So I mentioned all these classes I'm taking lately. Voilà! My first screenprint… a little portrait of my new friend, Claude (aka The Featherduster).
I snapped his fine form on my iPhone one night and could see the ultimate print in my mind's eye immediately... such a great, graphic black-and-white shape!
I did the art and color separations in Illustrator. One of my classmates saw the inkjet print-out I had as a color reference for mixing my ink. She asked, "Why do you even bother with the hassle of screenprinting when your inkjet looks so good?" The truth is, I love forcing myself to surrender to the unpredictability of the manual printing process. Screenprinting, like other traditional media, is so maddeningly hard to control. I pulled about 25 prints of Claude and only the very last two or three were anywhere near decent. I had all kinds of glitches from the start…. The transparencies I printed to burn my screens weren't lining up properly, setting me up for all kinds of registration headaches; my teacher accidentally poked a hole in one of my screens so I had to crop the image a little differently than planned; strange spots and blurry areas appeared with each new pull, every one requiring a small adjustment.
An earlier pull… perfect registration on his ear! But wait, what happened to his nose?! And his jawline? Not to mention those spots on his ear that never went away.
In the end (top image), his nose finally printed solidly, but I had to compromise on the registration (nose won out over ear). I also never got perfectly clean, solid coverage. But that's what I came for… the mess, the inability to fuss over every pixel, the opportunity to tell my inner perfectionist: "It's okay."
I highly recommend it!