Interning at Graphicstudio was a very positive and fulfilling experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was accepted into the program; I did not know how I would be of any help in a printmaking studio without any relevant prior experience. Aside from a brief tour in a class a few years prior, I knew very little about Graphicstudio itself and its function.
I observed a lot in my first week, but was also given opportunities to help when needed. I was set up with simple tasks at first, such as cutting paper and assisting with loading and unloading dryers. As simple as they were, it was satisfying to know I was saving time for the other staff by eliminating some of these tedious tasks, especially when I realized how many projects and schedules are juggled daily. The longer I observed and the farther into the production process they went, the more I was permitted to try my hand at various tasks.
Most of my time was spent in the etching studio with Tim Baker working on Sandra Cinto’s prints, where I learned to mix and compare inks, properly ink an etched plate and assist in pulling a print. With each of these steps, I was given ample help from Tim and Matt. Even while on a schedule, they took the time to explain what they were doing and correct me when needed and that is something I greatly appreciate. I was able to participate a little during every step of the process, including curating and packing prints to ship. I regret that I wasn’t present for the very beginning of the project, but I’m proud knowing that I assisted in producing the end result.
I enjoyed the overall laid-back, but professional atmosphere of the workplace. Although I did not get to know everyone as well as Tom Pruitt and Tim Baker, the entire staff was friendly and helpful. Even though most of my time was spent in the etching studio, I went in every day not knowing exactly what I would be doing. This spontaneity kept me on my toes and I would find myself bouncing from room to room with different tasks and learning new things along the way. Tom Pruitt gave me a crash course in the process of screenprinting while working on an Alex Katz proof and walked me through the process of creating my own prints as an end of term project.
Being able to make my own prints for the first time was exciting, especially after working on another artist’s work. Tom not only helped me with the prep work in my etching project, but explained every step in detail to highlight its importance. I was given suggestions and techniques to give my prints variation such as color block and textured paper which greatly impacted my design. As I printed, I was given active critique on how to improve the quality of my prints and tricks to remove imperfections. In conjunction with what I learned in the etching studio, I was able to pull an edition of nineteen unique prints of my design.
Cassidy with Birds, 2016
21 1/8 x 12 1/4 inches
The staff at Graphicstudio are seriously invested in helping interns not only understand the process of printmaking, but also giving them the opportunity to really immerse themselves in the art and are eager to see them succeed. I felt informed, inspired and encouraged during my short three-week internship here. It has been a privilege to work with experienced printmakers and visiting artists in a studio environment. Working here has given me an insight to the process of creating and distributing work and the care that goes into each little detail. With my upcoming degree in art and the experience of this internship, I now feel more confident in my ability to seek out technical jobs relating to my degree and expanding my horizons as an artist.
Studio Art Undergraduate and Graphicstudio Intern
College of The Arts
University of South Florida