When my editor said she was sending me on an adventure, I have to admit, my first reaction was not excitement. I don’t know whether it was the way she emphatically punctuated her sentence with an exclamation point, or the fact that she met me outside the office, but my mind raced with all the possible situations for which “adventure” would simply be a euphemism.

Of course, like almost every situation in my life, my anxieties were for naught (honestly though, I really should get a prescription for some downers…). I ended up spending an afternoon at a tiny silkscreening studio in Parkdale being a pesky photographer and spectator. Jacob (the awesome artist who worked with us from Punchclock Printing Collective) and I exchanged a few casual niceties, and after a short time we both just did our own thing — he working quickly before the paint dried and me snapping pictures before the project was finished.

“I listen to weird music when I work,” he said without looking at me, focusing on the pink and blue pigments he was mixing. “I hope you don’t mind.”

To me it sounded like a mixture of screeching children and metal crashing, but I was not one to protest.

“No no, it’s cool. No worries,” I assured him.

The reason for my visit was to make sure that everything with our new tee-shirts went smoothly — er, have we mentioned tee-shirts yet? Designed by illustrator Chris Davenport, the tee-shirts are decidedly hard to describe — depicting a font that looks almost like human hair. They’ll be available for sale soon on our Etsy shop and at upcoming events like our Halloween Dance of the Living Dead. Also, and here’s the important part, they look great with a pair of jeans. And really, if I was a gambling woman, I’d be willing to bet that they could also double as sails should you ever find yourself stranded on the sea in an inflatable kayak you won at a work Christmas party. Just sayin’…

The other fun part of this adventure that I really wanted to share is when my editor casually mentioned that she would need me to choose the final colour. In preparation we had a discussion about purple — hues, shades, finishes, connotations even. I can say with confidence that Serah-Marie and I could now co-author Everything You Wanted To Know About Purple But Were Too Afraid To Ask. Eventually, I set off with the perfect shade of muted mauve in mind and the determination not to screw things up.

Oftentimes when a project is launched there is a great deal of waiting before the final product emerges. In this case I was lucky enough to show up on game day with the easiest job: show up, choose purple, watch someone else work. Halfway through the printing process the artist asked me if I wanted to stick around until everything was finished. At that point I had all the pictures I needed and only wanted to make arrangements for how the tee-shirts would make it to the office. When he told me that he could deliver that was all I needed to hear.

“I have to run,” I told him, “but I’ve got an adventure for you.”

-Carmen Vicente

3 thoughts on “Silkscreaming

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