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Sieben in Portland

Written by Michael Sieben   
Friday, 07 December 2007 03:17
Sieben blogs up a show he just had @Cal's in Portland with Nat Swope of Bloom Press.
Hi everybody. This blog is about a show titled "Forever and Never" that just opened at Cal's Pharmacy in Portland. This show was: "A Collaborative Print Project By Michael Sieben And Nat Swope." So what does that mean? Well, it means that this show was in a skateshop and my buddy Nat and I thought that it would be really rad if we made artwork that was actually cheap enough for a skateboarder to buy. Our solution was to create a series of ten silk screened prints that we could sell for twenty dollars a piece. Twenty dollars? That's tight.

I've known Nat for about ten years now and we've been mailing each other little packages back and forth for pretty much that entire time. Nat is always sending me awesome little hand made sketch books filled with found paper, illustrations, type, etc. I love drawing in these books because the backgrounds in them always seem to work really well with my illustrations. I think it has something to do with seeing my work paired with design decisions that I wouldn't normally make. It creates happy surprises. You know what I mean? These are a few covers of some of the books Nat has sent my way.

So this particular show seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to work consciously on a project together instead of just doodling back and forth here and there.

We started out by talking on the phone and discussing a good starting point for the project.

We decided that I should send Nat some line art files to kick things off.

So I sent Nat three files. One had a bunch of finished illustrations. One had a bunch of stream of consciousness text. And one had a mess of really loose line art. Like cars with Christmas trees on top of them... you know. Loose.

Nat took those files and started to pick and choose and from what I had sent him pairing up images with text. Then he worked up some backgrounds and started adding found type and miscellaneous radness.

We sent the files back and forth a few times and made minor adjustments (similar to a game of ping pong) and then Nat hand printed all of the designs, packed them up, and sent them to Portland. This process was actually about 82 times more complicated, but for blogging's sake, I'm keeping it simple.

Then I got on a plane. It didn't take long for things to start not looking like Texas.

Trip on that.

It's sort of weird showing up to an art show not having seen any of the work for the show. I knew what the prints looked like on my monitor, but I hadn't actually seen any of them till I got to Portland.

Nat's a master screen printer so of course they looked tight. (Nat owns his own screen printing studio in Oakland called Bloom Press

And Nat totally surprised me with this thing.

He had secretly printed a little zine/book that had all of the prints inside.

One print, two print,

three print, four print,

five print, six print,

seven print, eight print,

nine print, ten print.

Despite the digital age, there will always be a need for human care and quality.

So anyway, we unloaded everything and told the interns to "GET TO WORK!" I'm kidding. That's Nat.

One down, nine to go...

You know how you feel when you spend all day flying somewhere and then you get to where you're going and instead of checking into a hotel and relaxing, you go someplace with a hard wooden floor and are expected to hang out for most of the night? No? Then you're probably not my wife.

Turns out it's a good idea to try to make hotel reservations more than two days before your trip.

But doesn't that last photo look a lot like this William Hundley photo? Is that weird? Or just tight?

So I totally messed up by not making hotel reservations ahead of time (and everything in Portland was "No Vacancy" because of some weird tennis match) but my buddy Alan Grosvenor and his lady April totally hooked us up and let us stay at their house.

Alan makes great music and he had a basement full of stuff to make the rad with.

This looks tight.

Fantasy Tank!

Oh, so here's the timeline: we flew in on Friday and framed all of the prints and hung the show. Then We went to Alan and April's house and played Nintendo bowling. Then we woke up on Saturday morning and it was snowing. Then we cruised around town and saw Portland Awesomeness. These bikes fall into that category.

So does this coffee. Stumptown!

Then Nat and I went back to the shop to put the final touches on everything before the opening. Anybody want to sign and number 500 prints?

We had all of the prints framed and hung on the wall and they were available for purchase from this table. It sort of looked like a merchandise table for a band since all of the prints were album cover size. I didn't take any photos during the opening because... well because you know what people at art shows look like already. Actually I just forgot.

Adidas is in Portland. Sneaker freaks begin blogging... now.

Okay, so this photo has absolutely nothing to do with the "Forever and Never" show, but I just thought it was so good that I had to share it. This is my buddy Dave and his friend P-Rod.

This is another photo that doesn't really relate to this blog, but I just thought it would make a nice ender to the article. Consider this to be me and you. Cheers, You! Cheers, Sieben! Yeah... that's tight.

Many many thanks to Dan Garland and all of the guys at Cal's Pharmacy for being such nice dudes. And many thanks to Alan and April for letting us stay at their house. If you have any interest in purchasing a set of prints, check my site in about a week for ordering information. Check you later internet. {moscomment}

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