It just wouldn’t be Christmas if my apartment didn’t look like Charles Manson was running an arts and crafts class.
and that’s how you do that.
Hey remember a couple years ago I made like 100 hand painted ornaments from a cast/mold from a sculpture I sculpted? Those were cool eh?…cool for YOU. not cool for my apartment, my nerves, my lungs (due to the fumes) or for that matter my wallet, since I made about .32 cents an hour once all was said and done…and many of you didn’t get yours until like February. That whole story is here as it was going well, and HERE when it all went to hell
Remember then I vowed to no longer tread into personally making merchandise, no more statues, ornaments…any crap not directly born from me either writing or drawing was going to get done by someone else or it wasn’t going to get done. I was drifting into become a tragic figure whose downfall was the ability to do anything well…and not staying focused on what the big picture is.
Two years later I’d say I have done pretty well on that score. I do like to make a little something personal/hands on for Christmas. Last year I came up with a happy medium. A couple of Krampus prints on tea stained paper. They went over pretty well, and if they weren’t such a pain in the ass I would do more than 25…and have them done sooner that 7 days before Christmas BUT overall they still work out better that the ornament fiasco.
I usually give a play by play, So…what does this entail?
it’s pretty straight forward actually, you make prints and dip them in tea to stain them. Judging by th questions in my email box, that is confusing to some people…meh, I cast no judgement, I don’t understand how zeros and ones can be made into code that electronically reproduces my illustrations onto a computer…or why women have periods. Sure I get that it’s dead eggs or some such, but sperm dies, blood dies, pretty much every cell in your body dies and is replaced on a reoccurring basis, why do the eggs have to be a big dog and pony show? you know what I think? I think they’re lying. i think it’s all a scam to get sympathy or to have an excuse to be unreasonable for 25% of the time. us guys shoulda thought of that…
“ugh , it’s sperm death week, i already feel bloated” “get the f*ck away from me I’m sperm deathing” “why can’t you be hotter like your sister?! your sister didn’t let herself go to hell…oh, I’m sorry, i didn’t mean that, I’m sperm deathing” and BAM they gotta accept that because after all..THEY don’t have sperm, who are THEY to tell US what our bodies are going through.
I don’t even think they have eggs or grow babies, I think they just go one like they do and puff their stomach up with air like one of those lizard’s chin pouches. You know the one’s that inflate their gullet when there is danger. I think it’s the same thing “uh oh I’m being asked to be accountable for my actions and disposition (PUFF)”. I think the stork brings the babies and everything in between that and the “conception” is B.S. think about it…who would imagine something as bizzare and a stork bringing a baby…no one…it is so absurd it must be true.
What the hell was this blog about?
Oh yeah, TEA STAINED PRINTS!
Here’s how it’s done!
step one, -get an idea for the print
step two- draw the bastard.
Step three-get the paper. Not just any type paper is going to take to being stained/soaked in tea and produce good results. Lots of paper is just going to fall apart, or get wet and dry out, without actually changing color much.
below is a pic of the difference. one the right is the correct paper, on the left is the wrong paper. See how one is darker and the other is just spotted and wrinkly? Last year someone gave me a stack of paper that is specifically for “tea staining”. It didn’t seem all that magical to me, it just looked like a thick, rough, cardstock of some kind. Fortunately for me, I live above a print shop and the guy down they can tell you the specifics of any paper you put in front of him by touch. He gave it a once over and it, in fact WAS simply a specific but no uncommon card stock. I wrote down the specs last year and so this year I had a stack of it at the ready.
Step 4- print the prints. Did I mention I live above a print shop? While that’s not the kind of thing you mention when you are about to close the deal on some blonde co-ed, it does have it’s advantages.
Step four- make some Tea…A LOT OF TEA.
You want it STEAMING HOT. The hotter it is the better the paper will absorb it, and the faster the paper will absorb it.
Step 5- pour it into some large containers. The larger the better because once the paper is wet…it is as delicate as a damp paper towel and ANY crease you put in it is going to become a tear. You want to have plenty of room to get your hands around it after it has soaked without having to pry at the corners.
Step 6- Dip the f*cker into the tea. The only thing to remember here is to NOT crease the paper as you lay it into the tea. ANY crease will absorb more dye than the rest of the paper and your print will look like Lewis and Clark’s first map of the mid-west……..sigh…LEWIS AND CLARK….READ A BOOK…fine, it’s look like an old woman’s ankles.
Step 7- let is sit. how long? it’s arbitrary, no matter what you will probably need a t least two dips per paper, it’s only going to absorb so much no matter how long it sits. I wish the camera did better justice to how cool this illustration looked under tea with steam coming off it. there should be some _tea with steam- photo filter…it was way cooler that “serpa”
Step 8- remove paper. i don’t have a picture of this step because I was alone and the key to this step is BE CAREFUL. Take it out slowly, let it bend as you bring it out and do not let it crease. Did I mention creasing is bad? The paper is so f’n delicate at this stage any false move will ruin it, and it is holding a lot of water weight…enough to tear itself if you only hold it by the corners…but you have to hold it by the corners or it will crease…I…have the hands of a surgeon so this ain’t even a problem
Step 9- lay it flat and dab away the excess water. DAB…do not rub or wipe because the paper will look like it is covered in those little balls of fuzz on a sweater..you know what I mean? …It’ll come apart.
Step 10…let it dry.
repeat all steps. twice, three times, it depends on the look you are going for and how you print looks not that it is on tea dyed paper. I did this a few times so I knew, more or less, what to expect. the end result will be the paper looking like a weathered comic book page from 50 years ago, to a manuscript from 400 years ago. So you should plan accordingly. If you color your illustration in photoshop with all sorts of effects and shadowing, it’s going to look like crap or just look like a faded movie poster. I picked this effect because it goes very well with my illustration style and overall feel of may work. it’s old school, old timey, and it looks right at home on paper that seems to be 100 years old. if you style looks like early Image comics, or such (while that is a respectable style) it’s probably going to look out of place on tea stained paper.
For comparison on the right had side there ( above) are some pieces of the paper not yet dyed next to the dyed print. ( that sentence was a bit clunky, you get the idea). My camera sucks by the way, and/or I suck at using it, lets try closer and with a desk lamp instead of the flash, and see if the color is more accurate
I loathe computers, electronic camera’s and scanners can SUCK MY C*CK. SUCK IT. I started in this business ( start imagining grandpa simpsons voice anytime from this point forward) when they still used FILM! Printers would take your artwork and take PICTURE OF IT WITH A CAMERA….you know how many DPI that is? IT IS INFINITY DPI….infinityyyyyyy. I remember the first comic book I saw that was “scanned in” and I could tell the drop off in sharpness. It was an issue of “Bone” by Jeff Smith , or as I accurately refer to it “The Smurfs in black and white”…ITS THE SMURFS PEOPLE…F*CK I have been saying this for two decades, all he did was rip off the smurfs. ……Go get a issue of “Bone” and a blue crayon…it’s the smurfs…they even use the same method of naming each otheR FOR F*CKS SAKE…. grumpy smurf , lazy smurf, phoney Bone, smiley bone….IT IS THE F*CKING SMURFS.
….I don’t remember what I was bloggin about…My art rep sent me sent me a bottle of Vodka for Xmas, I may have had a taste…that don’t invalidate my comments about the Stork.
whatever, that’s how you make Tea stained paper prints. Probably there is a better way of doing it, but they turned out good.
They are HERE (probably towards the bottom of the page)…by the time you read this they may be all gone…or they may all still be there (shrug, you never know)
There are free downloadable versions of Arsenic Lullaby illustrations for Xmas Cards and a coloring contest HERE