By this point, I think I've made it very clear as to what my interests are. By that, I mean silkscreening, posters, and silkscreened posters.
So I guess it's about time I fess up: I am becoming a one-trick pony... er... blogger. I feel a little bad thinking about the audiences I might be alienating, but maybe I should be embracing this role?
Anyways, an important question I keep getting asked in regards to my love of screenprinting is this: Why do you keep printing? It's a good question that yields a variety of answers. One, I get paid by many of these groups to help in their advertising campaigns. This obviously incentivizes the process for me and definitely helps motivate me. Two, silkscreening is so much damn fun. So much fun that it has become a problem. I'd much rather spend my time designing and printing posters than doing "real work." It's tough to balance, but is a valuable lesson to learn. Three, these works all go towards my portfolio, which has practical and professional purposes.
Lastly and most importantly, poster-making at Oberlin has so much appeal due to the sheer variety of events that Oberlin College has to offer. Our wildly diverse student population has been well documented. Posters not only document these various interests, they give these student organizations the character and flair that nearly every Obie has. I can think of few places that would call for posters that encourage energy conservation, advocate sexual safety, and advertise for acclaimed indie rock bands - all in the same month!
This shouldn't be news to you, but in case it is, Oberlin is really big on sustainability. Glass orbs located in the Science Center and the dorms change colors according to how much energy is being used throughout the building. Toilets flush two different ways, with one dedicated to liquid waste in order to limit the amount of water is used. The Environmental Science Building is carbon neutral and produces a surplus of solar electricity that is shared with the town of Oberlin. There is a near campus-wide consciousness to minimize our carbon footprint. The DRRC is just another example of this environmental awareness. Oberlin College took part in a nationwide competition to reduce both electricity and water consumption for 2 weeks in November. For more statistical information, visit here to find out more!
Despite being a small college in the middle of Ohio, Oberlin does pretty well in attracting great musical artists to perform throughout the year. Indie artists and bands such as Das Racist, Vetiver, Emeralds, Heartless Bastards, Of Montreal, Anamanaguchi, and MGMT (to name a few) populate The 'Sco's weekly schedule. Bigger, more established names such as Guided by Voices, taiko drummer Kenny Endo, and Stevie Wonder even make their way to Oberlin.
Dozens and dozens of art exhibits, plays, poetry slams, musicals, and open mic nights fill up Oberlin's daily calendar. Most of these are student-run, which shows both the drive and artistic creativity that your typical Obie has.
A tradition at Oberlin College, Safer Sex Week is a week in November where Oberlin's Sexual Information Center promotes sexual awareness. Lectures and workshops on sexual education and safety are held, as well as sex toy sales, erotic readings, and burlesque performances. All of these events culminate on one night, Safer Sex Night, where the college decks out in next-to-nothing for a night of fun.
It's not just the process of printing that makes silkscreening so interesting. It's the opportunity to engage in conversation with so many different students with just as many dreams. It's about learning what makes everyone on this eclectic campus click. It's the process of taking these intentions and visualizing it into something consistent with their goals.
That's why I keep printing.