I was completely blown away by watching Jay and Aaron do their process thread. Now, like a lot of you I'm sure, now realize it's pretty fun to show and tell. This was written for the Nakatomi site's visitors, so it's not got anything incredibly technical- not that I was thinking I'd have anything to teach you guys. But I do like to see how others do their work, so hopefully you dig ours- Below is from the Nakatomi Blog-
Those cats are really, really bad. I had the general idea for this a few months back and once I sat down to start drawing it, it went in a slightly different direction than I started. I really didn't plan on putting a shark back there, but I was leaving that space blank for SOMETHING, and then I thought what would cats want more than an aquarium full of fish. And THEN I thought a GIANT fish in the tank would be funnier. AND THEN I thought a shark is the most awesome fish in the world. And, once you think of a shark in a tiny tank, you can't help but think of Damien Hirst.
So, not that I had a story in mind when I started this, other than cats stealing an El Camino, I'm now pretty sure they're saving their shark buddy from a terrible fate at the hands of Damien Hirst. And for some reason, the cat in the passenger seat (Ringo Muffins) is very, very unhappy.
Above is a photo of the original drawing. I tacked it to my wall and there it sat for months, accusing me of ignoring it. (Hey, I had a baby, and draw a monthly comic book, and run a business...so sue me!- wait. Don't do that.)
This is Pickles. Pickles is a terrible cat. Pickles is the cat driving the El Camino in the print. Here Pickles is, sitting on my scanner, keeping me from working. Pickles has been in all the 'Sea Also Rises' prints so far, and I've snuck her into a comic short story I did for APE press, as well as 2 album covers now. She's just awful.
This is the scanned in and cleaned up line art from the original. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to handle the inserts in relation to the El Camino so I added the target lines in Photoshop after the fact.
Now- to the Nakatomi Print Labs!
Hey! We finally had an electrician by to wire up the shop properly. The entire print shop had been powered off of one plug. And now there's a ton of plugs up in here. As dangerous as this looks, its WAY better than before. Trust me.
This is our fancy counterbalance system. Pulley up top, weight at the bottom. Keeps the screens up when we want it up, but it's not strong enough to pull up when we want it down. Kevin Tong used science on us a while back and showed us a 2nd rope would keep the weight from going too low and pulling the screen too high.
Our home-built, back-lit washout. We cribbed the design from Satch Grimley. Except he's got a drain on his. We have a siphon. Which raises the question- do I get an auto press or plumbing done first?
The powerwasher for our washout. Do not buy this one. I've gone through something like 4 of these in a year. But, I kept the original receipt from the first one, and the boxes from each one I go through, and Home Depot keeps exchanging them. Problem is, the next step up at Home Depot is a gas-powered monster.
This is the film for the Green Layer, taped to a sheet of 20x26 paper, that we use to get our registration squared away. We'll key each subsequent color to that film. The parent sheets are 20x26, and the final trimmed print will be 18x24.
This might be a little hard to see, but there is 2 colors laid down here- the green and then the silver. The reason it's hard to see is that Clint Wilson gets that registration dead on. He's a wizard.
Here's the prints on the top rack w/ 2 colors down, the green and the silver. We have 2 drying racks w/ 50 shelves each- got 'em pretty cheap used. But- we really could use a 3rd. But first, we might need a bigger garage.
Ink shelf! This is supposed to be in ROYGBIV w/ the mixed colors at the bottom and the unopened colors up top. But that's only going to last about 5 minutes once you start actually working. SOMEONE bought up all the transparent base in town (seriously) so we've started ordering online. Who knew how cheap you could get stuff on line? See ya later, local art supply store...
This is Clint mixing the ink up. We use a Pantone book to match colors to the art, but that doesn't eliminate the fact that it's still hand and eye matched and mixed!
Clint locking down the screen for the 3rd Color, Blue.We added little rubber strips to the screens where it clamps down to prevent slippage
We get our films output on Vellum instead of acetate. We've had no problems with it, and it's WAY cheaper than acetate. Here's the screen for the Blue Layer. We're using a vacuum press that Clint Wilson bought from AndyMac a few years back. If you look on the right, you can see where the shop vac plugs in. Just about every print that comes out of Nakatomi comes off of this thing. Which is freaking crazy, as we should have gotten a semi-auto press a while ago. But we had to have the electricity taken care of first. Eh?
Look at Clint- that's a man doing mans work- making pretty pictures of kitties. But seriously, it's a bitch to hand-pull all of these. That auto-press is looking better and better now...
3rd color down! And are you seeing that reg? EH? Dead freaking on.
3 colors out of 6 done so far. We'll be back tomorrow with pics of the next 2 hopefully.
-thanks for looking, GP'rs.