My trip begins …

My flight for Venice leaves tomorrow, and I’ve been spending the past few days in Philadelphia visiting friends and scouting out living situations for my move here in August. The search has seemingly paid off with a spot in the Globe Dye Works factory in the Frankford area of Philly. I’ll be signing a lease within the month!

So, about a week ago I lost my … (drum roll please) … Passport. I had it sitting on my coffee table one day and the next day it was probably somewhere in the nearest landfill. I looked everywhere for that little guy. I turned over furniture and emptied packed moving boxes; nothing. And at about 3 weeks before my flight to Italy, my nerves were just about shot.

But thanks to the local passport agency my crisis was avertted, with 5 days to spare. Can you believe they make these tiny books (with scanning devices and all) in about three hours? Eat your heart out Jim Escalante.

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This weeks Donor Shout-Outs below:

Joe Leroux & Stacey Lee Webber – Both based out of the Globe Dye Works building, Joe and Stacey have been showing me around the Philly area these past couple days. Also recent graduates from the UW – Madison Art Department, their practice hovers around the sculpture medium; Stacey working primarily in Fine Art Metalsmithing and Jewlery Making, and Joe on massive, cleanly-cut, and welded masterpieces. Their recent success can be tracked by checking out their websites linked above.

Chris Monday – Chris donated to my project after finding out about it on Kickstarter.com. He  has his own Comic Strip blog titled Flying Weevil Prodcutions.Check it out by clicking  his name above.

Lizzy Sheinkopf – Lizzy and I were in John Hitchcock’s ‘Print Blitz!’ class this past semester. She recently graduated with a degree in History with a focus on African Studies. She plays killer guitar and is deathly afraid of vomit. No joke.

Darren Bush – Darren also found me through Kickstarter.com. Thanks for the donation, Darren!

Nicki Werner and Anthony Bruce Roark – Anthony, one of my best friends, and his girlfriend Nicki are sculptors based out of Champagne, IL. I met Anthony at UW – Madison, and Nicki through him. Both are artistic badasses and amazing people. Thanks for the support guys!

Loring Baker – Loring and I were members of K-Space Art Studios and went to Texas A&M Corpus Christi, together. She has an adorable son, and currently makes amazing work out of Corpus. Check out her work with the link above.

Miguel Aragon – I met Miguel at the 2011 Southern Graphics Conference during the portfolio review. I was blown away by Miguel’s friendly personality.and by his sweet business cards. (Dude had his own logo!) We traded small prints. Mine, traditonally cut woodblock prints. His, lazer engraved sheets of paper; pretty amazing. He recently graduated from UT – Austin with his MFA and currently plans on taking over the print world with his massive works. Check out his art at the link above.

Lindsey Clark-Ryan – Lindsey and I had studios around the corner from one another at UW – Madison. Her  work consists of prints and sculptures that touch on her interests in flight, physics, and absurd childhood obsessions. She currently teaches at Smith College in Northhampton, Massachesettes.

Sally Kronsnoble – A beautiful, supportive, and loving girlfriend, I am forever greatful for everything Sally has contributed to my work and this project. I’ll miss you over the weeks I’m gone!

Tom Druecker – I met Tom at the last Southern Graphics Council Conference. He runs Slugfest Press out of Austin, Texas and teaches at the University of Texas.

Stay tuned in the next couple of days for images from Venice!

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Rough Draft of ‘Thank You’ Postcards

I was messing around on Photoshop today, and I whipped up a rough draft of the Postcards for the *Lucky 13* on my Kickstarter project. Keep in mind, this is just a quick sketch and the final product will be hand-drawn/carved, letter pressed, and printed on hardy printmaking paper. This picture shows the front and back of the bi-fold card. Keep checking back for more renditions of this idea.

Copyright – Marcus Benavides – 2012

Getting Ready

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This week has been dedicated to getting supplies ready for my residency next month. Above is an image of drying paper that I just stained. I’m bringing nine of these 4 ft x 10 ft Masa sheets along with carving tools, ink, and a roll of Stonehenge paper. The paper roll was donated by Takach Press, a fine art printmaking supply company.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Takach, they have been manufacturing presses and print supplies for 31 years and remain the premier source of fine art presses in the US and around the world. If you’ve printed works at any major university, chances are it was on a Takach press. I was surprised and very grateful to hear of David Takach’s interest in my work. He was at the most recent Southern Graphics Council International Portfolio Review promoting his presses and caught a the preview of my MFA show lying on the floor of the Sheraton ballroom. It wasn’t the most professional way of displaying prints, however David has shown a great deal of appreciation for them. I’m glad to say that with his recent support of Ink, Paper, and Brayers I am a few steps closer to realizing this project. It’s an honor to have reinforcement from the nation’s top Printmaking Press Company.

But Takach isn’t the only supporter of this project. My Kickstarter fund has been growing and growing over the past month, and it’s because of some of my very close friends, supportive professors, fellow artists, and new fans. Without you guys, this project would have never left the ground. This week’s Shout-Outs start … NOW:

Sarah Noreen – Fellow UW – Madison Printmaking graduate, Sarah currently teaches at Corcoran College of Art and Design. She prints and constructs amazing sculptures highlighting her distinct cultural background. Click the link above for a sample of her work.

Sarah Horowitz – My previous neighbor and current close friend, Sarah is a student at the UW – School of Medicine and has just finished her 2nd year. She is a super-smart student, actress, and small animal-lover. A very special Thank You goes to Sarah for she even got her family to donate to the Kickstarter goal! Thank you brother Jason, and super-mom Mary Harrowitz.

Leo Johnson – Leo is a fellow comic book lover, a Biology graduate,  and currently lives in Jacksonville, AL. He runs his radio show called Panel Pals Comics Podcast. Every week, he and co-host Michael record a podcast bringing listeners the best in comics, video games, web-comics, and more. Check it out!

John Hitchcock – UW – Madison Professor and artist John Hitchcock has always been a source for inspiration, and a supportive force in my work. In this project specifically, John has provided advice and professional reference. Many thanks go to him and his uplifting character!

Richard Martinez – My uncle Richard lives in Hemet, CA with wife Donna and family. He is a Merchandising Execution Team Supervisor at Home Depot and can destroy you at a game of darts. I here they call him ‘Shooter’ back home …

Anna Gratovich – I’ve never met Anna, but she has also supported fellow printmaker and extremely talented artist Matt Rebholz Kickstarter project. This leads me to believe she is a printmaker herself. Hmm …

Separated Rose by Judith Curiel

Sabrina Krueger – Sabrina and I have been friends since High School, and she currently teaches Astronomy at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. She is resident bad-ass in Corpus Christi, TX shares my passion for all that is GWAR! Rock on, Sabrina.

Judith Curiel – I had my first photography class with Judy as my professor, and she just so happens to be the sweetest woman on Earth. Check out her beautiful photographs by clicking her name above. Do it!

Mark Sammaritani, Karsten Osterby, Lisa K,  Mike Walsh, and Edward Hayes – I don’t personally know any of you, but thanks for your support and I hope you like your future prints!

We’re not done, yet! We still have 9 days to reach our $1,600 goal. And that’s why I have added a new Kickstarter Reward. For a $30 dollar donation, donors will receive the $5 prize, $10 prize, and 20 custom made ‘Thank You’ postcards. The bi-fold design will go up sometime this week. But, hurry because this reward is limited to 13 donors!

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