SXSW

Back to Austin, Texas!  South by Southwest!  Hot and humid.  Bands everywhere.   Dudes walking around in groups of 3 to 5.  Tacos.  Whatnot.  Photos to follow!

spirit animal
spirit animal

other spirit animal
other spirit animal

animal(s)
animal(s)

Ozarks

After Kansas City, I took a lovely drive on back roads down to Springfield, Missouri.    It was a spectacular spring day, and I headed over to Deep design group for an afternoon of printing and brats.  Grilled brats.  The team came up with this sweet design (above), so I ordered some magnesium plates ahead of time and we printed these little guys in the truck – gray ink on the sign press, and green on the Golding.  The prints were a hit, and everyone who came out seemed to have fun.  That evening, we all decided it would be best to head down to Branson, Missouri to see what happens.  Do you guys know Branson?  Dinner theater, stage plays, Yakov Smirnoff… It’s a strange place no matter what time of year, but it also happened that a tornado tore through town just a week or so prior.

photo credit: the Associated Press
photo credit: the Associated Press

A tornado is such a crazy horror.  It tears such a thin line of destruction through an area – one building is intact, and the one next door is demolished.  I can’t imagine what it must feel like to live in a community where next-door-neighbors are experiencing such starkly different realities.  One thing was clear, though – the businesses that escaped damage were really grateful, and made sure we all knew that they appreciated our business and felt fortunate to be able to keep their doors open.

We got ourselves the world’s cheapest motel room.  The boys immediately spruced it up with some Xmas lites – nice job, guys!  It really tied the room together.  We went out for a Mexican feast, rode some go-karts, dropped by a local bar called the Rowdy Beaver, and then played dice back in the motel room til the wee hours of the morning.  Even, though we didn’t go see any shows, it was a super weird and kind of perfect Branson evening.

stage at the White Water Tavern
stage at the White Water Tavern

The next day, we scraped ourselves off the floor of Branson, drove slowly through some of the hardest rain I’ve ever experienced, and headed down to Little Rock.  Such a lovely town.  I had arranged a visit to UALR with professor/printmaker Delita Martin.  I first met Delita when I came through Little Rock in December – she’s an intern at Shooting Star Press, and a phenomenal printmaker.  She’s just starting to get into letterpress, but she’s been doing these amazing woodcuts for the past few years.  I particularly love this one:

photo credit: Delita Martin
photo credit: Delita Martin

It was a quick visit, but I also got to catch up with my buddies at Roll & Tumble Press, who are, as ever, up to great things.  Thanks, Little Rock!

Kansas City

Roberto got roped into being my unofficial assistant for the day.  He did great.
Roberto got roped into being my unofficial assistant for the day. He did great.

My first order of business in Kansas City was a workshop at Willoughby design firm.  We were graced with spectacular weather and enjoyed a tasty KC BBQ feast before tucking into some printing.  We rolled with their (admittedly lofty) core mission of “Changing the World Through Design”, set some type, and printed some posters and postcards for everyone in the studio.  By the end, everyone was experimenting with overprinting and crazy compositions, which was awesome to see.  It was a really great afternoon, and hopefully fun and inspiring to the designers who came out.  Thanks so much for having me!

And then that evening, I was so thrilled to set up an event with Hammerpress!  I’ve admired their work for years, and had the pleasure of first visiting their shop in Kansas City about two years ago on a sweltering summer day… I cooled down by browsing their gorgeous shop and had a refreshing handmade snow cone from Fresher Than Fresh.  So I was super excited to have another chance to visit Brady Vest and the gang, this time with the truck.

Brady at the front desk
Brady at the front desk

I’m such a huge fan of their work.  They really have a way with ornaments and borders.  It’s like great classic American typographic design combined with Dada combined with awesome.  I’m particularly fond of this Calexico poster:

photo courtesy hammerpress.net
photo courtesy hammerpress.net

And, as I mentioned before, the shop itself is gorgeous – all exquisitely curated and staged.

books, bear
books, bear

The night was a blast.  We had coffee provided by Oddly Correct roasters, cold beer, and lots of folks coming through to make posters in the truck and rifle through Hammerpress’ bins of discount/reject cards.  At night’s end, we even printed a t-shirt for pressman Eric.

nice!
nice!

Thanks, Brady and co., for an awesome visit.  Til next time!

Lawrence, KS

screenprinted bricks by Christa Dalien at Wonder Fair
screenprinted bricks by Christa Dalien at Wonder Fair

After True/False, we first headed to Kansas City to decompress for a few days at Dustin’s parents house, and then made our way to Lawrence, Kansas.  I set up shop outside Wonder Fair, an awesome gallery/shop/studio/creative place.  This place stocks all manner of beautiful little handmade treats, like posters, clothing, zines, and weird things you didn’t know you needed (see last photo of this blog post).  Meredith and Paul are the lovely proprietors, and they invited friends, neighbors, and customers out on a cold and rainy night to take part in some printing love.

"to the stars through difficulties"
"to the stars through difficulties"

Afterwards, we got into some March Mustard Madness at the local brewery, which involved tasting approximately 17 different kinds of mustards.  There were some favorites we all agreed upon, but no clear winner.

little onlookers/future printers
little onlookers/future printers

The next day, I took the truck over to the University of Kansas and parked outside the Spencer Museum.  There was a huge turnout, and we thought it could be cool to tie into a current exhibit by Chen Shaoxiong called “Prepared: Strategies for Activitsts” so we printed some pseudo protest posters – “Art here! Art now!” And then everyone looted the museum.  Just kidding.

Run on Sentence at Wonder Fair
Run on Sentence at Wonder Fair

That night, I went back to Wonder Fair for a Run on Sentence show, which was a lot of fun.  The boys had stopped by to visit some of Dustin’s family that day, and had raided his great uncle’s collection of trucker caps.  I was gifted this beauty, which I paired with a ribbon from The Small Object, to powerful effect:

 

TBD – Albuquerque, New Mexico

TBD – Santa Fe, New Mexico

TBD – Denver, Colorado

True/False Film Fest!

posters we printed in the truck
posters we printed in the truck

Oh, True/False… you are one of my favorite things in the world.  True/False is a documentary film festival that takes place in Columbia, Missouri (home to the University of MO – “Mizzou”, as it is called).  Dustin/Run on Sentence has been playing music at the festival for the past five years or so, and I’ve come along with him a couple times before.  This was the first year I participated, and it made it even better.  I did a few workshops with elementary, high school and college kids, and then got to park the truck for the rest of the weekend at the most central intersection in town, right in the thick of things.  This is a supremely walkable town, and I think something like 35,000 people came out for the fest.  The streets were busy.  A bunch of friends from Maine fly in each year too, so combine that with awesome film programming, live music, good food, free booze, and parties four nights in a row, and you’ve got yourself a pretty fine weekend.

gorillas in our midst!
gorillas in our midst!

these guys
these guys

I grew a beard of biblical proportions
I grew a beard of biblical proportions

masks were a theme
masks were a theme

Bramble from SLC
Bramble from SLC

The Toughcats from Maine
The Toughcats from Maine

Furrby
Furrby

Dustin in the sky!
Dustin in the sky!

Run on Sentence
Run on Sentence

this pretty well sums up the last day
this pretty well sums up the last day

I also joined Instagram this weekend, something I have been resisting for months, certain that I don’t need more social media in my life.  Turns out I really like it.  Follow along there, if ya want – @typetruck.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming provides quality undergraduate and graduate programs to 13,000 students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries. Established in 1886, UW is a nationally recognized research institution with accomplished faculty and world-class facilities. Offering 197 areas of study, UW provides an environment for success!

www.uwyo.edu

St. Louis

the St. Louis arch(es)!
the St. Louis arch(es)!

oh wait no, that's the one
oh wait no, that's the one

By the time I got to St. Louis, I was feeling quite a bit better, and ready to do some exploring.  I drove into town and made my way over to meet the fellas at Firecracker Press.

Eric and Matty are awesome, and we went out for tacos before setting up for our event in the evening.  I love their work so much – hand-carved perfection!

Firecracker!
Firecracker!

Their shop is on Cherokee Street, which is home to antique stores, great old signage, sweet paint colors and, curiously, other print shops.  I counted two others (All Along Press and Paper Boat Studios) and the guys told me about one more somewhere else down the way.  I had a great time wandering around the neighborhood, marveling at all the weird details.