I actually printed this edition a few weeks ago, but then I was out of town for over a week (more on that later), and have since been running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get caught up. So, here it is (finally), all finished. I printed it in 2 different color combinations: yellow on white, and white on brown. If you look closely, you can see that I meticulously hand colored some of the scales on each print in 2 different shades with Prismacolor markers. If you'd like to buy it, it's here in my etsy shop.
This is the first in a series of letterpress prints I will be doing for my 8 x 10 project. I will be printing my own, as well as printing for other artists I've invited to participate. Each edition will have 2 - 3 printed letterpress layers, and possibly some hand coloring or other finishing touches. There will be 100 prints per edition, and they will be 8 x 10". When I print someone else's drawing, we will split the prints up 50-50 (after I've taken out several to cover the cost of materials), and sell them for $20 apiece.
I'm really excited about this project, because it's a fun, efficient way to make art, and to get involved with other artists. And as an artist, I think it's important to make some art work that is affordable and accessible to anyone. That is the beauty of fine art printmaking*. Each print in an edition is an original, but because you are able to make multiples, the prices can remain relatively lower than most other art forms. Kiki Smith and Kara Walker are 2 great examples of contemporary artists who do large scale one of a kind work, but also do more affordable editions of prints and other multiples. Because I'm keeping the 8 x 10 prints simple (smallish size, only a couple of layers), I'm able to keep the cost down to the buyer. Now, don't get me wrong, I do have some large scale, one of a kind art that costs over a thousand dollars because of the inordinate amount of work involved... but it's nice to have things at both ends of the spectrum.
IF YOU ALREADY UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FINE ART PRINT AND A REPRODUCTION, SKIP THE NEXT PARAGRAPH. You're welcome.
* A fine art print (an etching or letterpress print, for example) is different from a reproduction of original artwork that is printed digitally (like that poster of Van Gogh's sunflowers you had in your first apartment). Original drawings, photos, and paintings that go into making a fine art print are incomplete and unfinished by themselves. Through the methods of printmaking (eg. screenprinting, letterpress, etching, lithography) these elements combine to make the final product, which is an edition of fine art prints. Although made in multiple, each of these prints, is an original, not a reproduction. For example, my sea freak print, there was not an original painting that looked just like the prints. There were a couple of drawings that I made into printing plates. And then I added the Prismacolor at the end to each finished print. So, each finished print is the original. There wasn't some original that each print reproduces exactly. That would make them reproductions, not fine art prints. Another distinguishing characteristic of fine art printing, is that they normally have a distinct look and texture in person that a digital print can never duplicate.
I took this idea from my advisor professor at BYU, Wayne Kimball. He would almost always incorporate in the print itself the title of the print, the date, and the total number in the edition. Then he'd just have to sign it and write in the number of each particular print in the edition. Here, I've printed my signature instead of the title. I like the little crest I put it in. After I did it, though, I realized that it looks a lot like the K records logo!