A great artist is nothing without a truly talented printmaker. That’s why I am so grateful to have the network of supporters and artisans that I do in my local community. George is a talented photographer and printer, who lives in my hometown. I have had the pleasure of working with him for several years, and he is an integral part of my process. George’s prints are so lifelike, that sometimes I have to double take and make sure it’s not an original! I asked him to do a quick Q&A about what makes him tick:
How did you discover photography?
My parents dabbled in pastels, so I started painting a little as well. No lessons, just did it. A neighbor that hand colored black and white portraits for photographers suggested that I might like photography. I tried it when I was around 16, and my drawing days were over! In high school I turned my bedroom into a darkroom, so i’ve been printing for a pretty long time.
When did you decide to move into printing for other artists?
I’ve been making my living as a photographer since 1975/76. I quickly learned that I was better at product still lives than portraits of people. After the economy rebounded, the advertising and commercial markets were never the same, so I decided to print my own work while retaining a few of my commercial clients. I saw a potential in reproduction work one -on-one with artists and photographers, so I purchased an Epson wide format printer in 2010 without a single printing client. I have always had a feeling of self-belief tempered with taking small but deliberate steps forward.
Take me through your process start to finish (without revealing trade secrets, of course!)
Printing is not brain surgery, but it is technical, so communication with clients is key. Sometimes what they want is not what they truly need. I like a one-on-one meeting to review art, ask questions, and above all, listen. We then go through paper types and go through potential printing issues with the pieces at hand. If clients provide their own files, I review them carefully to ensure that they are suitable for printing. The quality of the digital file is the key to great reproductions. Image resolution, bit depth, and color space have a huge effect on quality, and more is always better. A well maintained printer is always going to do its job, if you feed it the best numbers you can.
What’s the best part of your job?
Working with people that are passionate about what they do. I enjoy working as a team to create the best possible pieces.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned throughout your career?
Believe in yourself, but also know your limitations to make sure you only promise what you can deliver. Never quit learning, and try to be better tomorrow than you were today. Know your equipment and how to get the best work out of it! Listen, and respect the artists and art that you work with! Seek out the best people and companies to partner with. Always exceed expectations!
What’s your favorite part of living on Paris Mountain?
Technically we don’t live on Paris Mountain, but I do love living in the woods.
Top Greenville spot to grab a bite:
That used to be a much easier question but there are too many great places to choose from these days. One of our favorites, and has been for years, is the Augusta Grill. I’m still looking for a killer hotdog, though.
Top Greenville place to get inspired:
Our screened porch at sunset, any day of the year. I love just watching the light.
As always, he has knocked the “On Holiday” limited prints out of the park. George always exceeds my expectations for my prints, and I am so grateful that he can translate my work so beautifully. You can find those prints here.
Thank you George, for taking the time to let me pick your brain!
Who is in your “tribe” that makes it happen?