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September 14, 2011

THE JAMES MADISON YEARS

After high school I had a choice, go to Johnston & Wales and continue my education as a chef, or go to James Madison and study animation and fine art.

I decided to go to JMU, where I met a lot of great people and learned a lot of new skills. While Fine Art included sculpture, painting, graphic design, jewelry making, and figure drawing, my favorites soon became clear when I started to learn the process of screen printing and computer animation.These two art forms, while fairly different, have many similarities in process and in the artist's way of thinking. It didn't take long for screen printing to become my favorite 2D art form.


     





































The main reason screen printing is great : Versatility.

The possibilities are endless because printing is all about layers, each layer has its own stencil, and one can create these layers with any material. You can use pencil and pen, cut out paper or paint, grease pencil or ink as well as anything you could do in Photoshop. And when you're printing, you work in editions, with multiple copies, and you can sell them or trade them with other artists for their work. In other words, I was hooked. I took screen printing every semester until I graduated.



























The thing that I soon realized is that learning to think of your art in layers, is one of the most important tools to learn as an artist. I was using it as the driving force in screen printing, yet it also applies to the process of drawing, painting, and animation. Once I realized this I started experimenting in my figure drawing class, using different materials such as ink, charcoal, markers, and highlighters. Out of that experimentation I found that I really liked ink, because I could manipulate it in ways that I couldn't with charcoal and pens. I could drag out long strokes, or splatter the ink, or tilt the piece and let gravity pull the ink around. I soon started using ink in my screen printing which lead to some of my favorite prints such as the one at the top of this post, as well as the title image of The Batcave.


























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