Saturday, December 13, 2008
Printsy Interview - Nate Nolting
Interviewed by: sheggestad
Name: Nate Nolting
I am almost 30, I’ve been screen printing for 7 years, and I’m having a blast doing it!
I started Withremote in 2002 while working on my senior thesis at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN on “Graffiti as a form of Graph Design”. Back then most of my work was photocopies and stencils (I think I lost a lot of brain cells back then from spray paint). I built up a screen printing studio in St. Paul over a few months in 2005 to start creating rock posters and art prints. I try and make at least one print run a week depending on my schedule.
Through the use of screen printing I create art prints and other items that are a response to the world around me.
What printmaking medium do you most often work in, and why?
The medium I used the mostly is screen printing. I dabbled in just about every other printmaking technique in college, but I really gravitated toward screen printing while producing gig posters for First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. I guess I’m a sucker for big halftones and how quick I can print by hand with a screen and squeegee.
How did you get started in printmaking?
After college at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN, I joined a group called Squad19, a graphic artist coalition in Minneapolis. The main focus of the group at the time was to produce graphics for the music industry. So naturally we worked on a lot of gig posters. At the time there were three of us in Squad19 and none of us had any idea how to print. With the help of users on gigposters.com and a lot of trial and error, we eventually figured it out and were soon making 1-2 gig posters a week with editions of 50-75.
Do you find yourself having to explain to your family just what it is that you do, at every family get-together? In other words, "Print Education"?
Oh, I have to explain what I do at just about every turn. My wife is fairly educated in the process now (I get her to come and rack prints for me sometimes) and I try to explain what I do to my family but it usually comes out as I make some sort of pictures. I’m one of the only “artists” in my family, and most of what they know as art involves ducks and deer in some fashion.
What I have to explain the most is what “Withremote” is. It’s just a name people, like Target. Get over it.
Describe your creative process.
Generally I try and create a different style for each print I make. Usually my prints come out of whatever I’m doing that week or something that I saw/heard that I want to make a print in response to. A few times I have had people ask me how many people work in my studio to make this much work. I say “just me”.
What's your least favorite part of the process?
Clean up, my hands end up smelling like Comet cleaner for a day and a half after cleaning out screens.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the news, fashion, prime time sitcoms, video games from my youth, my wife and my son.
How has your work changed/evolved since you started?
My work has gone in waves. After college I was doing a lot of politically motivated work, mainly as a response to the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism. Then my work shifted to rock posters, which were half about the music and half about experimenting with forms and what I could get away with. Now that I’m a dad, I have toned down my work, involving more “cute” elements in my prints rather than skulls and flames.
How do you get past creative slumps?
If I get in a creative slump I just try something else, usually painting. If I can’t come up with something, I scour websites like FFFOUND and others to get some inspiration, or I just take a break from it all and turn on my Wii. I generally don’t get stuck too long. The hardest time is the winter since I’m not printing due to the cold and an unheated shop.
How do you promote your work?
I mainly sell/promote online, on Etsy and my site, and then two craft shows a year in the Twin Cities. I do Craftstravaganza in the spring and No Coast Craft-O Rama in the winter. I’ve been doing both of them for a few years now and have built a decent following.
Any long-term goals as a printmaker?
I would like to keep going, to build a heated shop on our land so that I can produce year round, and possibly teach.