Mar 232012

Our last Prints & Inks profile is not on an artist but the Montreal-based creative print shop and studio Station 16. The shop + studio offers limited edition prints from some of the best street and graffiti artists in North America and Europe (including Prints & Inks exhibiting artists Antoine Tavaglione, whatisadam, En Masse, Martine Frossard, Labrona and Niko). Originally just a family textile screenprinting business, owner Carlo De Luca decided 18 months ago to offer free screenprinting space to artists in the city to create and print their works, uniquely partnering his family business with his love of art.

Here’s Carlo’s story on setting up a screenprinting studio, having silkscreening in his blood, and being inspired by the artists who work at and collaborate with Station16.

1. Telll us a bit about Station16. What was your motivation to start this print shop/studio? How did you get started?

Station16 was/is primarily a textile screen print business. I’ve been doing this for twenty years (the last 10 on my own). About 18 months ago I wanted to diversify my business and since I love art, the natural progression was to start up a fine art studio within my shop. I reached out to artists in the city and offered them the opportunity of free space within my shop to see how we can take their art and combine it with my medium. This is when I met whatisadam. He was screen printing these amazing and awesome edition prints at home using a light bulb and one screen that he kept reclaiming. I was so impressed with his skill and passion that I immediately knew that we would produce a wonderful product together. His passion for art with my resources and equipment produced his first successful solo art exhibit in Montreal, April 2011. Later in the year, I realized that I could offer this to other artists and give them an opportunity as well. This is when was created.

2. How did you become interested in silkscreening?

My family has always been in the textile (needle trade) Growing up, my summer jobs were in the print shop. At the age of 21, I decided to work full time and I started managing a print shop. By age 31, I started up my own business. I guess you can say it’s in my blood.

3. How are you influenced by other artists, specifically, other silkscreeners/printers?

My influence whether printing on paper, fabric or wood has always quality. I look at master printers and compare my work to theirs. I am constantly looking to improve, invent and explore. I often ask myself, if Andy Warhol would walk into my shop and view my quality of work…would he choose Station16 as his print house ? He’d better!

4. How many artists are involved with Station16? How do you go about selecting whose work you will feature?

Presently we have 9 artists onboard. I love street , graffiti, pop , modern and contemporary art. I love wheat paste artist and muralists as well. Artists selected would definitely fall into these categories.

5. Is there a collaborative aspect to your studio and your enterprise? Do you see silkscreening as being particularly suited to collaboration?

Station16 fine art department is based on collaborations between printer and artist. Station16 absorbs all the development costs and remits a fair percentage to the artist based on the sells of their works. We provide them an online shop platform and take care of all the shipping.

Working with different artists and collectively showcasing their works on one online screen print shop enables the magic of strength in numbers to work. Emerging and established artists directing their fans to our shop, enables people to view their works and introduces them to the works of other artists they were unfamiliar with.

Recently we collaborated with Montreal art collective En Masse, and produced for them their first ever serigraph print . En Masse is a collective of artists that produce these large scale handpainted murals with black/white imagery. This original drawing was a collaborative of six different artists. The edition is signed and numbered by all six artists involved. En Masse is gaining much deserved recognition for their works. Recently they were part of the Bing Bang exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

6. What are some of the challenges of running your own print shop/studio? What are the opportunities?

The textile screen print challenges are competition with overseas production.

Surround yourself with good people. Get the employees involved with the process. Make them understand that whether they are printing a t-shirt or fine art print, the impression once on the medium is there forever. Be proud of what you put out there!

My textile screen print business has given me the opportunity to explore other interests and to feed my soul with the fine art program I have developed.

7. What’s next for Station16 in terms of creative projects?

We recently completed a collaboration with CEASE for ArtTV at Montreal Nuit Blanche.

We were also at Armory Week in New York City from March 9-11. We also had a booth at Fountain Fair, where we showcased prints produced at Station16.

8. Anything else we should know about?

Station 16 is named after my MHM screen print machine that has 16 stations…small editions made at station16 are sometimes developed in editions of 16.

Surround yourself with things that make you happy ! Hang up some art !

Thanks Carlo! To see some of the work from artists at Station16, and to find out more about the print studio/shop, check out Station 16′s website. You can also visit the studio in Montreal at 111 Avenue de Louvaine West.

Mar 222012

Next up as part of the Prints & Inks artist profile is Toronto-based designer and screenprinter Sandi Falconer (aka Deadweight). Her prints reflect slightly askew hand drawn text, tired eyes, scrappy patterns, witches, objects of perceived luck or fortune, triangles, textured paper, wish bones, and the moon. She’s done work for the likes of The Walrus, Wavelength, The Images Festival, City Of Craft, The Hype Machine, and more. She plays music in The Guest Bedroom and collaborates on a line of screen printed leather goods called Falconwright.  Did we mention she’s also a full time office worker and loves avocados?

Here’s what she had to say:

1.     Tell me a little bit about your creative/art background. Also, what got you interested in silkscreening?

I got interested in screen printing at a time when a handful of people were doing really great screen printed posters in Toronto. I was totally dazzled by the bright colours, and I really wanted to get in on that (and be able to make my band t-shirts). My art background is mostly music related (school wise), and I’m a self taught hack when it comes to illustration and screen printing, but I love doing it and hope to continue expanding my knowledge/skills by moving forward and making stuff.

2. Describe the items/designs you’ve submitted to the Prints & Inks Show. Where did the inspiration for the print/design come from?

I’m a big fan of space. And coffee. But I probably wouldn’t enjoy space coffee!

3. What is your creative process? Where do you derive your imagery from – found objects? Your original drawings? Appropriated images?

My imagery is inspired by all kinds of things, but over the years it’s become a bit more focused on the themes I tend to enjoy. All my work is now illustrated/hand lettered by myself and screen printed in my home, though I have recently been experimenting with some digital printing (for shame!).

4.     How are you influenced by other artists, specifically, other silkscreeners/printers? Who are you inspired by and how is this translated into your own work.

Whenever I see a screen print that blows me away, I love trying to solve it like a math problem. That kind of wonder/interest is a really appealing feeling! I love seeing a colour combo blow my socks off. And I love being inspired by others to become a better printer, a better illustrator, just plain better.

5.     Is there a collaborative aspect to your work? Do you work with other artists/collectives? If so, what is the place of collaboration in your practice? Do you see silk screening as being particularly suited to collaboration?

Most of my screen printing work is done solo, though I am collaborating with a friend on a line of leather goods called Falconwright.  I design and screen print the patterns and my friend Danielle does the product development and sewing. I think screen printing is great for a skills sharing kind of collab. Certainly!  I’ve never collabed with another printer on a print before, but it is something that is definitely appealing to me. Maybe this is the year!

6. What’s next for you in terms of creative projects?

More Falconwright stuff, putting together my bands latest release, and working on some larger format screen prints.  Plus making more time for drawing in general!

7. Anything else we should know about?

I love avocados, but I used to think they looked disgusting. Things change and that’s good!

Thanks Sandi! For more of her prints and products check out her website.

Mar 082012

Next up we’re profiling Prints & Inks contributor and Montreal-based street artist whatisadam, who depicts North-American wildlife in new ways in his prints. His ‘comic-book cover’ posters of prostitute Deers, tattooed Mallards and cans of Maple ‘Sizzurp’, can be seen the alleyways and streets of Montreal, Brooklyn and Mexico City.

Tell us a little bit about your creative/art background. Also, what got you interested in silkscreening?

I have always been in art, studied in drawing and design, and animation as well. After a couple of years of that, I took a trip across Canada from Montreal to Whitehorse… I’ve also always been a bit of an outdoorsman. When I got back to the city, I began making silkscreen posters for the street. Images of all those animals I’d seen on my trip began popping up, only they where different, changed.

Describe the piece that was submitted to the Prints & Inks Show. Where did the inspiration for the print/design come from?
All my images are a mixture of wild things of the past and modern influences. Free to Roam is the image of a Buffalo, juxtaposed on text that could be from a torn ad poster, which is on yet another poster.

What is your creative process? Where do you derive your imagery from – found objects? Your original drawings? Appropriated images?
I draw most of my images by hand, ink them and scan them into my computer. Most of them are influenced by advertising, comic books, or old movie posters.

How are you influenced by other artists, specifically, other silkscreeners/printers? Who are you inspired by and how is this translated into your own work.
I love to use layers in my work. I also enjoy the limitations that sometimes come with silkscreen printing. For example, using the paper as a color, or limiting yourself to a two color print.

Is there a collaborative aspect to your work? Do you see silkscreening as being particularly suited to collaboration?
I have yet to collaborate with another artist, but I do a lot of work with Station16 and CEASE.

What are some projects you’ve worked on the past that you’d like to highlight?
Recently I just did a show with CEASE at Place-des-Arts in Montreal, for Nuit Blanche, a big art event that happens all night.

What’s next for you in terms of creative projects?
I hope to keep collaborating on shows with other street artists and graffiti artists, and there is talk of a group art show at the end of the year with some local Montreal talents.

Anything else we should know about?
Within the year, I plan to turn some of my images into 3D sculptures and objects.

Thanks whatisadam! Check out his website to view his works and find out more:

Mar 072012

Spins & Needles | Ottawa | Superheroes Party | March 2012

Inspired by vintage superhero television shows, Roy Lichtenstein pop art, and DIY digital comic strips, your friendly neighbourhood creative night out is throwing a party on Friday March 16 to make you go zap, boom, pow!

DJs Jason Pelletier, Meterman, + special guests D-Mass and Nathan hit the decks throughout the night spinning house, hip hop, tech, and other assorted beats.

starts 9pm
cover $8
DIY projects (all materials + instructions provided) + funky beats
More info here

Mar 012012

With this post, we’re going to go a little back in time. Silkscreened posters have played a hugely significant role in social and political movements, from the Federal Art Project of the New Deal, which supported screenprinting artists under the Works Progress Administration program implemented by the US Government during the Depression, to Atelier Populaire (the Popular Studio), the renegade printshop set up by students at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts during the Paris protests of 1968.

Prints & Inks Assistant Show Coordinator, Rhiannon Vogl, provided us with some research on the Atelier Populaire:

The members of Atelier Populaire worked 24 hours a day producing a mass of posters and wall newspapers that were then pasted up in the streets in the support of the revolt. As art erupted in the in the public sphere, the students cried out for “all power to the imagination.” Graffiti and posters covered the city of Paris.

By all accounts, it was a very organized operation. Atelier members met each day in a general assembly for the discussion and democratic choice of poster designs and slogans, while also debating current political developments. Every attempt was made to reject traditional power hierarchies by marking authority as provisional, and subject to change as necessary, or as willed by participants within the group. The posters were produced in several of the workshops by silkscreen, lithography or stenciling, and distributed all over Paris by student and worker representatives. Activist comment – often witty, invariably bitter – was on the streets almost hour by hour. Each poster was created in the most simplistic means possible – the images were often nothing more than hand-drawn lettering and brushed silhouettes. However, by exploiting the minimalism of these graphic designs, the students were able to question the complex apparatus of printed image-making in the consumer society whose values they opposed.

To read more on the context surrounding Atelier Populaire, check out this essay on The Posters of l’Atelier Populaire. Thanks Rhiannon!

Feb 142012

The theme for this month’s party was inspired partly by a trip to Quebec City and the snowy mascot for their famous winter Carnaval. So what happens when cabin fever meets friendly abominable snowmen?

Here’s some graphic designs and prints of the infamous snow monster, the yeti, to help you get inspired for Friday’s event.

Above: Yeti & Casio by Megan Whitmarsh

Yeti at Night by Ryan Snook

Nonnative Abominable Snowman Crew T-Shirt by Oki-Ni

Big Thanks by Lucas Richards

Yeti Shadow Puppet by Owly Shadow Puppets

Abominable Frostbites by Nate Wragg

Burping Yeti by Jim Whittamore

Freddy Mushyeti by Don Clark

Yeti by Jeff Kandefer

Snow Monster by Victoria Samoylova

Hitchin’ a Ride by Jay Fleck

Mar 292011

Spins & Needles | 6-Year Anniversary | Bricolage Brunch

We can hardly believe that six years has crept on us! We are celebrating this year’s anniversary with a little experiment: our usual concoction of DIY, DJs and drinks during the day – yes, our first ever daytime event! Plus we’re throwing in everyone’s fave meal, brunch. Check out more about the event Spins & Needles 6-Year Anniversary Bricolage Brunch.

Here’s some poster designs that inspired us for this month:

Tailgate Poster 2
Tailgate Breakfast by Abby Smith

Issue 3 Call by Joe Stot

The Most Important Meal of the Day
The Most Important Meal of the Day by Andrew Hoffman

Droog Brood: Scenes voor de mensen
Droog Brood by Jona Rotting

Balloon Breakfast Poster by David Sykes
Light Breakfast by David Sykes

One Week by Kikko Paradela
One Week by Kikko Paradela

Jun 122010

Ville de Montreal - June 2010
Ville de Montreal street signs incorporated into festival gates

One thing I love about walking around Montreal is how many design ideas you can get from all the large posters and street art in different areas of the city.


Ville de Montreal and Le Husky

Les Amours Imaginaires - Montreal June 2010


We got lots of inspiration last weekend by walking streets that are undergoing construction (Ste-Catherine, Boulevard de Maisonneuve, St-Laurent). It turns out that much of the graffiti on St-Laurent and between Ste-Catherine and Rene-Levesque was part of Bombe sur la Main, which happened the weekend before last, presented by le Quartier des Spectacles de Montreal. Thirty-six well-known and emerging artists descended upon the Main with spray paint, brushes and ink, and attacked 365 feet of boarded up facade. Artists involved included:

Collectif Crazy apes crew
Collectif En masse
La Paria
Péru et Cabin
Chris Dyer
Zilon et Seaz
Collectif K6A crew
Arpi, DKae, Fleo et Tom Sydor
Zeck et Herezy

Here’s some higlights:

Poutine and street art on Ste-Catherine: the best kind of combo (Artists: En Masse)

Roch Voisine Graffiti Street Art - Montreal June 2010
Roch Rocking It (Artists: Zeck et Herezy)

Graffiti Street Art - Montreal June 2010
Artists: Péru et Cabin

Notorius BIG Graffiti Street Art - Montreal June 2010

Apparently the works will be up until the end of summer, when the facades of buildings on the street are dismantled. If you’re in Montreal, definitely try to get to this area to take a look. You can find out En Masse’s, one of the artists collectives who participated,  take on the event here. Le Quartier des Spectacles photoset here.

May 312010

Yard Sale Poster Halifax, Nova Scotia - May 2010

One of the first thing you notice as an out-of-towner in downtown Halifax is that the streets are lined with numerous wooden poles which feature some really creative posters for club nights, art shows and yard sales. I might be mistaken, but it’s like the city is pretty much all for spreading the word about local, grassroots happenings at street level, rather than showcasing huge corporate advertisements behind glass windows.

Yard Sale Poster Halifax, Nova Scotia - May 2010

For example, I loved finding the silkscreened poster stapled to a wooden pole for the Long Live the Queen Festival (which was featured in my last post).

Yard Sale Poster Halifax, Nova Scotia - May 2010

What I found really cool though were the yard sale posters along North Street on our way to the Festival. Rather than the generic orange, black and white “Garage Sale” sign or photocopied pages with varying sizes of Times New Roman text, these posters were like pages from a colouring book: handdrawn with block or bubble text, fun, with loads of colour and caricatures.

Yard Sale Poster Halifax, Nova Scotia - May 2010

Each poster had a different address on it. So it was like making these colouring book-esque posters to promote was the norm in the neighbourhood, each one competing for your attention in an endearing way and making you think that if these posters were so unique, then the kind of items at the sale might be unique too.

Yard Sale Poster Halifax, Nova Scotia - May 2010

These are definitely the kind of garage sales that I want to go to.