Damn Fine Print – Cult Open Brief
Having had such a positive experience participating in the Halftone Print Fair exhibition I was enthused to discover another exhibition open call soon afterwards. This time the brief was set by ‘Damn Fine Print’, a prominent screen printing studio here in Dublin. I was even more pleased to discover that the whole exhibition would be comprised of risograph prints under the theme of ‘Cult’. This seemed like an excellent opportunity to experiment further with risography and advance my production skills while also engaging with another collaborative exhibition and hopefully expand my local creative network in the process.
I decided to approach the brief in the same way as I had previously approached the Skillhare self-portrait exercise, basically as another self-portrait. Since visiting Japan last year I had become obsessively interested in recreating Japanaese cusine at home, particularly Ramen dishes. I had noticed several articles over the previous few months which suggested that this obsession was occuring in many other parts of society.
“Ramen, despite its reputation as a cheap fast food, is a complex pillar of modern Japanese society, one loaded with political, cultural and culinary importance that stretches far beyond the circumference of the bowl.” (Goulding, 2016)
Based on what I had read this subject seemed like one which was likely to resonate with quite a audience of young city-dwelling urbanites and which was appropriate to the fun-filled atmosphere of the event. When considering my design I was mindful of my historical inspirations, namely mid-century illustration and constriceted myself to a bold, limited colour palette from the offset. As with my first self-portrait I played with exaggerated gestural shapes and filled my subject out to reach the borders of the canvas, creating quite interesting negative space shapes around the perimeter of my subject. After sketching out the initial drawing using the Sketch app on my iPad Pro, I developed the illustration further and coloured and textured it using Photoshop via the Astropad app. I was pleased with the outcome of this exercise but unfortunately my submission was not accepted for the exhibition. While this was disappointing it has spurred me on to improve and keep entering more exhibition open calls.
“The important thing about entering art competitions is not to focus on what you didn’t get, but to appreciate the value of what you did achieve. Think of entering competitions as a stepping stone to building a successful art career. Just because your artwork was not selected does not mean it is not good or that you are not talented. A painting can be rejected for many reasons that have nothing to do with your ability or skill.” (Agora, 2017)