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 FEATURE ARTIST 'ONE' to learn more about this great artist and print maker.

And Tired little me.

Would I want to do another project like 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!

1 comment:

stephanie said...

Nice! Thanks for all the great links!