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Interview in Mesh Count
Mesh Count
Published on 3/15/2006

Interview in Mesh Count #2!  You can read the transcript below.


Mesh Count
"Tara McPherson"
Issue # 2


"To make money when we were around 13 years old my friend and I would make these super cheesy crafty things. The kind of thing that was covered in fake flowers and wicker and you put it together with a hot glue gun. You know, the type of thing your grandma would love. We would walk around door to door in our neighborhood and sell them. We would also wash cars every weekend too..."
Tara McPerson, b. 1976, San Francisco, CA.

Where you ever in a band? If yes, what kind of music did you play? What instrument did you play?

Yep. I've played bass since I was 15. Right now I have a Fender P Bass, a vintage SVT V9 head and an Ampeg cabinet. I've played punk rock to garage over the years. I'm not in a band right now, but would like to be.

Did you have a formal education in the fine arts/ print making?

Yes. When I started taking art classes in community college I began with etching and silkscreening for a couple years. Then I transferred to Art Center for 4 years and began my training in painting.

Did you do any apprenticeships before, during or after your schooling?

Yes, I interned at Futurama for 8 months during school. That was super fun!

Do you do most of your works alone or have you partnered up with other artists on projects in the past?

I work alone most of the time, which is an aspect of my life I didn't really take into consideration when I decided to be an artist. It kind of works against my personality. So I'm constantly trying to sneak out. I have collaborated on posters in the past and it's been really fun. I would definitely like to do more of that at some point.

Are there any artists today that you would like to collaborate with?

I'm working on a fine art print with Frank Kozik... we started it like 2 years ago... I hope we finish it soon! Other artists I've talked to about collaborating are James Jean and Lori Early ... people who aren't poster artists. It would be really neat to even work with a photographer or someone else in a completely different art field.

Who are some printers- past & present - the you truly enjoy?

Diesel Fuel Prints. They rock!

Being as though I run a lot of errands during the daytime, I find myself printing from the early evening to late at night. Are you an early morning printer or do you prefer to burn the midnight oil?

That's pretty much what I do, I wake up and start working for a few hours, then run out and do errands, meetings and whatnot. Then I'm usually back to work around 4 or 5 and work until late at night. Sometimes it gets out of hand though and I'll find myself up until like 6 or 7 am, and I have to reset my clock. Right now I'm finishing around 2 am... That's better.

Where have your studios been in the past? What kind of neighborhoods have your studios been in and have they been influential to your work?

I normally work and live in the same place... It's conducive to me accomplishing more art. I push myself until I'm completely exhausted and just walk over to my bed and plop down. Or wake up and get started in my jammies.

Who was your first paying client and what was the image/design/artwork that you printed?

I got my start selling my art in galleries. The very first art show I had was all etchings and silkscreens at a hip shop named NaNa's in L.A.

What are your usual workdays like?


Wake up, coffee, emails, gym, errands, emails, draw, draw, paint, paint, paint, email, eat, draw, draw, paint, masturbate, eat, paint, paint, draw, sleep. Repeat.

Do you have any assistants working with you currently? Have any of your past assistants moved onwards in the printmaking profession?

I have had employees and interns in the past. Right now I have a regular summer intern who comes here to NY from Paris. The work that I do is mainly by myself though, so it's easier when there's no one around.

Who handles all the print requests/ business for you?


I handle all the business myself, but Diesel Fuel does all my printing, shipping, retails and wholesale orders.

What bands have you found to be the most interesting, musically and then personally, that you've worked with over the years?

Lately since the posters that I do are for shows all over the world. I don't normally get to go to the shows and meet the bands anymore. In the past though, definitely Modest Mouse, Shonen Knife, and the Melvins.

Which term do you prefer to use: Serigraphy or Silkscreen, and why?


I say silkscreen, but serigraphy sounds fancier. Most people don't realize a serigraph IS a silkscreen. So, it's easier to say silkscreen.

What color is your favorite color to use while printing?


It's a tie ... PMS 486 and 566.