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Art tutorial video! Anime pop printmaking with David Manje, Mesa Arts Center Arizona.

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Why am I splattered in paint? Because I’m now contributing to Huffington Post Arts (in addition to Travel and Weird News). My debut piece is about my J-pop printmaking adventure.

During my Arizona trip, I took a colorful class at Mesa Arts Center. Watch my video (below and on HuffPost) to see the art-making in action.

Do you dig my new art focus? Please support by sharing the article and Liking it (below) so that I can keep the coverage coming.

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Printmaking has come a long way since Hokusai’s “Great Wave.” At Mesa Arts Center (MAC), I rolled acid paint onto stencils and cranked out anime-pop prints.

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David Manje is the kindest, most encouraging instructor imaginable. He’s a well-regarded printmaker, with multiple arts and education degrees from Arizona State University. Now retired, he teaches part-time at MAC.

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My jaw dropped when I saw the stencils David made for me. He had cut out over 70 shapes representing my spooky-cute world, including my Scottish Fold cat, eyelashes, lips, hearts — and even a bagelhead!

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Traditionally, pochoir involves inking or painting stencils for hard-edged prints. David’s unique, freestyle method creates neon layers that flow from pop art to abstract.

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1. David set up three stations. Each had an inked Plexiglas plate, several paints, and a selection of stencils. Using a roller, he showed me how to color the stencils until they reached an orange-peel-like texture.

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Rollin’ with my homies.

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Basil Farrow looks angry because hasn’t been painted yet.

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When you lift the stencils, they leave behind a bright outline.

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2. We randomly layered the colored stencils onto the plates, with plenty of overlap.

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The kawaii iPhone case is a present from Luxy Loli (see more photos here). Just got a new one from her; can’t wait to show you.

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3. David covered each plate with dry paper, and I cranked it through the etching press. “A manual press lets the printer feel the variations in pressure exerted on the paper and plate,” he explains.

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The first run, called a “generation-one print,” was starkly graphic, with bright colors and hard edges.

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Drying the prints on the racks.

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4. We removed the stencils, and switched them between the plates. Thanks to the overlap, they’re now marked with intriguing patterns.

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For subsequent runs, we used wet paper and greater pressure.

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“The color and shape magic begins to happen as the stencils continue to be interchanged,” says David.

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“Random patterns begin to occur on the tops and bottoms of each stencil that breakup recognizable imagery.”

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I had a lively afternoon with David — one of the warmest teachers I’ve ever met — and got an arm workout to boot!

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In total, we made four generations of prints, or twelve works. With each run, the clean cut-outs devolved further into soft-hued amalgams.

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Here are more of David’s pochoir prints. You can take his class, as well as other visual and performance arts workshops, at the Mesa Arts Center.

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Have you tried your hand at printmaking? Did you find my art video helpful? Please take a second to watch and share.

More Huffington Post articles and videos coming up; follow my author page to stay in the loop.

25 Comments

  1. KeroSchuster
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Cool!! :)

  2. Rozzalyn
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    I haven’t tried this technique yet, so it was good to see it explained and executed. :) Bet this works well for graphic design layouts, posters and magazines.

  3. NR
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Ahhwww that’s cute!! I love the colors *-*

    And i have to say it but your voice is sooo sexy! Funny and nice works~!

  4. boredcow
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    That looks so cool! Looks like you had a lot of fun. Looking forward to more videos and updates on your blog :)

  5. Ash
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    ヾ(^∇^)’ー♪ ♥

  6. Erie
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Outstanding.

  7. Susan
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    That looked like so much fun! What kind of paint did you use?

  8. Kathy
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Awesome!

  9. Melissa
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    This is awesome! I totally want to make art prints now!

  10. Susan
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Wow – I love the way he personalized it just for you!

  11. Wendy
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    coolio

  12. Bettina
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    that’s so rad!!!!!

  13. Douglas
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    coolio julio…

  14. Kenny
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    The instructor seems awesome!

  15. Kage
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Awesome video at the mesa art center! i like the overflapping with the stencils- very asbstract yay^^

  16. Pitsart
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    POPULAR ARTIST ;)

  17. Niki
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    The first photo is stunning…love it!

  18. Kerala
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    What’s up mates, fastidious piece of writing

  19. desiree
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    <3 <3 <3

  20. Judy
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Great pics. David is so talented & doing printmaking w/ him is so much fun. Glad to see you enjoyed it, too.

  21. Elligons
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Glad you had fun in the Valley of the Sun.

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