Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Summer Class ends

We just completed our summer session of class last week, and it was a rousing success!
A young chap from Canon City did a great job at keeping up, and it looks as though he has hit the road running! As soon as he left the last class, Martin Welch, a web designer, among other things launched is apparel line:
Nothing like a little competition to get the 'soul' jumpin'!! The art below
is from his lesson, which he aced! New Classes are beginning, so sign up NOW! a 4 hour a week, 6 week course, for only $575.00, which includes all materials. Call (719) 214-4202 Monday- Friday 10am - 5 pm

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Monkeyink.com is John Howard and his portfolio of gigposter and related artwork.

"Most of the work displayed here springs from the music that the work is about. It is my intention to illustrate the music. The way it sounds, where it comes from, and what it is about. If you are a fan of the music, I hope the poster surprises you and at the same time feels like a nice fit.

My linework tends to have a bold carved feel and I generally work with three to five flat colors that, at least visually, translate to screen printing."

...John Howard in my early days, was my "front man"...meaning in all my publications, I always enjoyed using John's work as the front splash page. Why? Well, John's work invites you to want more...his line is thick, and his imagery is always open to the universe. Nothing has changed in the 20 years (yikes!) since those grand days. We met in Berkeley when I was starting Kär-tön'! New comics arts journal. He worked at the Berkeley Arts store which I haunted frequently, and I believe he was one of the first cartoonists I wrangled. He has gone onto a glorious career designing 'rock' posters for the cream of the crop o' rock stars...not surprising. How he keeps his litho's and silk screen print prices so low, I do not know!, but you gotta check out his lithograph's and silk-screen posters, and T-shirts... and BUY SOME!

Dark Arts of Asia

Step by step revelation of ancient secrets of printmaking from Asia as they enter in unholy matrimony with the dark arts of western Cartoonism...
"...Mats!? reveals "his" signature technique..."
(soundtrack from Sublime Frequencies' :Thai Pop Spectacular.)

Magical Mats!? at Work!: catch up and read this (again)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Summer Silk Screen Classes

Ink and Design has been offering private silk screen classes this summer, and we are about to wrap up our first session. 4 hours, once a week for 6 weeks...Our student Michelle has done a splendid job! A DNA Lab Tech by day, and a self proclaimed "Non-artist" I have to say she has a good eye and I hope has enjoyed the experience! We have gone thru all aspects of the process, in order for her to go home and be able to do it all for herself. We started with an introduction to computer to film techniques, using KIMODESK film output, moving onto rubylith handcut and black inked, hand made separations. The first assignment was to bring in a blackline piece of art and work the separations from that. We went onto hand stretched screen stretching and photo emulsion application. This progressed onto wedge-step test to find the right exposure time, screen reclaiming and final "burning" of the images for a 3 color job. We then went onto carousel, registration set up and flatwork (paper) registration introduction. Last night we went to town and started textile work using plastisol inks on some dark shirts....the results were great! Michelle picked some great colors and we had tremendous results! Next week and the last session will be learning waterbase inks on archival paper using a flatwork registration unit...so far so good!!! If any one is interested in signing up through the summer, please contact Ink and Design at (719) 214-4202, Monday - Friday, 10am-5pm.
All classes take place in-shop, and is offered for the low cost of $575.00 (materials included)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Birdcage door is open...

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.,
Dead at 84

Master novelist, activist, humorist, Sovereign Citizen and artist, and one of my favorite writers passed away yesterday. Many wonderfully simple drawings have adorned many a serigraph. One of which is shown here.

I hope he's trip'in with Montana Wildhack, smok'in a Pall Mall!

"One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us."
-Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The first underground comic I owned (bought by my mother, cuz the head shop guy wouldn't sell it to a kid!) was Mr. Natural by R. Crumb, published by Apex Novelties...I wouldn't have guessed back then that I would become a co-publisher at that fine imprint!!

Fast forward...

Back in the late 80's I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Don Donahue. The first publisher of Robert Crumbs ZAP Comix. Donahue's "Apex Novelties" is the oldest underground comix publisher and distributor.

I have been living in a very small room in a boarding house on Dwight Way in Berkeley, when I was luckily offered Dori Seda's past loft space in the famous Scooby Toys warehouse. It was a great place. Like minds and lots of fun. One evening Don and I started talking about the French print makers. Their work was brilliant. We both decided that we could do just as well, even though our experience at the time wasn't vast, but we both were smart and equally hardworking.

We, of course thought we would start at the top...Don contacted Crumb and asked permission to do a serigraph of his HUP#3 cover art. The next step was to setup a studio space. We went down in the basement of the warehouse and overtook a room. Built a table, grabbed a registration bar, set up a drying rack of sorts and got to work. I cut all the separations, while Don cut paper. We both mixed inks and started work. The first thing on our list was the blue fade background...man was that a chore! We mixed three different blues and started the "pulls"...after about six or seven pulls on test paper, the ink finally mixed correctly and we jammed our good paper in and ran about five before the blue dropped too far. We cleaned everything up, and started this process over again...after about two long weeks of this we had our 100, plus about another 100 for any and all "fuck ups", our print run was 100. We knew that all wouldn't be right, so we always doubled our run so we would get our edition. After the fade runs, the rest seemed easy!

The last chore was the rosy cheeks of the buxxom German gal...we tried a few techniques, but all failed until we decided just to hand paint them in...which Don did a splendid job with! Wala! we were finished! We packed up Don's little VW and headed off to Winters California to have Robert sign them...that was a treat. I have met Robert in passing a few times, but this was the first time I really got to spend time with him. His house was full of brilliant old furniture and Aline was very kind hostess! Even though she bitched about yet another book of Robert's art from a publisher greeted her at the mailbox...Robert just grinned as he led us to his studio just off the side of the house. The place was filled with stacks of 78's and a small drawing table with some works in progress. Robert crouched on the floor and started to sign. It was a thrilling day. We went to grab a bite to eat after, then packed up and went back to Berkeley. The print had a small role in Terry Zwigoff's movie "CRUMB".

The next project was S. Clay Wilson...He was getting ready for a show in LA at Billy Shire's La Luz De Jesus...we had only two weeks to turn this puppy out and the god damn thing was 26 colors! I don't know how we did it, but we did. We took a short trip over the bridge and Wilson signed them. A couple days later we were on our way to LA for the opening. It was great to see the print among all the other art hanging. I still have nightmares about printing that fucking puppie! which is appropriate for the imagery and Wilson!

We took a short break before we started the next print...Compared to the last two the next one by KAZ was easy...we had our shit together and for some reason that serigraph went without a hitch, as I remember. We had fun with his colors and the image still cracks me up to this day.

The next I have to say wasn't so much fun...I love Mark Beyer dearly, as an artist and personally...we have had some great talks and meetings in the past, and have worked on many projects together. I think he is one of the best artists ever. But, there is an energy that surrounds the poor guy that brings bad things his way...we had nothing but trouble with his print...the inks wouldn't dry, the registration was a bitch, just all in all it was a pain in the ass. The final outcome was great though...it is still one of my favorites! (If you read this Mark! Damn it, email me! it has been a few years man!) Anyway, onward and upward!

The next in our series is the man...Art Spiegelman! Don and I both decided on a little piece Art did in Raw called the couple...a cubist version of Betty Boop and Dick Tracy...this was a fun piece to produce, the colors were brilliant and all in all a pretty easy piece. The timing was very nice too. The same week we finished his print, Art won the Pulitzer Prize for his long years producing and drawing Maus, 'a surivors tale'. Art was in San Francisco, we caught up with him at his hotel to have him sign the prints, then spent a pleasent evening hanging out in North Beach. It's nice to hang out with someone who smokes as much as I do!

The next and as it turned out the last was a great image from the great Charles Burns, it was a portrait of William S. Burroughs... with such clean lines and such, we had a blast, although it was tough especially with a huge amount of black coverage and the metallic ink we used on the gun.

It was great series of serigraphs, ones I will always treasure! Kaz, Beyer, spiegelman and S. Clay Wilson serigraphs are still available through my website, click here.

postscript: Oct 27, 2010 Don Donahue passed into the great underground in the sky! Dance a dance with Dori, my friend!

AN OPEN OFFER: I would like to extend to comix artist throughout the world an offer of producing their serigraphs. No money down! Email me at mail@flatwurks.com for current address or send low res art for consideration! All prints will be produced on archival paper and produced in small print runs within a small format (for easily affordability) all production costs will be my responsibility and the artist(s) will receive 15% of the total sale price per serigraph, plus artists proofs. I'm serious! Have at it kids!


Friday, March 16, 2007

We'll miss you Jay!

NEW YORK March 15, 2007

King Features Syndicate Editor in Chief Jay Kennedy died yesterday in a drowning accident while vacationing in Costa Rica, He was 50.

"I got to spend some nice times with Jay when I was living in New York. He was looking for some help putting together the latest version of The Underground guide and asked for assistance from me. The work itself never seemed to get going, but I loved hanging out with him and looking through his vast collection, and talking "shop". He had some wonderful stuff jammed packed in his NY apartment. He possessed a vast knowledge of the medium, equal to the love he had for it. All the 'underground' scene will miss you Jay!"

-Dave Astor wrote..."Jay Kennedy was a great friend to the cartooning community," National Cartoonists Society President Rick Stromoski said in an e-mail to E&P. "He loved the art form. His instincts and advice were always spot on. He was loved and respected by everyone and he will be sorely missed." According to a Hearst obituary released this afternoon, "Kennedy once explained that he chose a life in cartooning because 'in the fine arts, artists generally comment on the world only obliquely. ... By contrast, cartoons are an art form accessible to all people. ...'"
Here are some very nice remembrance's that are coming in.
A very nice OBIT from The New York Observer: click here

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I had the pleasure of working with Michael many years ago, when I showed his art in my gallery in a group show in SF. The first time I saw his work was in the Madonna movie "Desperately seeking Susan"...his art adorned Madonna's 'drum kit bag' and her (on stage) boyfriends van. His work is a brilliant mix of silk screen and stencil, and of course using one of my favorite images from 'The day of the dead' tradition...The last image shown here, is from the show poster he printed for us. I still have the t-shirt, but if I have known that the poster is now selling for $1,000.00 I would have snagged more! Oh well!...

Born and raised in greater Los Angeles, Michael Roman moved to New York's lower east side in the mid-70's. Working as an aspiring artist / bike messenger, Michael frequently delivered packages and hung out at Andy Warhol's labs in Manhattan. There, he received a great deal of inspiration to what would become his life work of stencil / screen art, combining Warhol techniques with old-Mexico methods and ancient images, which has become known as "Latinissmo".
Michael's textile art, known for its all over coverage and hand made appearance brings life to stencils and images. Avoiding the sterilized look which is so common, the hand wrought artwork appears as unique and imperfect as life itself.

Michael's clients have included celebrities such as Carlos Santana, Madonna, and Keith Richards. His artwork has been chosen to adorn album covers, Hotel VIP rooms, movie sets, night clubs, and dozens of restaurants.

In the mid-90's, Michael was discovered by Carlos Santana, and he moved to San Francisco where he has been making personal artwork, clothing, and furniture for the superstar. Michael participates in several international events and has a permanent display at the Oaxaca Heritage Museum in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Michael currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco, where also teaches classes to aspiring artists and students in the Mission district. Look at this great site and see all that he has to offer! :website:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Lawrence "El" Colación, Compton, usa

A good friend of mine (again) from the Bay area is Lawrence "El" Colación. His striking iconic work using bold, flat color, and an aesthetic inspired by political icons, Latino pop and street culture, has been exhibited widely in both southern and northern California venues as well as in Mexico, England, France, Germany and Italy. Colación has printed and worked at both the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco and at Self-Help Graphics & Art in East Los Angeles. He has been the art director for Mission Badlands Gallery in San Francisco and his prints are in the permanent collections of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco, CA; Self-Help Graphics, Los Angeles; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

Colación describes the incipience of his work as being in the genre of punk rock art. Commenting on his art Colación states, "I see my art as an extension of my visual world, past, present and future."

"It is the sum of my total experience as growing up a Chicano in the Greater Los Angeles area. My images reflect my bi-cultural upbringing; they range from traditional Mexican icons to American pop icons. Our Lady of Guadalupe juxtaposed with Selena is possible as well as Bob's Big Boy eating a taco. Often when asked to describe my art or place it in a neat category, I have much difficulty. I suppose my art can be described as, "Post Pop Chicano Punk Art."

The serigraphs illustrating this page is entitled "El Hefe Santo" & "Frida", was included in the art show Happening Underground International 8 that he curated in Leoncavallo, Milan, Italy.

When not working on art, Lawrence is an Oakland parole officer who works with young men coming out of CYA.

Monday, March 12, 2007



A massive output is putting it lightly for these folks! Masterful array of styles and artists is the "usual" as well. French serigraphers, publisher specialized in rather disturbing serigraphs and comics with a very low print run. Or at least that is what the 'blog' states, in part. True maybe, but original and gorgeous is more to the point. I'm a proud owner of a couple of these fine peoples work and have been inspired many more times as I dip into my ink and screens.

If you want to learn, learn from the best!

They have a huge selection of prints/books and a new DVD for sale at great and affordable prices via their :website and a massive list of art and photos, via their :blog:

Friday, March 9, 2007


Javier Mariscal b. 1950 Spain.

I first ran into Mariscal's work in art spiegelman's RAW MAGAZINE. The movement and comical themes were undeniable to me. I have been a huge fan ever since, and even more now. His design work is extraordinary, and his website designs are to die for. When I come across people like this, I just want to curl up and just plain "give up".

Mariscal is probably most known (in the real world) for designing "COBI" the Olympic mascot for Barcelona in 1992.

"Mariscal is thought of as a kind of blender, in which Calder and Vázquez, Miró and Micky Mouse, Matisse and Crumb are found in equal measures. The result is Mariscal, a professional in design, comics and painting, who does not consider himself a professional and who vindicates this mixture." -unknown
:click on the above thumbnail to get a better view:

Mariscal has brought his comix vision to life with his sculpture entitled "CRASH' Taking a 1959 Chevy Impala and making it into a breathtaking piece of work. He also translated it into a serigraph, which is just a fantastic! You have to visit and play around his website to really get the idea how great this guy is! :website:

Thursday, March 8, 2007


Another "master" in my opinion is Jim Winters, a San Francisco artist, since 1992. Jim holds a BFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia where he graduated in 1988. I first met him through an ex-girlfriend. We both owned a gallery in SF many years ago, and had the pleasure of working with Jim. He has a special outlook when it comes to subject matter and color. He usually uses found objects, like old photos and the like. His coloring is rich and textured and merely mindboggling. He uses a layered technique which adds a surreal, yet life-like finished look. The "Dolly" (pictured) is a newer piece. His work is hard to mistake for anyone else, although many have tried and failed. I've been out of touch with him since I left SF, but it looks like lately he has expanded on his work with some great looking water soluble crayon drawings on paper.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


B. HILVITZ, b. 1960 usa

The second featured artist in this installation is me!, B. Hilvitz. Why the hell not, I'm paying the bills! What I'm discussing is a project I put together before my stint into NY. It was a massive project. A fully hand done silk screen book, entitled MEANIES.
All in all this book had 85 colors put into it. (This made S. Clay Wilson's 26 color print I did years ago, seem easy peasy. I'll get into the APEX print series sometime in the near furture!)

I gathered 6 artists and myself and asked of them to do what they do best. My job was to edit, compile art, design format, cut the stock, create all the separations, shoot the screens, mix the inks...then print each one! Each artist had up to 5 colors per piece, and most selected colors, or trusted me with that duty. As any print maker knows, the more colors you have, the more chance you have to 'screw up!' Multiply this by all the different artists and the challenge of all the "facing" pages. There is always the chance that one page with 5 colors comes out brilliantly, then you have to repeat everything on the other side of the paper...."that's when you breath!" If you plan, and are careful, there is no reason to screw up too bad. On top of all that I was also dealing with water base inks in a low humidity environment.

The above artists which contributed to MEANIES consist of some of the best comix artists working today. The easy part of this project was knowing the skill of those people. That's always the easiest part of the gig. Choose those who are professional and know what they are doing.

Gary Panter, who's cover art for this project came from one of his sketch books, is a leader in the underground scene. A three time Emmy winner for designing the sets for Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

Kaz is a phenomenon in his own right, a prolific artist and writer. His comix strip UNDER WORLD has been published world wide for many, many years. All collected in great book form and available at your local comics shop.

Next my pal Krystine Kryttre, is a brilliant artist...One of her daytime jobs doing "rotoscoping" for Hollywood was making Kevin Costner's butt look smaller for one of his movies...most recently she got a credit for rotoscoping on the Academy award winning "RAY". In her spare time she paints brilliant paintings and integrates taxidermy roadkill "critters" onto it...sounds bad, but looks great! Trust me!

Spain, has been apart of the underground comix scene from almost day one...he is, and has been a ZAP! artist since the beginning, and contributor to a vast array of comix and books. He's a master of intrigue, politics, and the pen!

S. Clay Wilson has been a ZAP! artist as well...he is best known for his nightmarish depictions of pirates, dykes, and private parts flying apart!

Mats!? contributed a beautiful piece as usual...read FEATURE ARTIST 'ONE' to learn more about this great artist and print maker.

And then...me. Tired little me.

Would I want to do another project like this.....no. It was a lot of fun, but it was a lot of work. Not that that has ever stopped me, but I think I find printmaking more fun when you have a piece that can be framed. The tactile pleasure of a book is just dandy, don't get me wrong, but something you can look at and not have to shuffle through is just so much better, for me.

If anyone has the inkling to give something like this a try, use my advice and plan, plan, plan. You have to have all your "ducks in a row" before you spill a drop of ink. Make a sparse "mock" first, so placement isn't an issue. Plan the pages and layout carefully, 'cause once you start, it's hard and costly to stop and start over. Get good archival paper, work slowly and carefully and CLEAN! Make sure your surfaces (hands) are clean and free of inks, and work one side at a time. Double check page layouts, and positioning throughout the project. Remember books are not linear, the pages are collated as it is read. That is why a "mock" is very important. And have fun damn it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


(b. 1964, France)

I'm starting things off with someone who taught me a great
deal when it comes to silk-screening. Mats!? Stromberg. Yes,
those are "!?" officially. Mats!? and I met in San Francisco many years ago.
He is an extremely industrious artist. A master printer, and amazing
fearless cartoonist, steeped in the "underground" tradition.
Recently Mats!? returned from travelling extensively in South-East Asia(region), his second trip (photos) thus far, researching and exploring the area for a forthcoming 'coffee table' book. The pieces shown to the left are from his first trip.

Go to ASIADDICT to learn more about Mats!?'s first book!

The first brilliant print shown is entitled "Blue Lotus"
They are gorgeous 2 color works, utilizing transparent inks on a base. You don't need a full palette of color to get your point across. The second piece shown is entitled" Nightkhmers" depicts a political view, showing the current underlying suspicions running throughout the country. Mats!? has never feared from politics or controversy. He is legendary in many ways. Mats!? once sneaked an installation piece he had made into The Museum of Modern Art in SF. It stayed there for nearly a week before it was discovered! His comix and illustrations reflect the same fearless approach. Of course, no "website, or blog" can do justice to serigraphs and the subtleties that come from them.
•Learn more at his website: http://www.matsicko.com

A great project that Mats!? and myself worked on a few years ago, was this massive 8 color serigraph of a Charles Burns image entitled "Elvis in Hell". This was a departure from your normal serigraphs. Most, or at least, most in the past were produced using "oil" based inks. This edition of 300 were all produced in "water" base ink. The climate in San Francisco lent itself to this process better than my experiences here in Colorado. The more humidity, the better. I devised a special mix of the inks in order for this product to come out as it did. I really started serious serigraphy when I was exposed to the french print makers...they are notorious for the chemicals and inks they use. "Si vous ne faites pas pipi brun, il n'est pas en valeur lui!" The compliment I received from the french was, when they first approach a print, they immediately thrust it to their nose, to breath in all the glorious chemicals...the look on their faces was hysterical...they had such a look of puzzlement...they couldn't smell anything, but their eyes told them it was done in "oil". I'm quite proud that I fooled the experts. This great print is still available through * Ink & Design.

Monday, March 5, 2007


This is a blog for, and about the art of serigraphy. I'll be showcasing work of various artists, and their work as it applies to this medium. It began as an industrial technology, and was adopted by American graphic artists in the 1930s; the Pop Art movement of the 1960s further popularized the technique. Many of Andy Warhol's most famous works, including his Campbell's Soup Cans, were created using the technique. It is currently popular both in fine arts and in commercial printing, where it is commonly used to put images on T-shirts, hats, ceramics, glass, polyethylene, polypropylene, paper, metals, and wood. We invite all who desire so, to add comments and information to make available to the general public, in order to expand on the techniques of this rich addition to the art world. Email further info: mail@flatwurks.com