I am starting an exciting screen print project this week in one of my design classes. I thought it would be inspiring to research some famous screen print artists.
DAVID WEIDMANN – The Best Almost-Undiscovered Designer in Los Angeles
David Weidmann began his artistic career as an animation background artist in the 1950s. Needing to create more fully realized works, he left the animations studios and started producing series of silk screened prints in his home printing studio. With the return of the vintage vogue nowadays, this highly creative octogenarian is now experiencing more than a rebirth, he is being reintroduced to a wider audience of the artistic world by collectors, admirers and entrepreneurs.
His work reflect the his craftsmanship and his mastership of the printing medium. I especially appreciate the bright optimistic tone of his illustrations who are mostly intended for children. He handles subjects such as nature, family and society. His unique groovy style is instantly recognizable throughout his work “exemplifies the look of a generation, while still remaining current and relevant” today.
Urban Outfitters is currently introducing youth-oriented t-shirts, pillows and wall-arts that are based on Weidmann’s poster series. Weidmann is also selling his prints as fine graphic statements and signed collectibles.
FLORENCE BROADHURST – Far ahead of her time
Born on July 28th, 1899 in Queensland (Australia), Florence Broadhurst was an all-round artist, working time by time as an actress, a design director, a painter, a model, a singer, a banjolele player and a world traveler. She was a foundation member of the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales and was also part of the Society of Interior Designers of Australia. Teaching printmaking and sculpture at the National Art School, she was also involved in some charitable and fund-raising activities. At the age of 60 (!), back in 1959, she founded her textile business Australian (Hand Printed) Wallpapers Pty Ltd, which later became Florence Broadhurst Wallpapers Pty Ltd, the “only studio of its kind in the world”.
Inspired by many eclectic sources she had gathered mainly through her worldwide travels, she created brightly coloured patterns featuring bold geometric attributes, peacock feathers as well as striped and floral designs. She manufactured and marketed locally produced, high-quality wallpapers which were printed onto metallic surfaces or washable fabrics and vinyl-coating finishes.
By the early 1970s, Broadhurt’s company completely monopolized the Australian market, containing more than 800 designs in eighty different colour combinations reflecting her flamboyant personality. She started exporting worldwide, mainly to America, Peru, Paris, the Middle East and Norway. In 1972, “the Australia News and Information Bureau issued a press release claiming an international reputation for the designer” (Van de Ven).
She worked actively until she was mysteriously murdered on October 15th, 1977, at the age of 78.
Today, Broadhurst prints are being reissued and sold in the United States by Signature Prints. The Kate Spade company has also recently used some of her designs on clothes and home goods as well as for their own store decor.
DAN STILES – Poster Designer
Portland-based designer Dan Stiles creates art that is influenced by combination of pop-culture, music, old comic books, skate board graphics, modern art, Japanese design, Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with artists, musicians, promoters, major corporations and has held exhibitions in many national galleries. His work has been featured in many famous design books and magazines such as Graphis, Print, Step, GQ and Rockport. Though he creates lots of packaging design, corporative identities and album covers, he is known mainly for his poster art.
I appreciate the directness and the cleanliness of his vector art. Even when he designs more complex illustrations, they stay sharp. He uses very bright colour combinations and contrasts, bold shapes and minimalist visuals that fit well with the poster media and the screen print medium.
He also defines himself as a designer, not an artist. His work needs to convey a clear message: “I work really hard to make sure my work is understood. I’m a designer, my job is to convey a message to people that they can understand. If I leave them scratching their heads I’ve failed. There are no little cards hanging next to my work with an artist’s statement that gives people clues as to what I’m talking about.” (Stiles).
“David Weidmann, the Most Famous Unkown Artist?” Los Angeles Times. NP, July 24th, 2011. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/home_blog/2010/07/david-weidman-artist-urban-outfitters.html. Friday, September 13th, 2013.
Design Boom. “The Opulent Prints of Florence Broadhurst” Design Boom. NP, 2000-2010. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/broadhurst-florence-maud-12818. Friday, September 13th, 2013.
Farhadi, Kurosh. “52 Spectacular Screen Print Posters” Fespas. NP, December 6th, 2012. http://www.fespa.com/news/industry-news/52-spectacular-screen-print-posters.html. Friday, September 13th, 2013.
Methystic. “Interview with Dan Stiles” Indigits. NP, ND. http://www.indigits.net/a8/dan-stiles/. Friday, September 13th, 2013.
Signature Prints “Florence Broadhurst” Signature Prints. NP, 2011. http://www.signatureprints.com.au/florence-broadhurst/. Friday, September 13th, 2013.
Van de Ven, Anne-Marie. “Broadhurst, Florence Maud (1899-1977)” Australian Dictionary of Biography. NP, 2006-2013. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/broadhurst-florence-maud-12818. Friday, September 13th, 2013.
Weidman’s Art. WeidmansArt.com 2009. Web. Friday, September 13th, 2013. http://www.weidmansart.com/index.htm