Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Gina Kelly and her Weather Maker Press.
Gina Kelly is an outstanding artist, who literally blew me away when I first stumbled across her Beirut poster a few months back. Unfortunately at the time, it was necessary that I kept my wallet deep in my pockets, and although I realised I had missed out on a real gem (that poster unsurprisingly flew off the shelf) I did make a note to myself to keep an eye on her future offerings.
Luckily for me, I didn't have to wait too long, as soon enough her art called out to me, this time in the giuse of an exquisite Andrew Bird Poster.
Having very kindly agreed to ship the poster to me in the Uk, at a very reasonable price I didn't have too wait too long for the latest edition of my collection to arrive safely on my door step, and If that wasn't enough, she also was generous enough to answer a few questions about inspiration, music and excellent pie and burger restaurants in her neighbourhood.
Hey Gina, so how was the Pitchfork festival? in England it always rains at Festivals, did it rain there?
I love going to Pitchfork every year. Its the only festival I really come back to year after year because I'd feel a little empty if I didn't go. Chicago has two things I love that I can't get in California, fireflies and thunderstorms. If I get to experience each when I'm back in the Midwest, I have had a glorious trip. This year it did rain at Pitchfork, but there wasn't any lightening and thunder. Just a slow little drizzle...thankfully I got my fix on the first night back, a few days before the festival, while sitting around a fire at 3 am. Thunder and lightening and fireflies all at once...and ten falling asleep to the sound of rain on the rooftop. There's a little magic in all of that.
How long have you been screen printing? was there anything that inspired you about it or did you fall into it organically?
Did you ever have something enter your head as a really casual thing and then materialize really fast in front of you? That's how it happened, I have always loved gigposters and once I decided that screenprinting would work out in my then new studio space, everything just kind of started buzzing. A total stranger gifted me a whole studio's worth of professional supplies. Friends started needing things made, it all just came together. Everytime I think I'm going to put it down for a bit or try something new an interesting job pops up, or a great band gets in contact. I'm not sure what it is, but I definitely think screenprinting came to me. In return I work super hard at it, so I guess there's a middle road somewhere in there...
What was the last record you listened to?
Let's see, everyone's been throwing tons of music at me but I think if I say whole album start to finish its either Brian Eno's "Here Come the Warm Jets" or the new (not yet released) Califone album (which is really unbelievable, Tim Rutili is a genius song writer). I tend to want to listen to something that is layered and both these projects satisfy the crazy sound palette and beautiful/rocking song writing that I freak out over in music.
Where are you based and what would you recommend people visiting of they were ever in your neck of the woods?
Again I have to answer in two's...#1 is a diner in Pasadena called Pie and Burger because you really should eat them in that order (and the pies are killer, trust me, there's a very very long list) or The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City. That must be the one true magical museum in the entire world, so you'd be sorry if you missed it...
What is your all time favourite dinner?
Shit. Do you have any idea how much I love food? There's absolutely no way I can answer this question! How do you choose between oysters or home-made baked mac and cheese or fish fry or a lamb steak? If I try to answer this I'm gonna get all stressed....
For all those people that are reading this interview and saying to themselves "I need a piece of Gina Kelly Artwork!" , where can they find you?
The best place to find me is in my print studio, but since most of you are over the pond, I guess www.weathermakerpress.com is just as good. Of course, you don't get to hang out and enjoy a tequilla shot with me, but you'll get the idea. :)
Are there any artists/musicians you think deserve more recognition?
Well, I mentioned Califone earlier, and no matter how much people love them I think that it'll never be enough for me. I think Roomsound is a "perfect" album, and all the other albums that follow just grow from there. I They just do what they do so well and so naturally, I am always surprised when people say they love Wilco for example, but then they don't know Califone. Hopefully more of you will after reading this!
and finally, do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to leave us with?
Get out of your own way...i'm telling myself this everyday right now. I bet we could all do that just a little bit more in some respect.
If you do fancy spending some time in the world of Gina Kelly, please visit her website www.weathermakerpress.com.