Printworks Magazine Logo The information resource for printmakers

Record of Updates

Main Menu

Feature Artists

Print Biennales
& Triennales

Print Workshops

Materials &

Material Suppliers
& Services


Segno Grafico

The Etching process

Procédé de

Der Radiervorgang

Wood Engraving
the process

Art Links

E-mail The Editor

Harmony and Entropy
By Craig Jobson

My intention with this hybrid form of art is to identify and celebrate largely unknown people, ideas or places and make them better known to a greater number of people. They all become small-space subjects of a postage stamp conceit. It is an intimate form of art. They require a close look to understand a story or recognize a person. Some are done seriously and others more tongue-in-cheek. John Giles for an example, was a musician and composer who died an early, tragic death. He was also a friend. Before he died, I shared the prototype of his stamp with him, and he enjoyed the sincere sentiment it represented.

"John Giles," - a color 35mm print, scanned into Photoshop in grayscale, run through several filters to give it a line quality, recolorized, imported into QuarkXpress where text was added.

"Dimitri" is the uncelebrated copywriter for five years of "Doritos" TV ads. The set of stamps were intentionally done as a miniature storyboard, much like what he would use to suggest the narrative of a 30-second TV spot. "Ron" who despite a demanding day job , paints on at night and weekends realizing his vision. But even where there is whimsy, something more is implied. "Stevens & Co." is done in the style of a friendly parody of Orson Wells, but is recognition of the man who has produced numerous plays in Chicago, often at his own expense. "Corporate Policy" pays homage to anyone whose been right-sized, downsized, made meaner and leaner or has just suffered under someone's malfeasance. "Isle of Wait" satirizes the last time you thought how wonderful it might be to be on a deserted island rather than at work or home.

"Dimitri" is a series of 4 drawings from a black and white contact sheet, scanned into Photoshop as line art, filtered, colorized, imported into Quark, text added and printed out on the color laser printer.

These images are visual motifs drawn from twenty-five years of drawing, printmaking and design and twenty years of working in humanist causes. Since obtaining my degree in printmaking and design, my professional career has largely been spent in publishing where there is a symbiotic relationship between content and visuals. In this context, story telling has been a vocation both in text as well as in the graphics that either complements a narrative or supplants it. A recurrent theme in all this story telling has been celebration, celebration of people hardly any one knows, celebration of places few people have ever visited. And with each celebration there's a hint of that person's or that plasce's significance and importance. Only recently, the additional use of computer graphics have turned these visual paeans into the current hybrid forms of art as they now exist.

"TimeWalk" contains a colorized film negative that is filtered & distorted in Photoshop, superimposed by several different video grabs that are imported into a Photoshop TIFF layer as a pict file. The file is flattened & imported into Quark & output as a laser print.

As a printmaker and designer, multiple images have always excited me. In 1985, it occurred to me that a logical way to celebrate, a person or an event might be to appropriate the conceit of a postage stamp - "to commemorate" something. There are however, significant problems working that small. I knew that until 1974, most postage stamps in the United states were printed with a technique known as rotogravure - a commercial form of intaglio. I knew I could duplicate that look on my own press. A computer with extensive graphic programs turned out to be an exciting way to resolve a variety of visual problems and reduce the images to their requisite size. As a designer, the multiple images usually have to look all alike. But as a printmaker it's the variations that have interested me, the artist proofs rather than the entire production run, fascinate me most. The stamp collectors "block of four" further helped define the direction my art would take. The computer made it possible to capitalize on both of these interests. It was a logical transition. In the computer, I could create images or scan images I had photographed or drawn. They could be manipulated, resized, recolorized, distorted or combined in ways that never before existed. Film is created from the digital files, and images transferred to photosensitized plates and printed either on an intaglio or lithographic press. The images here are largely prototype images printed on a color laser printer for proofing images before film is made for lithographic or intaglio prints. After making so many prototypes over the last two years, they began to take on a life of their own.

'Harmony and Entropy' consists of 40 works of art, rangeing from blind embossed prints, aquatints with viscosity rolls, to computer generated color laser prints.

Harmony and Entropy is currently on show at the Raymond Park Gallery - 1501 Hinman in Evanston , Illinois USA.

You can e-mail Craig at

To top of page