinerary of the off-site visit will be sent to all registered participants on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

If you are not a member and wish to participate in this off-site visit, please join or renew your membership.

Spudnik Press Welcomes New Cohort Of Studio Fellows

Spudnik Press Cooperative is pleased to welcome and introduce Emma Bilyeu, Dan Manion, Emily Shopp, and Junli Song, the 10th cohort of studio fellows.Through our newly revamped Fellowship Program, these four artists will receive full studio access and participate in a weekly professional development seminar. Throughout twenty sessions, the Fellows will develop the artistic and professional skills needed to build a successful career in the arts. Additional program components work in conjunction to provide mentorship, technical training, meaningful interactions with art professionals, public programming experience, and leadership opportunities.

In addition to developing their personal body of work and partaking in the professional development seminar, each fellow will lead one Open Studio session every week during their 7-month fellowship. They look forward to engaging with our community and being part of a supportive network of artists, as well as sharing their own art practice.

2018 Fellows

Emma Bilyeu is a visual artist working out of her basement studio in Humboldt Park, Chicago. As a student of printmaking and book arts she likes to incorporate paper, letter shapes, book forms, and multiples into her work. With this she is able to explore ideas of communication and storytelling. When not in the studio, Emma is cuddling her dog, reading dystopian or self-help literature, or painting edges of business cards at Rohner Letterpress.

Dan Manion is an interdisciplinary artist and storyteller with an affinity for all forms of visual and auditory narrative. A recent BFA Printmaking graduate of Ohio University, he wishes to continue pursuing printed and moving imagery to expand upon his experimentation with various storytelling forms, which allow us to simultaneously escape, cope with, and confront our own experiences with the world. His narrative goals aim to evoke intimate, visceral and empathetic connections between diverse viewers.

Emily Shopp grew up in Dallas, Texas. In 2013, she received her BFA in Printmaking at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she was the 2012 recipient of the Cole Dean’s Award in Art. Shopp has been included in various juried exhibitions including the ​Printmaking National Exhibition​ at Mark Arts in Wichita, Kansas and ​23rd Arts in Harmony 2018 Annual International Show ​in Hopkins, MN.​ ​She currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.

Junli Song is an aspiring artist and storyteller. She enjoys thinking about how to communicate with the page, both in terms of content and white space. Song is particularly drawn to screenprinting, colour palettes, and beautiful paper, and enjoys artwork that evokes emotion and feeling, with characters that have a strong sense of personality. As a lifelong bibliophile, she dreams of creating beautiful books and telling stories through both words and images.

Spring Membership Drive to Support Our 10th Anniversary

Join Spudnik Press Cooperative as an annual member to both give and receive! We are hosting a Spring Membership Drive in support of our 10th Anniversary Campaign.

Our members are an inspiring group of artists, designers, makers, and creatives. Browse our Member Interviews to get a glimpse into the talented community. Then join our family as an Annual Member!

Why join? The program keeps getting better and better! We have gradually expanded the scope and depth of our membership program to be a comprehensive artistic support package that includes:

In early 2018, we rolled out an entire Professional Practices program catered to the needs and interests of print media artists and exclusively for our members. Current opportunities include a studio tour with Karolina Gnatowski and 30-minute individual portfolio sessions with  review with Meg Duguid with more tours and portfolio reviews scheduled through out 2018.

We truly hope you will become an Annual Member in support of 10th Anniversary Campaign!

Join the Community! Become a Member!

Spudnik Press Cooperative Announces 2018 Juried Exhibition Selections

In early 2018, the Spudnik Press Exhibitions Committee received an outstanding number of quality proposals for consideration for our 2018 exhibition schedule. Among the proposals the Exhibitions Committee reviewed, and ultimately selected, were Now More Than Ever, a solo show featuring new work by Emmy Lingscheit, and States of I: A Conversation, highlighting the work of artists Mary Jones and Jolynn Reigeluth.

Both of these proposals present exceptional print-based work that encourages dialogue and reflection within the context of a greater landscape. In Lingscheit’s work we will explore ideas of environmental change and geopolitical upheaval through a series of prints both small and large. Lingscheit writes about her work: “Some of my prints critique entrenched systems and attitudes that contribute to environmental damage, amplifying social and economic inequality in the process. I am particularly interested in the idea and aesthetics of salvaging hope, shelter, and community out of repression, division, and environmental catastrophe.” Meanwhile, in States Of I: A Conversation artists Mary Jones and Jolynn Reigeluth invite us to partake in an intimate exchange that celebrates the absurdity of being human by bringing to light some of our untold internal monologues. For their exhibition, Jones and Reigeluth will contribute two bodies of work that culminate in a conversation with a set of two prints – one from each artist – that correspond in size and title. These autobiographical works draw inspiration from the artists’ shared interest in narrative imagery as well as their love for the graphic legacy and energy coming out of Chicago.

States of I: A Conversation opens on June 15, 2018 and will be on view through August 11, 2018. Now More Than Ever is scheduled to open later this year and will run November 2, 2018 through December 29, 2018. Both exhibitions will take place at The Annex at Spudnik Press, 1821 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60622.


About the Artists:

Mary Jones makes maps of the wilderness of personal histories. Images and words are layered out of time and perspective, and where and when are subjective. Space is delineated by the inhabitants, the who in the journeys being told. These personas are a combination of what is seen with what is imagined about encounters with people, places, and things. Details get piled on in the way that life is lived– in steps, notes, beats, breaths, and marks. Whether drawing or working in print media, collage is always an element. Trained as a printmaker, Jones is a scavenger of technologies, old and new.

Emmy Lingscheit’s work critically investigates the ambiguities and exchanges between organisms and non-organisms, and between humans and non-humans. These seemingly rigid categories become increasingly blurry as technological advances take us further into a postnatural domain, and scientific research continues to reveal surprising insights into the world we think we know. Lingscheit’s prints, drawings, and sculptural works explore the myriad ways in which we are enmeshed with the non-human world, from the cellular level to the global economy, and their implications for the ecological and climatic challenges we face.

Jolynn Reigeluth’s work combines an array of printmaking processes with drawing, painting, and collage to create print and mixed media hybrids. The images earnestly and humorously reflect on the emotional and physical aspects of the human condition and its twisted ironies. By working in tension between intuition and structure, she creates imagery that playfully captures the complexity of ubiquitous human experiences and interactions. She has a distinct affinity for the absurd and scatological that manifests in these introspective self-portraits.

 

Image (left to right): Mary Jones, Harryette, 2017 (detail); Jolynn Reigeluth, These Are My Legs II, 2017 (detail); Emmy Lingscheit, Longitudinal Study, 2016 (detail).

Now More Than Ever

Featured Artists:

Emmy Lingscheit

Dates:

11/2/2018 – 12/29/2018

Location:

The Annex @ Spudnik Press

Corresponding Events:

Opening Reception & Artist Talk
Friday, November 2, 2018
6:00 – 9:00pm

Press Release:

Spudnik Press Cooperative is pleased to present Now More Than Ever, a solo exhibition featuring work by Emmy Lingscheit.

In Now More Than Ever, artist Emmy Lingscheit invites us to think about the idea and aesthetics of salvaging hope, shelter, and community out of repression, division, and catastrophe caused by rapid environmental change. Her prints offer a critique of entrenched systems and attitudes that contribute to environmental damage, amplifying social and economic inequality in the process.

Created specifically for this exhibition, and in addition to her framed work, Lingscheit hones in on the idea of a natural world out of balance through large-scale relief prints. These pieces are designed to yield prints that align edge-to-edge, repeating infinitely and building up to a visually overwhelming abundance that is both breathtaking and grotesque. Among the specimen featured in these large-scale prints are oyster mushrooms and a bloom of jellyfish, both of which may seem alien to us, but are situated to inherit the earth as we change it.

Now More Than Ever opens on November 2, 2018 and will be on view through December 29, 2018 at The Annex at Spudnik Press, 1821 W. Hubbard Street, Suite 302, Chicago, IL 60622.

About the Artist:

Emmy Lingscheit’s work critically investigates the ambiguities and exchanges between organisms and non-organisms, and that between humans and non-humans. These seemingly rigid categories become increasingly blurry as technological advances take us further into a postnatural domain, and scientific research continues to reveal surprising insights into the world we think we know. Lingscheit’s prints, drawings, and sculptural works explore the myriad ways in which we are enmeshed with the non-human world, from the cellular level to the global economy, and their implications for the ecological and climatic challenges we face.

Lingscheit exhibits her work nationally and internationally, including recent invitational and group exhibitions “New Prints 2016/Winter” at the International Print Center New York, NY, “A Curious Bestiary: Chimeras and Cryptozoology from American Printmakers” at Davidson Galleries in Seattle, WA, and “American Lithography in the 21st Century,” at the Lithographic Academy in Tidaholm, Sweden. Recent solo exhibitions include shows at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the University of Southern Indiana, and the Indianapolis Arts Center. She has held numerous artist residencies, including at Ucross, Brush Creek, Zygote Press, and the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program. Lingscheit holds a BFA from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and an MFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her work is represented by Davidson Galleries of Seattle, WA, and resides in private and public collections, including the collection of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Lingscheit is currently an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she is the printmaking coordinator.

Image (left to right): Emmy Lingscheit, Longitudinal Study, 2016; Mycoremediation, 2018 (detail).

States of I: A Conversation

Featured Artists:

Mary Jones and Jolynn Reigeluth

Dates:

6/15/2018 – 8/11/2018

Location:

The Annex @ Spudnik Press

Corresponding Events:

Opening Reception & Artist Talk
Friday, June 15, 2018
6:00 – 9:00pm

Press Release:

Spudnik Press Cooperative is pleased to present States of I: A Conversation, an exhibition featuring work by artists Mary Jones and Jolynn Reigeluth.

Jones and Reigeluth are artists that live and work in states of “I;” respectively, Indianola, Iowa and Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to living in states that start with the same letter, these printmakers have a penchant for building images from a central persona who is at best an unreliable narrator, caught and fraught in a landscape of self.

In their work, both artists celebrate the absurdity of being human by bringing to light some of our deepest, untold internal monologues. These autobiographical works by Jones and Reigeluth exemplify their shared interests in narrative imagery, as well as a love for the graphic legacy and energy coming out of Chicago, Illinois. For this exhibition, Jones and Reigeluth will contribute two bodies of work that culminate in a conversation with a set of two prints – one from each artist – that correspond in size and title.

States of I: A Conversation opens on June 15, 2018 and will be on view through August 11, 2018 at The Annex at Spudnik Press, 1821 W. Hubbard Street, Suite 302, Chicago, IL 60622.

About the Artists:

Mary Jones makes maps of the wilderness of personal histories. Images and words are layered out of time and perspective, and where and when are subjective. Space is delineated by the inhabitants, the who in the journeys being told. These personas are a combination of what is seen with what is imagined about encounters with people, places, and things. Details get piled on in the way that life is lived– in steps, notes, beats, breaths, and marks. Whether drawing or working in print media, collage is always an element. Trained as a printmaker, Jones is a scavenger of technologies, old and new.

Prior to moving to the Des Moines area, Jones lived in Chicago, where she exhibited at Ann Nathan Gallery. She was employed as an illustrator and designer, with work published by the Chicago Tribune, Playboy Magazine, and the Philadelphia Enquirer, among other publications. She was awarded residencies with the Ragdale Foundation, and with Anchor Graphics in Chicago. Twice she has taught photopolymer intaglio workshops for Frogman’s Print Workshops in Omaha, NE. For the past 17 years, she taught printmaking, design, and book arts courses Grand View University in Des Moines. She has work in several public collections, including the Illinois State Museum, and the Alter Collection of Art by Women at PAFA in Philadelphia. She is represented by Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee and Moberg Gallery in Des Moines.

Jolynn Reigeluth’s work combines an array of printmaking processes with drawing, painting, and collage to create print and mixed media hybrids. The images earnestly and humorously reflect on the emotional and physical aspects of the human condition and its twisted ironies. By working in tension between intuition and structure, she creates imagery that playfully captures the complexity of ubiquitous human experiences and interactions. She has a distinct affinity for the absurd and scatological that manifests in these introspective self-portraits.

Reigeluth is an artist from Des Moines, IA currently living and working in Indianapolis, Indiana. She earned an M.F.A. in printmaking from Kansas State University in 2015. Since 2015, Reigeluth has completed a residency in Ontario, Canada, taught at Indiana Wesleyan University as well as other Indianapolis venues, and visited universities in Michigan and Kansas as a visiting artist. In 2016, she curated a traveling exhibition titled “Sateen Dura-Luxe,” an exchange portfolio in honor of Indiana born author, Kurt Vonnegut. The exhibition schedule included MAPC’s 2016 Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, and The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in Indianapolis, where Jolynn is currently organizing another exhibition for 2018. In recent years, her work has been included in exhibitions across the United States including the International Print Center New York’s New Prints Exhibition, Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition, Pacific States Biennial North American Printmaking Exhibition, and others. In 2018 Reigeluth will participate in conducting research for a project titled Transforming Printmaking Through Chemical Innovation lead by National Endowment for the Arts Grant Recipients, Jason Scuilla and Stefan Bossmann, of Kansas State University.

Image (left to right): Jolynn Reigeluth, These Are My Legs II, 2017 (detail); Mary Jones, Harryette, 2017 (detail).

Venue Registration Requirements for the Chicago Print Crawl

The Chicago Print Crawl is an annual, self-guided tour of printmaking production, publishing, exhibition and sales venues throughout the City of Chicago, organized by Spudnik Press Cooperative.

The inaugural event is Sunday, June 24, 2018 from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. A free after party will be held at Spudnik from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Eligible venues include:
• Artist’s studios engaged in on site printmaking
• Nonprofit printmaking shops, exhibition spaces or galleries showing prints
• Commercial printmaking shops, preferably also engaged in fine art production
• Commercial galleries or other for profit spaces exhibiting and selling prints.

Chicago Print Crawl participants agree to:
• be open to the public on Sunday, June 24 for the entire duration of the posted hours
• offer demos or tours (if appropriate) on the day of the event
• charge no visitor entry fees to the Chicago Print Crawl
• provide maps to visitors upon request (maps may be downloaded and printed)
• feature #ChicagoPrintCrawl in your promotions, social media and press releases
• pay the appropriate participation fee which covers event, promotion and logistical costs

Application deadline is May 1, 2018.

To register, be sure to complete our online application form and submit payment using one of the links provided below that best represents your business:

Professional Practice: Studio Visit with Artist Karolina Gnatowski

Saturday, May 12, 2018
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

$15 for Spudnik Press Members
$5 for Resident Artists and Studio Fellows
Register Online

We invite you to venture into the world of visionary artist Karolina Gnatowski, as she welcomes us into her studio for a private viewing of her work and discussion on best practices for artists. With a solo exhibition scheduled to open at a local museum in 2019, we will learn about her trajectory as an artist and what it takes to prepare for a project of this scale. This is also a wonderful opportunity for our members to hear from Karolina on the topic of maintaining an active studio practice, and gain further insight into how one can navigate and establish meaningful connections in the art world.

This special program is part of our Professional Practice: Off-site Visit series, intended to introduce members to the numerous and diverse art spaces and individuals that contribute to Chicago’s vibrant arts landscape. In addition to connecting with other professionals in the city, these visits present our members with a range of resources and career paths.

Karolina Gnatowski Bio:
Karolina Gnatowski is an artist living and working in Chicago. Exhibitions include shows at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago; Gallery 400, Chicago; Loyola University Gallery, Chicago; The Franklin, Chicago; Adult Contemporary, Chicago; DoubeBreak, San Diego; SideCar, Hammond, IN; Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago; Weglowa Gallery, Bialystok, Poland; Northern Illinois University; Lollapalooza, Chicago. Gnatowski is faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fiber and Material Studies Department. She holds a BFA from the University of Arts, Philadelphia and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Registration Details:
Space is limited to twelve members. Advanced registration is required. The non-refundable registration fee can be paid online. Please note, transportation to Karolina’s studio is not provided. Registrants are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the artist’s studio and for arriving on time. An itinerary of the off-site visit, including the artist’s studio address, will be sent to all registered participants on Thursday, May 10, 2018.

If you are not a member and wish to participate in this off-site visit, please join or renew your membership.

Professional Practice: Portfolio Review with Meg Duguid

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Spudnik Press, 1821 W Hubbard, Suite 302

$20 for Spudnik Press Members
$10 for Resident Artists and Studio Fellows
Register Online

Guest Reviewer: Meg Duguid

In an effort to continue our mission to unite our community of printmakers with art professionals throughout the Chicagoland area we are launching a revised edition of our portfolio reviews this 2018. Professional Practice: Portfolio Review will consist of a 30-minute, individual portfolio review with a curator, educator, gallery director, or arts administrator.

This is a unique opportunity for artists to receive feedback on a current body of work or upcoming project, as well as suggestions on how to prepare for other professional opportunities.

Meg Duguid Bio:
Meg Duguid believes that documentation is paramount to her art making and is invested in the ways that documentation and art can be integrated in a single practice. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from Bard College. She has performed and exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 6018 NORTH, Slow Gallery, the Mission, Terrain, Roman Susan, the Chicago Cultural Center, and Defibrillator Performance Art Space in Chicago, as well as the DUMBO Arts Festival in Brooklyn, 667 Shotwell in San Francisco, and the Zona Maco Art Fair in Mexico City. Duguid has screened work at Synthetic Zero in New York, Spiderbug in Chicago, and the Last Supper Festival in Brooklyn. From 2009 to 2011 she ran Clutch Gallery, a 25-square-inch white cube located in the heart of her purse; since then, she lends her purse to others to curate and carry. Duguid is a member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid Chicago and lives and works in Chicago with her husband, her son, and two cats.

Registration Details:
Space is limited to six artists. Advanced registration is required. The non-refundable registration fee can be paid online. The registration deadline is Monday, May 14, 2018 or when all spaces are full. Exact time slots will be assigned by Friday, May 18, 2018.  Registrants are encouraged to arrive 10-15 minutes early to their scheduled appointment.

Member Interview: Colleen Hardison

Colleen Hardison is a Chicago-based freelance illustrator. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in Illustration and moved to Chicago in the summer of 2015. Her illustrations and drawings are raw, dark and vivid, often making a subtle reference to current social and political issues. Her process is very iterative and often builds off of old sketches or evolves from a collage of her previous ideas. She works primarily out of her sketchbook, rendering drawings with ink pens and then developing them through illustrator, before deciding to print them out. She is currently learning how to incorporate screenprinting and risograph printing into her practice.

Manisha: How would you describe your work and what medium do you primarily work in?

Colleen: So I would describe my work as naïve and graphic. I like to use gouache, which is unfortunate because it’s really expensive. I also enjoy flat and inky things. When I first started school, I was focused on executing my renderings in a realistic style and worked primarily with oil paint. But then one of my professors at the time told me: “Great job, but this is boring. Your sketches are finals.” And that stayed with me because I like to work pretty fast and loose using a lot of colors.

Manisha: That’s something that caught my eye about your work. While it may be loose and painterly, it can be interpreted both as a work in progress or something that is finished.

Colleen: Yeah, because if I mess things up from the start, I don’t feel married to it so I can keep pushing the idea until I like it or just throw it out. Mostly I just throw it out. So I have a graveyard of scraps from previous sketches. I also like to work on five different things at once. What usually happens with most of my projects is that I draw something, thinking to myself “well, this looks good enough,” and then end up re-doing it until I’m happy with it. Or sometimes I scan my work and play with it in Photoshop. I like ink and Photoshop a lot. So I would say I work with a combination of the two. However, something that I do try to keep intact in all of my work is the initial sketchy feeling.

Manisha: Have you worked with any other forms of printmaking?

Colleen: When I was in school I tried etching and monotypes. I did a little bit of offset, which I really enjoyed. But because of the way my school was set up, you couldn’t be a print major and an illustration major. So I stopped printing at that time. Later when I found Spudnik I decided to become a member and take up printmaking again.

Manisha: Does your work deal with specific themes or subjects?

Colleen: I like the idea of combining two disparate things together as much as I can. I am also drawn to things that are goofy and childlike, but at the same time weird and a little off-kilter. For instance, I am a fan of outsider art and I like how things are unexpected, and sometimes brash.

Manisha: What kinds of things are you reading or looking at that are influencing your work right now?

Colleen: Right now I am looking at old tattoo flash art from the 40s. I keep a close eye on anything that strikes me as an odd quality in the sketches. In some ways, the tattoo flash art reminds me of American Folk Art and how artists then would create paintings and figuring things out as they went along. It’s all about the little imperfections for me. And on the opposite end of that, I am also studying Japanese woodcuts because they are so precise and mechanical. I am also looking at the way they separate colors and compose an image.

Manisha: Is there a project you are working on right now?

Colleen: I brought home a DIY silkscreen kit because I am trying to re-learn how to use screen filler and create a reductive print. Most of it is off-registration so of the twenty prints I made; I am happy with maybe just two of them. I’ve also been spending a lot of time adding new and interesting things to my portfolio. I’m at a stage where I am just forcing myself to draw and keep going. But I made something goofy this morning. My friend showed me this Facebook group called “Show Me Your Aspic”; aspic is similar to jello and the old term for gelatin. But it’s also a play on the more vulgar reference it’s making. So I made some art for that. It’s really kitschy and funny and I am obsessed with that stuff.

Colleen Hardison, a sketch for ‘Show Me Your Aspics,’ February 2018.

Manisha: There were two illustrations on your website that stood out to me because of the social message in them. One was called Serving Size and the other was called Bad Dog. Are those things that bother you or that you are consciously making work about?

Colleen: I’d say both. The Bad Dog piece was part of a larger series of work I did about child abuse. For this series, I was inspired by my interest in editorial illustration. I was focused on making something tangible out of a big idea. The Serving Size piece was for Tufts Magazine and it was about how portion sizes at Italian restaurants are inherently big. Those are just two takes on social issues that I try to represent in my style. But I do want to be an editorial illustrator someday so I constantly take up social issues and try to create images in response to them.

Colleen Hardison, ‘Serving Size,’ n.d.

Manisha: Do you have a pre-studio ritual?

Colleen: I linger. I linger a lot. I talk myself into it. Usually my pre-work routine is to watch a video of another artist doing something and then I’ll tell myself: “That’s what you could be doing if you weren’t sitting in your pajamas!” I have to psyche myself into it. I have this thing where my brain doesn’t turn on until nearly 10:00 p.m. at night. Sometimes I’ll draw something I enjoy, but most of the time I scrap it and then try again and it goes on. And that’s my process. It’s kind of insane.

A peek into Hardison’s sketchbooks from college.

Manisha: It feels like a frustrating writer process.

Colleen: It is annoying because sometimes I would have spent all day trying to come up with something and not accomplish anything. My process has never been easy.

Manisha: Did moving to Chicago influence your practice in any way?

Colleen: I like the artist community of Chicago and I want to be part of it. But occasionally, social anxieties get in the way. There are so many artists here and it’s overwhelming at times. It’s like being a freshman again and having to make new friends. But then this year I found spaces like Spudnik, and I pushed myself to try new things.

A selection of Hardison’s sketches.

Manisha: Where can people go to see you work?

Colleen: In April I am going to have my work up at Atomix Café in Chicago.

Manisha: And one last question. I know you love everything pastry. What would you say is your favorite kind of pastry stuffing?

Colleen: Ooh, oh there are so many. I love a buttery flaky outside and a really tart middle, maybe blackberry or raspberry. Something I didn’t experience until recently was Matcha. I think I got it in Chinatown and it was delicious!

If you want to find out more about Colleen or her work you can visit her website or follow dammitcolleen on Instagram.