Screenprinting from Start to end, “Black Keys” by Jeff Soto

Jeff Soto a Illustrator come artist, shows the simple step by step process of the starting process of screenprinting, the usual side of things that you don’t see. What most of us know is that the designer takes a screen, clamps it in, applies some ink and prints away, the artwork for the screen is never actually considered. So the video gave me and others a clearer insight into what it actually takes to produce a screen.

The process in the video is for the band “Black keys”, which for whoever hasn’t heard of them then i’d highly recommend giving them a listen. Back to the process anyway, we first see the rough doodles and sketches in a sketchbook, which I do for anything when it comes to design, it’s so simple and the freedom you get when you just get to scribble anything, not worrying about how neat you make everything and to scale. Having shown his sketches, you then get to see the select ideas that make it through to then be combined with some other doodle that worked or caught the eye. The imagination I have to comment on is incredible, how somebody can even think of such designs and ideas, I aim to get into a similar set of mind and just allow creation to flow freely, not giving a care of what comes into the imagination just put it down onto the paper. Once happy with the idea, Jeff starts with the pencilling of the idea on the light box, to make everything flow, and actually knit in with the corresponding components, to make the solid artwork, ready to take onto the computer and produce digitally.

Once digital, the illustration needs outlining and then the colour can be applied layer by layer, each layer ready to be made into a separate screen for each variation of colour, as is with most prints it contains more than one colour and the more colours you start adding, the harder the print becomes, especially when applying the ink and having to wait for the ink to dry and then getting to add the next colour after however long it takes the ink to set, normally around 15-mins. Time-scales, such as the drawing, doodles, knitting of artworks, vectorising and then knocking out the print in the first place in all its colours is at the end of the day a time consuming process that you need to keep track of, most of all if you’re going to go onto a bigger industrial scale with it all, which is a huge ambition  in my life.

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