As a lover of all things DIY, I've had an interest in taking some screen printing classes for a few years now. Now that I have an indefinite window of down time and am generally just trying to figure out what to do with life (#almostthirty), I decided to sign up for some beginning classes at Lillstreet here in Chicago. Since I was in LA last week, I missed one week of class and instead spent Sunday messing around with some materials on my own.
No, I certainly wasn't that kid in school who asked for more homework. What do you take me for!?!?
During our fist class our teacher, Erin, mentioned Genesis Art Supply as one of her favorite art stores in town. I hadn't ever been and figured I should take a pro's word for it, so I stopped by to pick up some basics. Good news! Erin was right. Genesis is a small, family owned joint. They know their regular customers by name, prices are decent and they were super helpful. I even got an encouraging, "Good luck with your project!" after completing my transaction.
After I stocked up on some ink, screens and basics, I headed home (Guys, it was SO hot on Sunday) with a whirl-wind of ideas brewing in my head. Since I don't have a fancy UV light at home, I decided I'd do some experimenting with stencil screen printing. I was hoping to have a completed project by the end of Sunday. Alas, it turns out that I'm a bit more of a beginner than I anticipated.
My initial plan was to stencil the phrase, "BITCH, PLEASE" onto some fabric and turn it into a throw pillow. I've made a version of this pillow for my Etsy shop before, but was hoping to fine tune it a bit. Unfortunately, I forgot to pin down my fabric and also didn't put enough pressure on my squeegee so, my efforts were a botched. Although I didn't have a end product to show for my work on Sunday, I certainly walked away learning (and remembering) a few things. For example: DO NOT forget to pin down your fabric. Duh!
Above all else, I was reminded that becoming a expert at new things takes time. This sounds obvious, but I'm a child of the MTV Generation so get off my back, bro! More often than not, I find myself wanting instant results, instead of allowing a learning process to take place. It's easy to be disappointed in yourself if things don't go exactly how you imagined. It seems like the important part of learning how to do something new is to take a step back when you make mistakes, asses the damages, determine why they happened and then try a different angle next time to avoid the same mistake. Sure! This is all much easier said than done, and I'm (obviously) no expert, but that doesn't stop me from trying.
I have two more classes left at Lillstreet and am looking forward to giving some solo screen printing a whirl in a few more weeks. Hopefully I'll have something more cosmetically appealing to show for my efforts!