Released Tuesday, May 25, 2010
A Day's Catch, by Stacey Rozich.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Puppies Behind Bars.
Stacey Rozich is a native to the Pacific Northwest who currently resides in Seattle, Washington. She attended California College of the Arts in San Francisco where she studied illustration, and now attends Seattle Central for graphic design. Combining what she learned in school and her years of drawing from her over-active imagination, Stacey has created a storybook narrative of beasts and patterns all playing into a world of cultural folktales.
Over the past couple of years, Stacey has taken a strong interest in her own ethnic heritage (her father is Croatian) and in exploring the history of the traditions and folklore of Yugoslavia. From her research, Stacey discovered beautiful yet frightening carnival masks that utilize strong colors and textures to evoke a certain feeling of awe and reverence. She was intrigued that these creatures were displayed among beautifully garmented young women dancing in costumes of wool vests, draped shawls, and large triangular hats, all adorned with woven designs. Stacey likes to think that she's channeling an ancestor from way back in her family history that has helped her to create some of these pieces that she finds so compelling. Aside from the Balkan influence, she has spread her feelers out to different cultures – Russian and Scandinavian, to the Native American cultures of the Southwest and Pacific Northwest, which are most evident in her recent work.
About the print:
A Day's Catch is a decidedly action-filled piece, with the beastly forest spirit being lashed down by women hunters. This was a departure from my portraits, where I spend my time figuring out harmonious patterns in their clothing and creating striking masks. With this piece, I’ve begun to shape an account of human relationship with animals, nature, and spirituality. I imagined terrifying spirits living in a land that has been newly inhabited by hunters - people who revere and yet want to conquer these uncontrollable beings that exist around them. The beasts are spiritual incarnations that have a symbiotic relationship with the forests, the trees, and the roots. I’m not sure that it is immediately clear, but the hunter that is standing up is pointing to the beast’s head, where a sapling is beginning to grow, almost as a sign that they’ve caught something much bigger than they could ever imagine. It also gave me the chance to paint in texture to the beast’s body, which I enjoy very much.
This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof. The original artwork is a gouache and watercolor illustration.
What is your process?
I usually start with loose compositional sketches. From there, I try to visualize a color scheme for the pieces; staying within a theme consistent with whatever series I’m working on at the moment. Bringing in similar elements of texture and patterns from other pieces helps to tie everything together in the end.
What has inspired you recently?
The biggest inspiration for me lately is probably the reaction I’ve been getting to my work. I’ve been a solitary worker for so long, so actually putting my creations out into the world is very new for me. My best friend Alexa said it best recently, “If you want to find Stacey’s work, it will be shoved behind furniture or crumpled up under something.” Painting and drawing are very personal, and the idea that someone can have a connection to your creations is the most gratifying feeling in the world. It’s like an emotional high-five for your hard work.
How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I see art transform the world every day; in my immediate world I see it with my father. He’s a creative soul through and through. He grew up in the Midwest drawing cars and landscapes and eventually majored in fine art. It became a freelance gig when he moved out West and started a family, taking on manual labor jobs to support us. Weekends and any spare time were spent painting signs, creating menu boards and chalk art murals. It showed me that hard work does pay off. He now works as an artist fulltime and is an incredibly happy and peaceful man.
If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
If I could choose any artist to mentor me, it would absolutely be Maurice Sendak. He creates so much life in his drawings. I adore his work for its simplicity and purity. Scratchy pen lines to create texture and lovely washes of watercolor to illustrate the night sky never seem overthought or difficult. He has an amazing grasp of the human form that translates well to his monsters and the movement of animals doing human activities. He does what he loves for a living and I love that.
Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Some of the artists right now that inspire me (in no particular order of importance): the commercial illustration of Jillian Tamaki, Carson Ellis, sculptural work by A.J. Fosik, paintings by Matt Palladino, Gabriel Rueben Dikel, Matthew Craven, Mark Warren Jacques, photos by Christian Hansen and Nich McElroy, video/design by Jesse Brown. And so many others I haven’t discovered yet! Also the Maru blog! A fat Japanese cat that does hilarious things; I check it daily.