Computer Arts: Tell us about the project ...
Ben Rider: This is a set of stickers and came about from being itching to experiment with a new format, a new image making technique while, at the same, time testing some screen printing processes I've had simmering. It came together in collaboration with the organiser of a pop-up art shop at Boxpark.
I proposed to deliver a different format and image-making technique to the current prints and paintings, and sold at a lower price point to the larger pieces. The reasoning being to have something for everyone. This gave me the excuse to go mad making and testing all these things ive been dying to do, such as collage and printmaking techniques. When I was a student, one of the first things I learned was how juxtaposing two contrasting images created a whole new meaning, so wanted to create something curious and thought-provoking and, at the same time, a little fun.
CA: How did you put these pieces together?
BR: From the start I knew I would screen print these, so approached it in that manner: Photoshop being the key tool to import and edit the components and build the images themselves, and, later, InDesign to layout and organise each image. Once the main structures were complete, I printed these out, then used tracing paper on top and painted in with indian ink where I wanted areas of colour for a second and third layer to build up the whole image. A kind of analogue-to-digital-then-back-to-analogue process.
The actual composing of the layers was the trickiest part, making sure everything would line up and register correctly to the size of the sticker itself. The actual printing brings with it a new set of challenges, but I was open to mistakes happeneing when trying out loads of different things: mixing in extra layers, testing different inks and colours together, all sorts of things. It was brilliant.
CA: How did you get into design?
BR: I studied at London College of Communication, receiving a first-class BA hons in design for graphic communication. The course prepared me really well for life after graduation, and working at places like Print Club London has been brilliant. I owe a lot to the fellow technitians and members I've worked with. I find it a little tricky describing my style, as in many respects I'm still finding it and still have so many things I want to investigate. But, in a word, I'd definately say it's playful, and I'm at my happiest when I'm making, whatever form that takes.
I'm really inspired by gig posters. I find them to be massively creative and brilliantly produced, really creative methods and the most exciting use of type and image I've found. I find they have a really clever visual play on the music they're communicating, especially when they represent and touch upon much larger issues outside of the music. That's what I'm finding really interesting, at the moment. Any ideas I put into my own work alway comes from research, in whatever form that can take, finding a core that really sums up the content I'm tasked to work on and discovering connections.
Check out more from Ben Rider on his website.