Katie Kirk: Alice

Released Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Alice, by Katie Kirk.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation.

Katie Kirk is a graphic designer and illustrator living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With a love of vector art and patterns, Katie is always in the mood to scheme, collaborate and create. Together with her husband, Nathan Strandberg, they started EightHourDay, a multi-disciplinary, multi-talented design boutique. Most often found either at the studio, the dog park or an antique shop, they aspire for the designed life(style) - a place where work, life and inspiration are all equal and integrated organically. EightHourDay's work has been recognized by PDN Magazine, Print Magazine, HOW, and Communication Arts, among others.

About the print:
Alice in Wonderland is so fun. I love the story, the Disney cartoon; I even loved the TV mini series done in the 80’s (does anybody else remember this?!). It’s amazing how one story can resonate with so many people and inspire so many artists. With the new movie out by Tim Burton I felt a particular need to create something myself.

This is a digital print using an Epson Stylus Pro 3800.


What has inspired you recently?
The warm weather in Minneapolis - yay! I'm excited for spring and the chance to get outside and explore!

Why did you choose to pair the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation with your print?
I love listening to music when I'm illustrating, and I played the viola as a kid. I think that music, and learning about music is important, especially at a young age.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I feel like I've been seeing more and more charity and art events and sites like this one. It's exciting to see art making a difference.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Eyvind Earle. Although our styles are quite different, I adore his ability to capture a feeling and a scene and an emotion so fully. Plus his body of work is astounding.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Eyvind Earle, Charley Harper, Alexander Girard, Frank Chimero, Jessica Hische, Lab Partners, Sanna Annukka and Steven Harrington to name a few...

Caitlin Keegan: Untitled

Released Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Untitled, by Caitlin Keegan.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to Farm Sanctuary.

Caitlin Keegan is a designer and illustrator from a small town in Connecticut known as the Home of the Wiffle Ball. She was a staff designer at Nickelodeon Magazine for nearly seven years and has created editorial illustrations for clients including The New York Times, Nylon, and Playgirl. Her work has been exhibited across the country and was recognized twice by American Illustration. Caitlin’s work is strongly influenced by her love of pattern, collage, and decorative arts. She lives and works in Brooklyn with her intern (dachshund) Ollie.

About the print:
I knew that I wanted to create something to benefit Farm Sanctuary, so I looked at some old engravings and images of farm animals. What surprised me were the different breeds that existed. I made a few different drawings where I took some liberties with patterns and markings, and thought the rooster would be best as a full color painting.

This is a digital print using soy inks on acid-free recycled paper.


What has inspired you recently?
I was really inspired by a textile show that was up recently at the Japan Society in NYC - Serizawa: Master of Japanese Textile Design. I’ve been looking at lace, crochet, and macramé patterns lately too.

Why did you choose to pair Farm Animals with your print?
Reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals changed the way I think about my food choices. Learning of the adverse effects that factory farming has – not only on the treatment and breeding of farm animals, but also the effects for workers, and on public health – was very eye-opening. Farm Sanctuary gives happy, healthy lives to animals that have become casualties of our modern food production methods and educates the public about factory farming.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I had a job recently that involved helping kids from local public schools write and illustrate their own stories. The best part was seeing how much of a confidence boost they got from drawing and creating something of their own. Art always stays with you in some form if you’re encouraged and inspired as a kid.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
I’ve always loved Neil Young’s music, but after seeing a PBS documentary about him I was amazed at his confidence in his own vision throughout his career. I think I would choose him to mentor me. I saw a poster once that said “What would Neil Young do?” and thought that was a perfect thing to keep in mind.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
I’m lucky to count so many talented artists as my friends - Liz Zanis, Ana Benaroya, Chris Kyung, Christian Defilippo, to name a few. I also really like Cornelia O’Donovan, the interior designers Wary Meyers, Geoff McFetridge, and Kyle Field.

Vasco Mourao: Unfolded

Released Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Unfolded, by Vasco Mourao.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Vasco Mourao is a Portuguese illustrator and architect based in Barcelona, Spain. He splits his time working between these two disciplines. Being an architect can be all consuming, but these days, Vasco is trying to give more time and attention to his illustrations – finishing up a children's book, looking for representation, and organizing exhibitions.

About the print:
Curator's note: This is truly an instance where images do not do the artwork justice. Unfolded is an incredibly detailed drawing; it is almost obsessive. You can literally spend hours studying all of the different shapes, patterns and ornaments and still discover new elements every time you look at it. This is our dimensionally largest edition yet - 13" tall by 38" wide. Anything smaller than 38" wide would just not do the artwork justice. We've included several close ups to give an idea of the level of detail in the drawing. Enjoy!

This piece was originally commissioned as an 11.5' by 33' mural for a bar in Porto, Portugal. The mural was partially based on the city of Porto, becoming an unfolded city with different elements of Porto, always drawn with the same horizon line as the reference. As the drawing progressed, it came to be about other things: changes of perspective, interlocking volumes and the details of doors and windows...The original drawing took about six weeks to produce - two weeks to sketch through the layout and four to produce the final image.

This is an archival ink giclee print on acid-free Avorio Biblos paper.


What was the process behind this piece?
My process drawings are actually very cryptic and not worth showing, because they mean nothing to anyone but me. They are just doodles, but I spend a lot of time on them to make sure that when I sit and start to draw the final illustration, I have a very clear idea of the main concept. This process provides me with a large but strong framework that I can work within and still be surprised by the final outcome.

How does being an architect inform your artwork?
It is because of my education as an architect that I got into the habit of drawing, or to say it better, of thinking with a pen. My drawings began as a process of thinking about architecture through drawing. I continued to develop my technique through boring subway commutes and meetings, which further enabled me to discover this kind of expression and technique of drawing these constructions by accumulation.

What has inspired you recently?
The works of HelloVon, Ian Wright, Sam Winston and Cedric Price.

Why did you choose to pair Médecins Sans Frontières with your print?
They save lives.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Giovanni Battista Piranesi, because of his amazing control of space and narrative. Each time I look at one of the Le Carceri d'Invenzione drawings, I can imagine a million different things happening in there. And of course, their details are no less then spectacular...

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Pedro Kastro is a great one.

Frances Pelzman Liscio: Two Dahlias

Released Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The launch of the Two Dahlias edition coincides with the April 2010 issue of Lucky Magazine just now hitting stands - look for The Working Proof and Frances Pelzman Liscio's Two Dahlias print on page 44 of the magazine: "Art, Commerce and a Cause", featured in Lucky's new "Give Back" section. In celebration, and to thank you for your support since our launch back in October, we are offering FREE SHIPPING on all domestic orders placed now through noon (EST) on Wednesday, March 10th. Thank you for all of your support of The Working Proof!

Two Dahlias, by Frances Pelzman Liscio.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to Puppies Behind Bars.

Frances Pelzman Liscio has had her work showcased in hundreds of group and solo shows. Her work has been published in fine art and design magazines including Traditional Home and Martha Stewart Living and is included in hundreds of private collections. A series of her images were selected by the teNeues fine art publishing company for featured boxed notecards available in their 2009/2010 catalogue. Ms. Liscio was recently commissioned to create a book cover for a Greywolf Publishing author in their Spring 2010 catalogue. She lives and works in Montclair, New Jersey.

Ms. Liscio holds a degree in printmaking, photography and illustration from Manhattanville College. She has studied printmaking with John Ross Sr., photography with Sean Kernan, Eva Rubenstein, Lisette Model, and John Loengard, digital darkroom and printing technologies with Jay Seldin, and botanical illustration with Deirdre Newman.

About the print:
This piece is called Two Dahlias. It incorporates bits of botanica that I saved until they became dry, curled, and mottled. It also uses fresh blooms– dahlias, kalanchoe, violas, and Christmas Cactus. The two large blooms are fresh, but softening and wilting. The viburnum leaf has already changed color and achieved a burnished look – all the detail and veining becomes more visible, and the oak leaf is quite dry. The bittersweet that crowns the image is an invasive non-native plant, but the berries are beautiful: almost incendiary in their hot coral.

I created this work on an Epson Perfection 4490 Photographic scanner. I originally started xeroxing and scanning images many years ago simply because I could not afford a good 8x10 view camera, and I wanted to get closer up to my images. But I also love the unique quality a good scanner brings to the final image. I do very little to the work once it is created, aside from cleaning up the cat hairs (I have four cats) and the pollen from the finished images. Most of the work is done before the image is scanned, with tweezers and manicure scissors, and the baskets and trays full of botanica and natura that fill my studio.


What has inspired you recently?
Milkweed pods. I just love them. I have responded to botanicals since I was very young. I have always planted things, even as a toddler. I love plants and feel very close to them. When I walk in my garden I thank the plants for existing and for sharing their beauty with us. As plants age and rot I find them just as beautiful and just as fascinating.

Why did you choose to pair Puppies Behind Bars with your print?
When prisoners work with dogs, training the dogs to help others, a transformation can take place that benefits the world and can help to process and transform some of the pain and despair around us. This is true for botanicals. They bloom, they go to seed, they become desiccated, they are consumed with mold, and then they transform – new life starts over and over.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
In 1992 Vedran Smajlović played Albinoni's Adagio in G minor on his cello among the shattered buildings of Sarajevo at various times throughout the day, to honor the twenty-two people who had been killed while lining up for bread at 10:00am. He wasn't afraid. He defied the god of war by honoring the power and the beauty of music.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Sally Mann. Her images of her children in their environment, enrobed with nightblooming cereus, asleep and awake or sprawled in a channel of mud, erase the window between the photographer and the subject. She understands the natural world. Her images are beautiful, she has a fine eye – she is a superb artist.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Stefanie Nagorka creates biomorphic ceramic pieces that suggest disembodied, moving, startling life. She also creates cast and gilded pieces that ask us to notice and contemplate the forgotten detritus of our culture; in the same way I examine the wilted and shriveled botanicals with the same enthusiasm we usually reserve only for fresh blossoms.

Dan Funderburgh at Sigerson Morrison

Released Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dan Funderburgh has an exhibition opening tonight at the Sigerson Morrison shop on the UES. Called the Pursuit of Happiness, it features limited edition prints, shoes and accessories designed by Dan. Check out a scarf he designed for the show here (produced I think by Hugo & Marie). I do believe that the print Dan made for us is on display at the store.

Laura Berger: Slip

Slip, by Laura Berger.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to 826 National.

Laura Berger is a Chicago-based artist and illustrator. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows around the US and Canada, and you can also find Laura's work at indie craft markets, such as Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago. Laura also does freelance illustration work, and is currently trying to carve out extra time to work on writing and illustrating a children's book.

About the print:
This piece is called Slip – it is an archival digital print of an original painting on matte heavyweight paper. The original was done in gouache on paper for a solo show at The Candystore Collective in San Francisco that ran from July through September 2009.

The show was called "Recurrence" and was generally focused on patterns – both visually and, in a larger sense, I was thinking about the way themes and lessons crop up repeatedly, or cyclically, in our lives. "Slip" was definitely the most personal of the pieces from the show and it was inspired by the idea of life handing you the same lesson repeatedly, just presented in different forms.


What has inspired you recently?
I’ve been traveling quite a bit this year. I took a beautiful desert journey last spring, and a couple of cross-country road trips. I just got back from a trip to Europe where I visited France, Belgium, and Amsterdam. Next up, Hawaii! Travel is always inspiring – I think that ideas and themes seep into your subconscious, and when you travel you also have the space to process these ideas in a different way than you do when going about your normal routine. Plus (obviously) getting to see things you’ve never seen before, and experiencing life within a different culture provides amazing groundwork for new thoughts and ideas. I’m a big fan of traveling, if you couldn’t tell!

Why did you choose to pair 826 National with your print?
I've chosen to pair my print with 826 National. I have friends who have volunteered with this organization and have seen firsthand the impact it has on the children's lives and self-esteem. I think that fostering creativity and encouraging artistic freedom from a young age is so so important to development – as people and as artists. Lots of kids don't get those things at home, and 826 National provides such an amazing place for them to start to feel comfortable and supported with their own ideas and voice.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Art is necessary. It makes us feel connected and affirmed, both for the person creating the art, and for the person viewing it. Even if it isn’t something we love, but we still have a reaction to it – that is powerful. It’s really interesting to see the new ways people are finding to get exposure for their work in an age where we do so much online. I love street art – little tidbits that you see when walking around the city that someone took the time to post anonymously. It’s done for no selfish purposes – it’s just out there to provoke thoughts and to make someone’s day a little more interesting.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Oh woah, I don’t know! That’s a big question. Off the top of my head, maybe Yoshitomo Nara. I love his work and he seems like an adventurous soul with a good sense of humor.