Sou’wester Residency

my home for the week

I just got back from an amazing week at the Washington coast, where I was doing an artist’s residency at the Sou’wester Lodge.  The Sou’wester is a lovely old resort on the southern end of the Long Beach peninsula, in SW Washington.  It was established in 1892 as the summer retreat for a wealthy business tycoon and, over time, it has evolved into a guest lodge, RV park, and vintage travel trailer campground.

the original lodge

"aluminum alley" as I like to call it

The Sou’wester has long supported art and music, but has kind of ramped it up over the past year or so by offering artist’s residencies and hosting live music and other creative happenings.  The first people I met when I got there were Travis and Lauren, two lovely humans who run the Small Room Collective, a 1963 Airstream gallery/shop/event space/idea incubator.  They were traveling from Austin, TX and had been on the road for five months or so.  In their words, “The Small Room Collective curates small artistic movements”.  Indeed, they’re really interested in connecting creative people and showcasing the work of independent artists, thinkers, and adventurers.  You can check out their website to find out more about what they’re up to and where they’ll be next.

I’d heard of the Sou’wester residency program, and thought it would be a perfect fit for the project I’m working on currently: drawings/prints of all 50 US states, inspired by my Moveable Type truck travels. While I was on the road last year, I collected those corny state magnets at truck stops in every state I visited.  By the end of my trip, I had a super wonky US map on the ceiling of the truck:

not to scale

I love these magnets and everything they represent: state pride, nostalgia, weird and awkward graphics, the American road trip… I wanted to create my own take on them, and translate them into my own hand.  I started some drawings last summer, but then the project got shelved for a bit as I got distracted by other work and other things.  But last month, I finally wrapped up some of the drawings and made prints for seven states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.  These are all available for purchase in my Etsy and Big Cartel shops.


I knew I needed time and space to focus on the rest of the drawings (only 43 more states to go!) and so I thought it might be pretty wonderful to spend some time in a vintage travel trailer, reflecting on my own travels and channeling those experiences into these new drawings.  It was a moderately productive week.  I definitely made some major progress, but the thing about the Sou’wester is that it is literally steps from the beach.  And it’s summertime.

short walk to the beach

this was right outside my door

But I was able to focus somewhat, and get down to business at my sweet little workspace, set up inside a 1957 Spartan Royal Manor:

my workspace

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the sketches that came out of the week.



My (somewhat ambitious) plan is to finish up all the drawings this week and start printing in early September.  With any luck, I’ll have all 50 states (and maybe a Canadian province or two!) printed and available for purchase by the end of September.  And then, I’m hoping to do a BIG map of the United States, rolling out in time for the holidays.  Stay tuned!

Thank you, Sou’wester, for an inspiring and peaceful week!  I will be back soon, I’m sure. To close, here is a lovely video my friend Kelly made when she came to pick me up the other day.  Make sure you have your sound on!

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Grand Opening this Saturday!


FINALLY!  Power and Light Press will officially open its doors THIS SATURDAY, April 13! If you’re in southwestern New Mexico (as I’m sure most of you are), please come on down to the corner of College + Bullard Streets in Silver City for an afternoon of solar-powered live music, bike workshops, printing demos, art, and puppets!  2-9pm, all ages welcome.

More photos of the “renovated” space soon!

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New HQ!

I am beyond thrilled to announce that I’ve just signed a lease on a brand new space!  This orange, black, and brick box – a former motorcycle repair shop – will become the new Power and Light Press HQ effective today, January 3, 2013.  This is so exciting and daunting.  This will be the first private, non-vehicular studio that I have operated my business out of EVER.  I am so excited to have extra space, a stronger sense of identity, and a new neighborhood and community to participate in.  As some of you know, I have recently relocated to Silver City, New Mexico.  I am so happy to be here and getting back to doing what I love.  More photos to come as I move in and turn the space around.  There is MUCH work to be done in this very raw building, but I think it’s going to be a fun ride.

Right now, I’m raising my coffee mug to Em Space in Portland, where I’ve been doing my work these past four years.  Working out of a shared studio like Em Space allowed me to get my business up on its feet and work through a lot of the growing pains that come with starting a new venture.  It also allowed me to be part of a community of creative people, many of whom I count as dear friends.  I will miss you guys, please visit.

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20% off all goods in the shop!

Power and Light Press has not one but TWO online stores from which you can purchase your holidays goods this year!  The Big Cartel shop is integrated right into this website, but there’s also an Etsy shop, should you prefer to shop that way.  Both should be stocked with the same stuff, but please let me know if you spot any discrepancies.  Through midnight tonight (Tuesday 11/27), please enjoy 20% off your entire purchase from either shop.  Just enter the code “BADSANTA” at checkout for an automatic discount.

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Tiny Post Offices

Going to the post office is a big part of my job.  In my travels this past year, I had to stop at a lot of post offices along the way, to fill orders and send postcards.  I was smitten by the tiny ones I encountered in small towns all over the country, and so I recently made a bunch of drawings in their honor.  I’ve set up a Tumblr called, curiously, tiny post offices.  I’ll be adding more drawings all week and, in a month or so, I plan on producing a line of letterpress printed postcards based on these drawings.  I’ll have those available in my Big Cartel shop whenever they’re ready.  Til then!

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A zine about booze. And existentialism.

Does anyone else think it’s kind of messed up that it’s already July 21st?  I sure do – I’m already beginning to feel wistful about the waning days of summer.  But instead of singing summer’s sweet lullaby just yet, I’ve decided to fix myself a mint julep and “bear the cost and suffer the weight of human existence.”  I am honored to be a part (the July part) of Printeresting‘s PDF of the Month Series!  This project has been on hiatus for over a year, but they’re getting it back up and running, kicking it off with a year’s worth of “Printeresting’s Guide Zines”, download-able PDFs from various artists and designers not normally associated with zine culture.  My contribution to this series is a zine (my first ever!) inspired by my January 2012 visit to Rowan Oak, William Faulker’s home in Oxford, Mississippi.  You can download it from the image above or, better yet, visit the Printeresting website for a higher-res file and assembly instructions.  Download it, print it out, fold it up, and be sure to check back next month for the latest installment!  Also, anyone in Maine should check out the related Rum Riot Press exhibit at Space Gallery in Portland – this show opens this Thursday, and celebrates small presses and independent publishing from around the world.


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BIG grant and truck events!

Hello, friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve reached out on this here blog… but I wanted to write today to announce two things: 1) my studio is applying for a grant and needs your help and 2) I’ve got some upcoming truck events in the great Northwest.  Please read on!

So, this grant.  As many of you know, when I’m not printing out of a truck, I operate my business out of a cooperative studio in Portland called Em Space Book Arts Center.  This is an amazing facility and has really allowed Power and Light Press to get up and running these past few years. Em Space provides shared workspace, equipment, education and community support to independent printers and bookbinders.  We each pay monthly dues that go toward rent and upkeep, and in return we gain 24-hour access to the studio and all its wonders.  This is a tremendous help to those of us who are starting a business but can’t yet invest in a fully equipped print shop of our own, or for the more casual printer/bookbinder who just needs occasional access to equipment and studio space.  We also offer classes and other community outreach programming to try to increase awareness and familiarity with book arts.

We’re applying for a BIG small business grant to help us grow.  This grant will award $250,000 to 12 small businesses who are making an important contribution to their communities.  We firmly believe that Em Space is a vital resource in Portland, and thrill at the opportunities 250K could bring – improved workspace (with climate control?!), additional equipment investments, a visiting artists program, a dedicated paid manager position (it’s currently all volunteer run, mostly by Rory, who puts in well over 20 hours of unpaid work each week) and, most of all, just a bit of security that we can continue to provide for our members.

But in order to be considered for this grant, we first need to gather 250 votes by June 30th – that’s THIS SATURDAY!  The voting process is super simple and quick – we don’t need any of your money, just one minute of your time, and it could help us out SO much.  We’ve got just over 100 votes at the moment – please consider casting a vote for us so we can be in the running!  All you have to do is visit, click on “log in and support”, and search for “Em Space Book Arts Center” by name.  That’s it!  We really appreciate your support – thank you!!!

In other news, I’ve got a couple type truck events coming up.  This weekend, I’ll be heading out to central Washington to an awesome place called Mighty Tieton.  I’ll be taking part in their Camp Mighty Tieton, which will involve camping, experimental shelter-building, textile workshops, wine, music, movies in a barn and printing in a truck.  Should be fun.

And then later in the summer, I’m planning a week-long tour of Eastern Washington and Oregon, with planned stops in Spokane, WA, Pendleton, OR, Enterprise, OR, Bend, OR, and McMinnville, OR.  More on that later.

Thanks for reading, thanks for your support, and keep in touch!

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Type Truck show this Friday!

Hey, Portland friends – come on down to Em Space Book Arts Center this Friday, June 1st for a truck show!  This will be a big, comprehensive wrap-up of the trip, with photos, prints, and a bunch of other stuff.  6-9pm.  I’ll be giving a little artist’s talk at 6:30.

Hope to see you there!

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Nearly there!

This here website is almost ready to go!  Still making a few changes and adding more content, but I guess it’s pretty functional… I’ll be checking in with some blog posts about the Stationery Show very soon.

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