Some of you may or may not recall a map of souvenir magnets I had on the ceiling of the Moveable Type truck… I collected these kitschy things every time I entered a new state and, by the time the trip ended, I had a sprawling and weirdly not-to-scale map of the United States. I love these magnets – I love their corny symbolism, the road trip they suggest, their terrible quality… and after spending so much time with them, I knew I wanted to use them as a jumping off point for my own work. Fast forward 18 months, countless drawings, over 6000 sheets of paper, 100 magnesium printing plates, and several thousand dollars, and I present to you THE 50 STATES ACCORDING TO TYPE TRUCK!
Well, 49 of them anyhow. Had a little mishap with Wisconsin (who hasn’t?) but I’ll be reprinting that one real soon. In the meantime, you can find the other 49 listed online in my Big Cartel and my Etsy shops, and in person at Power and Light Press HQ in New Mexico, and at a few upcoming holiday sales:
11/23 – 11/24: Wilderness Artisan Fair, Little Toad Creek Inn & Tavern, Lake Roberts, NM
11/30 – 12/1: Renegade Craft Fair, Austin, TX
12/7 – 12/8: Mimbres Studio Sale, Mimbres Hot Springs Ranch, San Lorenzo, NM
12/14 – 12/15: Renegade Craft Fair, Los Angeles, CA
12/21 – 12/22: Renegade Craft Fair, San Francisco, CA
I need your votes!
But I am not running for office. Rather, I am applying for a big ol’ grant for Power and Light Press – $250K, to be precise, to go towards expanding my business.
Here’s the deal: I’ve already submitted my application, but now I need to gather 250 votes from my community, peers, and “fans” in order to be eligible. And I need to do this in the next FIVE DAYS. Can you please spare a moment to cast a vote my way?
This link should take you to the right place, but if it doesn’t, you can search their website for my profile, “Power and Light Press”.
As some of you know, I moved my print shop from Portland, Oregon to Silver City, New Mexico last year. This has been such a great move, and this year has already seen tremendous growth in the business. And to top it all off, I absolutely love being a part of this new community. But I want to do more. More than I can with my current resources.
I have been operating this business for almost 5 years without a credit card or any kind of debt. This makes me feel awesome, but it also sometimes prevents me from taking risks and making necessary investments in equipment, labor, materials, etc. Now I want to take some risks, to see what might happen, because I think some pretty great things might happen. I want to fix up my shop so the plumbing works and the lights turn on and the doors actually shut all the way. You know, general maintenance. I want to buy a big new (old) press so I can expand my production and offerings, and increase my wholesale business. I want to hire another employee or two and be able to pay them a fair wage and offer benefits. Hell, I want to be able to pay myself, something I’m still not doing with any regularity. I could really use this boost, and your support would mean the world to me!
Thanks so much for considering casting a vote for me, and please feel free to spread the word to anyone else who might care! I’ve posted a direct link on my Facebook page so you can share it, should you feel so inclined.
As always, thank you so much for your support!
I'm slowly working my through printing the 50 States, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! This project has been in the works for well over a year, but kept getting derailed by one thing or another. But this past summer, I decided to just go for it and not let myself get distracted anymore! And so, I present to you SOME of the 50 states. So far, I've printed everything west of the Mississippi (AK, HI, WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ, NM, UT, ID, MT, WY, CO, ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX, LA, AR, MO, IA, MN), and I'm planning on printing all the eastern states in the next week. With any luck, I'll have all of them printed, packaged, and ready to ship by mid-November. Check out what's currently available in the online shop, and stay tuned for the great states to come!
I just got back from an amazing week at the Washington coast, where I was doing an artist’s residency at the Sou’wester Lodge. The Sou’wester is a lovely old resort on the southern end of the Long Beach peninsula, in SW Washington. It was established in 1892 as the summer retreat for a wealthy business tycoon and, over time, it has evolved into a guest lodge, RV park, and vintage travel trailer campground.
The Sou’wester has long supported art and music, but has kind of ramped it up over the past year or so by offering artist’s residencies and hosting live music and other creative happenings. The first people I met when I got there were Travis and Lauren, two lovely humans who run the Small Room Collective, a 1963 Airstream gallery/shop/event space/idea incubator. They were traveling from Austin, TX and had been on the road for five months or so. In their words, “The Small Room Collective curates small artistic movements”. Indeed, they’re really interested in connecting creative people and showcasing the work of independent artists, thinkers, and adventurers. You can check out their website to find out more about what they’re up to and where they’ll be next.
I’d heard of the Sou’wester residency program, and thought it would be a perfect fit for the project I’m working on currently: drawings/prints of all 50 US states, inspired by my Moveable Type truck travels. While I was on the road last year, I collected those corny state magnets at truck stops in every state I visited. By the end of my trip, I had a super wonky US map on the ceiling of the truck:
I love these magnets and everything they represent: state pride, nostalgia, weird and awkward graphics, the American road trip… I wanted to create my own take on them, and translate them into my own hand. I started some drawings last summer, but then the project got shelved for a bit as I got distracted by other work and other things. But last month, I finally wrapped up some of the drawings and made prints for seven states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. These are all available for purchase in my Etsy and Big Cartel shops.
I knew I needed time and space to focus on the rest of the drawings (only 43 more states to go!) and so I thought it might be pretty wonderful to spend some time in a vintage travel trailer, reflecting on my own travels and channeling those experiences into these new drawings. It was a moderately productive week. I definitely made some major progress, but the thing about the Sou’wester is that it is literally steps from the beach. And it’s summertime.
But I was able to focus somewhat, and get down to business at my sweet little workspace, set up inside a 1957 Spartan Royal Manor:
Here’s a sneak peek of some of the sketches that came out of the week.
My (somewhat ambitious) plan is to finish up all the drawings this week and start printing in early September. With any luck, I’ll have all 50 states (and maybe a Canadian province or two!) printed and available for purchase by the end of September. And then, I’m hoping to do a BIG map of the United States, rolling out in time for the holidays. Stay tuned!
Thank you, Sou’wester, for an inspiring and peaceful week! I will be back soon, I’m sure. To close, here is a lovely video my friend Kelly made when she came to pick me up the other day. Make sure you have your sound on!
FINALLY! Power and Light Press will officially open its doors THIS SATURDAY, April 13! If you’re in southwestern New Mexico (as I’m sure most of you are), please come on down to the corner of College + Bullard Streets in Silver City for an afternoon of solar-powered live music, bike workshops, printing demos, art, and puppets! 2-9pm, all ages welcome.
More photos of the “renovated” space soon!
I am beyond thrilled to announce that I’ve just signed a lease on a brand new space! This orange, black, and brick box – a former motorcycle repair shop – will become the new Power and Light Press HQ effective today, January 3, 2013. This is so exciting and daunting. This will be the first private, non-vehicular studio that I have operated my business out of EVER. I am so excited to have extra space, a stronger sense of identity, and a new neighborhood and community to participate in. As some of you know, I have recently relocated to Silver City, New Mexico. I am so happy to be here and getting back to doing what I love. More photos to come as I move in and turn the space around. There is MUCH work to be done in this very raw building, but I think it’s going to be a fun ride.
Right now, I’m raising my coffee mug to Em Space in Portland, where I’ve been doing my work these past four years. Working out of a shared studio like Em Space allowed me to get my business up on its feet and work through a lot of the growing pains that come with starting a new venture. It also allowed me to be part of a community of creative people, many of whom I count as dear friends. I will miss you guys, please visit.
Power and Light Press has not one but TWO online stores from which you can purchase your holidays goods this year! The Big Cartel shop is integrated right into this website, but there’s also an Etsy shop, should you prefer to shop that way. Both should be stocked with the same stuff, but please let me know if you spot any discrepancies. Through midnight tonight (Tuesday 11/27), please enjoy 20% off your entire purchase from either shop. Just enter the code “BADSANTA” at checkout for an automatic discount.
Going to the post office is a big part of my job. In my travels this past year, I had to stop at a lot of post offices along the way, to fill orders and send postcards. I was smitten by the tiny ones I encountered in small towns all over the country, and so I recently made a bunch of drawings in their honor. I’ve set up a Tumblr called, curiously, tiny post offices. I’ll be adding more drawings all week and, in a month or so, I plan on producing a line of letterpress printed postcards based on these drawings. I’ll have those available in my Big Cartel shop whenever they’re ready. Til then!