Summer 2016 Inbound residency
at the Chicago Publishers Resource
Late Spring 2016
MCNEIL: Hi! I just got back! Let’s do a blog post about our residency!
CHRIS: I’ve been back for a while now, been really productive – seeing all the the art and comics in the US, and the standard they’re made at has been a good push to make more and improve. How’s your current / future projects going?
MCNEIL: Our residency was nearly a month ago already?? I guess you have been back a while.
What do you think the difference was in the standard of art in the States? Something that really motivated me was the community of artists we met in Chicago, everyone seemed to really be working together to help and support each other making work. It was a really positive environment and I think that makes a big difference in the quality of people’s art. I wanna bring some of that back with me to Australia/New Zealand.
Ha, I returned to a mountain of printing jobs and a few small commission things, my week is gonna be finishing those off, then I’m making a few tutorial videos about making zines and using the Riso, then hopefully have time to start something new too. Feeling full of life from getting an extra summer.
Should we have a chat about what we accomplished during the residency and what our experience with that was like?
CHRIS: The standard for the US is definitely higher for comics and small press stuff, and there are so many great artists living relatively close to each other. That said it doesn’t seem like, percentage of population wise, that many more people attended CAKE, make alternative comics, etc. that in Australia – though there’s no denying the quality difference.
CHRIS: I’ve felt the same since getting back here – full of motivation to do drawing whenever I can. I’ve been drawing with Jess Parker till midnight often, and have gotten a lot done.
As for the residency – yeah, it’s maybe the best things I’ve ever done art wise? I think that’s probably the case. So, we flew over from Melbourne to Chicago in late May and spent May 29th to June 10th working everyday at CHIPRC on the project art book we had proposed, as well as some other stuff. Most days consisted of meeting at CHIPRC, working for 6-8 hours and then heading out to see Chicago at night – though as the deadline got closer we spent longer and longer in the studio. The main project we worked on was a collaborative comic / zine / art book that was a combination of drawings we had each done of two different cities – Hobart and Chicago. We then formatted the drawings in Photoshop (you did all of this, I think) and then printed them through CHIPRC’s Risograph, layering the drawings, each with a different artist and subject, over each other. Can you describe the rest please?
MCNEIL: The rest? Putting the books together, stapled and trimmed, etc. at CHIPRC, as well. I liked having the deadline of getting something together for CAKE. Having a team mate to work on a project was good cause I’m used to working alone. It means there’s someone there to stop me from staring off into space or waking up at 2pm and then working all night. Also being able to come up with ideas as a team is fun.
I’ve actually been in kinda isolation since I got back, I’d be keen to get more feedback from people about the book we made!
Other highlights of the residency:
-Putting our prints and drawings all over the walls
-Amazing gift pack from Meredith when we got in to Chicago (I left my pickles in the CHIPRC refrigerator, one of my deepest regrets)
-Running workshops where everyone was really relaxed and normal (my experience with workshops for adults is they are sometimes quite hesitant to begin, but everyone was great and wanting to learn and talk about things)
MCNEIL: In the future I really would like to work on more projects like that, where there’s a set goal and a window of time to complete the project… It’s harder in “real life” when you’ve got to work on multiple projects at the same time and you’re also working to pay the bills/eat etc, but I think it is possible.
CHRIS: Yeah, I feel the same – projects that involves collaboration are always really rewarding, especially when drawing and print making can be really isolating. I guess in conclusion the only thing left to reiterate is that I really, really loved it.