Social Media Remedies

I am currently developing my ongoing series of Milagro inspired prints into a new direction: Social Media Remedies. 

The Milagro prints is a series of works I started in graduate school when I became intersted in the parallels between communication technologies and spiritualities have on our minds. For example, when we text on our smart phones or pray, we become absent in the immediate physical space aorund us: we are talking to someone somewhere else. However, there is a lot of problems with the Milagro type prints, one inparticular is that they are not Milagros at all. 

The prints depict Milagro type imagery, but are not Milagros themselves (I’m working on making actual Milagros). Many people outside the southwest don’t know what a Milagro is, so an explanation of these tangible prayers is in order before I can begin to talk about the concept behind the series. To confront these two problems, I am pushing the series away from the Milagro rhetoric and into a new direction: Social Media Remedies for the digital age. 

Social Media Remedies is a reference to the traveling medicine men during the 19th century in the United States, who would sell snake oils to cure baldness and such. These traveling salesman typically had elaborate setups with bannes and all sorts of visual stimulation to convince people that their product would really cure the current epidemic at the time.  

Similarily to the salesmen that promise to cure bodily ailments with their elixirs, Social Media Remedies are designed to heal social anxieties that border on disease, such as "Nomophobia", or the feat of losing or being without your cell-phone. 

I'm excited to develop social media remedies because designing cures for modern day digital ailments requires equal doses of audience engagement, humor, and has the power to promote behavior change. I'm not sure what new direction the imagery is going to take place, but I am thinking something in the line of tarot cards. In the meantime, the prints in the gallery below are the first milagro inspired works.

Join Me for the Raw Artist Event in Downtown San Jose!

I am a featured artist at the Raw Artist Event on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 08:00PM at the Motif Cocktail lounge! The Raw Artist movement is a grassroots and multidisciplinary one, exhibiting emerging artists working within the visual arts, dancing, film and fashion. Being a a part of Raw Artists is exciting both as an artist and an audience goer because in one night you are introduced to a network or local artists within your community working across different disciplines. 

Tickets to the event are $20, but can be purchased for $15 by clicking on my promo link below . Hope to see you at the show! 

 

I Am Now Part of the Cubberley Artist Studio Program in Palo Alto.

I’m so excited to announce that I am officially part of the long-term (5 years) residency program at Cubberley Artist Studios in Palo Alto! At Cubberley, I will continue my studio practice as a printmaker with 23 other artists in single and shared studio spaces. In addition to having a working space, I’ll host open studios, printmaking and drawing workshops, facilitate lectures and artist panels, and participate in group shows. 

The move to the studio begins in October, which might give me enough time to decide whether or not the etching press stays in the home studio or comes with me to the heart of Silicon Valley. 

My studio today, with the Conrad Etching Press.

My studio today, with the Conrad Etching Press.

Check out the Cubberley Artist Program website here: http://cubberleyartists.com/Events.php

Image Production, Sans Computer.


I try to work without the aid of a computer as much as possible when transferring a drawing to woodblocks. It is true that using a computer can make aspects of printmaking easier, it is a personal goal for me when working with mokuhanga to create multiple images using only pencils, paper, carving tools, woodblocks and ink.

 I am by no means a luddite. Japanese have been creating sophisticated reproducible artworks since the 9th century. To me their process is just as much valid today as it was then because each mokuhanga print still feels like one of a kind watercolor to me.
 

Creating artwork without a computer in the room also increases mindfulness. When I am detached from the computer I am fully focused on the project at hand without the interruptions of social media, email, or any other notifications that may suddenly arise on the screen.

 For example: When creating a multi-colored woodblock print I need to be sure that the colors print in the right place. This involves carving the right areas on each block, which means I need to place the key image in the exact same spot on each of the blocks I need to carve. For three color blocks, I need the key drawings placed in the same position on each block to ensure that the color flats lineup when printed. To do this I need three key drawings that are the same, and this is a point where I can use computer technology or that of paper and pen to ensure this happens. With a computer, I can print out three exact drawings, and paste each onto the block in the same spot. Or, I can take a much riskier and longer route, and use carbon paper to trace one image three different times onto the block. The carbon paper takes longer, and each drawing will be a little different, but boy does it look beautiful. And I’ve recreated a key drawing without the use of a machine. The process still feels pure.