Welcome back to the annual meat market of e-sales! May we recommend some of the most original on the webternet? Click the various search options on the menu to the right to find the perfect print, framed, on canvas, small, huge – whatever your heart (/family/friends) desires.
And get 20% off until 12/10 with code wackfriday2013 at checkout.
Thumbtack Press artists Anthony Freda, Dave Pressler, David Cooper, El Gato Chimney, Hernan Paganini, Raudiel Sañudo, Steve Seeley, and Ruel Pascual are all showing original, limited edition, and open edition work at Vertical Gallery this weekend in Chicago for a show called The Economics of Art 2013. If you’re in Chicago on Saturday, come by and see us!
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western Ave., Chicago IL
Saturday, August 3, 6-10 pm
Airfare, food, hotels, souvenirs for friends (crappy souvenirs for crappy friends) – traveling is expensive!
Couldn’t foot the bill this summer? No worries, travel is overrated anyway. So sit back and let TTP artist Matt Mills whisk you away to his favorite cities in Europe (and for as low as $19.99!). Appease that wanderlust of yours and visit Matt’s Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Rome (above), all just a click away.
We hope everyone’s enjoying this glorious summer and staying cool.
Speaking of cool (too easy) – nothing screams summer cool like new art! We’re happy to share with you that a handful of TTP artists have just added new works to the site, including Bryan Holland, Peter Diamond, UGLYDOLL, Xiau-Fong Wee, Brian McCarty, and El Gato Chimney. Here’s a flavor (below) and you can find all recent additions here.
By: Hannie Jordan
Gina and Matt, Heirloom
Gina and Matt, Apple
Gina and Matt, Tomatoes
*leaves computer to eat fruit not nearly as delicious as this art*
Art duo Gina and Matt know how to whet both our artistic and literal appetites. If you’re feeling similar hunger pains (which, as John Mellencamp would say, hurt soooo good) gently place your freshly picked prints in your cart at Thumbtack Press. After all, offering people the fresh fruit of the art world is kind of our thing.
Blair Kelly, Tv Talks
Illustrator Blair Kelly is the newest artist here at Thumbtack Press, and we’re thrilled to offer prints of his work. The first thing that stood out to me when I saw his work was the eyeballs of his subjects. Look at them! They’re looking right back at you, involving you in the work and in the message. Illustrators always have to capture both the topic the client wants AND the interest of the people reading or looking on. Blair Kelly does this with great textural depth, witty juxtaposition, and a broad palette to great effect in his work.
Blair took the time to answer some questions about his process, his work, his inspirations, his process, and, of course, his subjects’ eyeballs. You can read the full Q&A below, and also make sure to see his entire initial TTP collection at his artist page here.
A lot of your work has a faded texture, sometimes in the background and sometimes on a piece of clothing or an object in the foreground. It reminds me a bit of some of the faded texture in Tatsuro Kiuchi’s work. Is it intentional or a side effect of your printmaking techniques?
Most texture in my work is a side effect of printmaking since I hand burnish my linocut prints versus using a press. I usually print a few editions and pick my favourite which is usually the one that’s not perfect. That, in combination with the vintage paper I have incorporated recently… So I guess it is intentional!
How much of your work is done by hand and as set prints vs. digitally? Do you lean either way for certain projects, as in, say, more digital for editorial work but more printmaking for personal work?
I would say 50/50 at this point. I started out very traditional in the sense that I wouldn’t ever think of altering a linocut print digitally but over the years it has become a really fun part of the process. There is an element of surprise most times with printmaking, in that you don’t totally know what the print will look like until its actually printed and the digital part also provides a bit of a rush. The result of combining different elements like digital collage can’t be fully anticipated which is exciting.
My personal work can involve both digital and traditional though I am currently experimenting with printing on wood panel. I’ve actually been experimenting with a lot of different things recently like monoprints and patterns and letting it kind of influence me but I don’t want to force anything. I want to produce the best work that I am capable of producing but I don’t want to be static, I want to keep growing and evolving.
Talk influences, heroes, dreams, legends – where do you go or look when you want to be inspired or work through mental blocks?
My influences vary from Japanese woodcuts to Dada to anything old and printed. Inspiration can come from anywhere, it’s very random. As for mental blocks I like to totally immerse myself in sketching and brainstorming and research and if nothing comes to me I try to totally forget what I was trying to think of and sleep on it. Sometimes I will wake up with an idea and sometimes it takes more sketching or wordplay. I am a bit obsessive so it’s hard not to think about ideas all day and night which led to some anxiety when I first started. Thankfully that isn’t the case any more.
Blair Kelly, April Showers
How did you get started in illustration? Do you have certain projects you look forward to more than others? Do you approach editorial pieces in a certain way that doesn’t apply to other projects, be they advertising, personal, or something else?
I always knew that I wanted to do something creative, I’d spend endless hours drawing and doodling as a kid even when the other kids were outside playing. After a brief attempt at Graphic Design, I enrolled in Illustration at Sheridan College and landed my first job while I was still in school which was kinda cool. I try to treat all projects with the same level of importance, and try to make the image something that I would already have wanted to create. Some of the business editorial gigs can be a bit more challenging because the subject matter can be a little dry but I like the challenge because it feels like a real accomplishment when I can pull an idea out of the air and it works.
I really like all the subjects’ eyeballs in your work. Why do I keep being drawn back to them? Even in the cows!
Thanks! I have actually heard that before…I try to make the eyeballs big and dark and mysterious with a slight hint of an emotion.
If you could be granted this wish, what sort of work will you be doing in 10 years?
I love this question! I would love to illustrate a children’s book, something really fun and original. I have lots of dream clients, too many to mention, lets just say I want them all
Blair Kelly, Illuminated Ride
You can see Blair Kelly’s entire initial TTP collection at his TTP artist page here.
Yuanyuan Yang, No Thrill
When we first reached out to Yuanyuan Yang about offering her prints on Thumbtack Press, she was in New York. In the meantime, she went back to Beijing (where she’s from), to prepare for a show and to reconnect with family. It’s no small deal for anybody to move between cities like NYC and Beijing, but for as thoughtful an artist as Yuanyuan, you’d be forgiven for thinking the effect could be monumental.
Because, as you can tell from our chat (below), besides being an exceptional artist, Yuanyuan is an exceptional thinker. Her contemplations on balancing humor, innocence, and youth with some of the larger conflicts of contemporary society and existence never get bogged down in the boring traps of intellectualism. They stay compelling. Rainbows shine through.
We’re absolutely thrilled to offer Yuanyuan’s work here at TTP. Read our chat below and dig her entire initial offering at her Thumbtack Press artist page.
TTP: Hey! How’s it going?
YuanYuan: Good! How are you?
TTP: Great, it’s amazing that spring/summer finally got to Chicago. Feels like I haven’t seen the sun in months.
YuanYuan: Really? Weather in Beijing is good.
TTP: Yeah so what’s up in Beijing? Are you working there?
YuanYuan: I finished my solo show in New York last Dec. It was Chinese New Year in Feb. It kinda lasts more than one month to celebrate. I am just looking for studios in Beijing right now, and communicating with galleries. I’ll be in a group show in fall and hopefully a solo show in Beijing sometime this year.
TTP: Sounds like you’re planning on staying there, no?
YuanYuan: Ummm, not sure yet. I am Chinese and it’s been 5 years away from China.I started to notice I want to dig more of myself culturally.
TTP: You have family there?
YuanYuan: Yes I do. It was fun to spend my time with them for the luna new year earlier. From then, I started to think I should show my art in both China and US.
TTP: Do you have any family in NY?
YuanYuan: Nope. But I’d like to go back to the states next year if possible.
TTP: So I can totally understand you going back to China. The artist returns home! So have you found that being in Beijing affects your work at all?
YuanYuan: The Chinese art market is growing fast and also it’s getting much better than 5 years ago. For me, I think you can see its affect in my concept and the subject matter but not much changed in my style.
TTP: Like how specifically? You’re painting different ideas?
YuanYuan: It’s not absolutly different. I call it developing – my works still focus on human desires.
TTP: It’s interesting, in a way desires are always the same, but they’re also always changing for everyone and forever.
YuanYuan: Yeh! I think I am breaking my concept of the desire right now.
YuanYuan: Painting how it affects our daily life, trying to explore more specific questions I had about the government, the society, the relationship between man and woman – I am looking for the tension I get under different cultures.
TTP: Yeah. Like you said: developing.
Yuanyuan Yang, Harmonizing Education
YuanYuan: Painting is like a meditation. It shows your atitude to the world. It grows up with you.
TTP: It’s interesting in your work how the “high” interacts with the “low” – there are lots of children, but also lots of higher ideas like relationships, sex, violence, and so on.
YuanYuan: Yes I think kids in my painting represent the innocent and weak but also the pure. And they’ll be the future of our human society. I kinda like the idea of fairy tales, they look very cute and attractive and always have a perfect ending but what hides inside is the cruel reality of life.
YuanYuan: Yes. Including self identity doubts and reactions to the stressful environment.
TTP: But I also like how the colors aren’t brooding or depressing. There’s almost an argument happening in your pieces between the innocent, the doubting, the pain, and the funny.
YuanYuan: Yeah, because I am not a totally depressed person. Btw, it is kinda stressful to chat … You know why I paint? Because language is not the most comfortable way for me to express myself. lol
TTP: Heh. There’s some song lyric like “If I was better at finding the right words to say, I wouldn’t need to write these motherfucking songs.” (It’s from ”Don’t Ever Fucking Question That” by Atmosphere.)
YuanYuan: Cool I will check it later.
TTP: Cool – so are the TTP pieces all from a certain time frame?
YuanYuan: Most of them, including the rainbow ones, are from between 2010-now.
TTP: All of them have at least a little bit of rainbow.
YuanYuan: Yes. As in my statement, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Colors are the deeds of light. Colors are light’s suffering and joy.” That is to say, color can only be seen because light lost its freedom by being hampered and refracted against the substance of the atmosphere.
TTP: That’s sort of your launching point?
YuanYuan: Yes. I think people are the light and desires are the colors. As people are impeded by the material world, socially they refract several colors, while at the same time they lose their freedom. All the desires are causing people’s joy and suffering.
TTP: Very Schopenhauer.
YuanYuan: Really? Thank you. Also in Chinese, there is a strong relationship between color and desire. “色” (se) is a word with multiple meanings. It means “color” and at the same time means “lust”. Even more, in Buddhism, “色界”(se jie) which literally translates into “color world”, is used to describe the material world.
TTP: WHOA that’s awesome!
YuanYuan: That’s the second reason I paint very saturating color to represent the material world.
TTP: Yeah, and “things.”
YuanYuan: There is a famous sentence from the Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra that says, “色即是空,空即是色 (se ji shi kong，kong ji shi se)” which means, “All things of visible form and substance are empty, emptiness is form and substance.” Just so you know but also I think everything is contradictory – I am very insecure about society. But I like how it is complex.
TTP: The complexity/contradictions are what make society all that it is, don’t you think?
YuanYuan: Yes thats right.
TTP: But I see, again, those contradictions in your work too is what gives it another dimension. Sometimes complexity –> depth
YuanYuan: Thank you.
TTP: Ok I don’t want to take up too much of your time Yuanyuan I think we should wrap this up!
YuanYuan: It’s nice talking with you.
TTP: Same! And thanks. Talk soon.
YuanYuan: Talk soon.
Yuanyuan Yang, The Truth You Want
You can see all of Yuanyuan’s initial TTP offering at her Thumbtack Press artist page.
Raudiel Sañudo, Nature’s at the Front Door
In case you missed it, Raudiel Sañudo is our current featured artist here at Thumbtack Press. That means we’re offering 15% off his work (use code SOOT at checkout) until the end of May!
I wanted to post a chat Raudiel and I did back in March of last year, when Raudiel explained his Soot character and some of his inspiration as a Mexican-American artist who spent a bunch of time in the midwest and Cali. It’s interesting to hear Raudiel talk about his work, he definitely has a grounded approach – like his work, it’s easy to relate to, easy to love.
TTP: How’d you end up in bakersfield? At one point you were in Tijuana right?
Raudiel: My father has lived here since about 12 years ago, I used to visit him sometimes. I also used to live in Tecate, Mexico, it’s about 40 minutes from Tijuana, on the border with California. I lived in Tijuana for many years.
TTP: Oh ok cool – how’s your life different in Bakersfield compared to Tijuana or Tecate?
Raudiel: It’s very different, I spend my time working or painting. I like it here because I don’t have as many distractions. People ask what I’m doing living here, because this is not a cool place, but that’s one of the reasons that I like Bakersfield. I’m more focused on painting, and LA is not that far from here.
TTP: Do you miss Mexico?
Raudiel: I go to Mexico any time want, but for other Mexicans who live more to the south of Mexico it’s very difficult to go visit, they are always missing their towns.
TTP: I’ve still never been! Mexico and Mexican folklore is obviously a big part of your work.
Raudiel: I started to paint Mexican folklore since I started to paint, before I was visiting the US more often, but I started to be more focused when I spent some months in Wisconsin.
TTP: Where in Wisconsin?
Raudiel: In Appleton & Brillion (a little town).
TTP: What were you doing there?
Raudiel: I use to live with my family over there. I love Appleton, that was in part of 2007 & 2008. I got a lot of inspiration from the woods.
Raudiel: When I was in Brillion I lived on a farm, I used to shovel snow almost every day for about 5 months, there was a lot of nature, and at that time I started to paint more detailed painting, for example Nature’s at the Front Door.
TTP: Ohhh that’s interesting – that piece is so packed with symbols.
Raudiel: Yes, the landscape in the painting is what I saw from the window.
TTP: Interesting – what about all the ways the symbols and cultures interact in your work – from Mexican folklore to Wisconsin landscapes? It’s pretty nuts.
Raudiel: I always want to mix both (nature and Mexican folklore). I’ve been painting more of these little monsters lately, I have a lot of ideas to do, I still have ideas to paint from my time in WI. Yes it’s pretty nuts because sometimes I don’t know how to start. I mostly like to paint skulls & flowers.
Raudiel Sañudo, Little Soot
Raudiel: I started to paint the little monsters called Little Soot when I was invited to a group show at Oo Gallery in Kingston, NY and the subject was “sOot” so little soot is a carbon particle floating and messing around.
TTP: I love him. Him? Her? It?
Raudiel: There are males and females. The first one was a male.
TTP: They could start some kind of colony. They could multiply and take over the world!
Raudiel: Yes, I have a wedding on the sketches actually.
TTP: Haaa – that’s awesome.
Raudiel: A wedding portrait haha
See Raudiel’s Thumbtack Press collection here, and don’t forget there’s 15% off with code SOOT until the end of the month.