Sunday Slideshow: Studio Visit with Andy McInnis

Andy McInnis is hard at work.¬† A screen printer, he’s currently up to ink covered elbows in work with the upcoming Poster Offensive 5 and on his publication Screen Printing on the Cheap.¬† He also works at Elpis Studio which is a youth development organization that includes a four-color screen printing operations and wood working shop that uses recycled wood from fences and distributers with left-over un-used wood. The shop‚Äôs executive director, Paul Ramsour, allows Andy to use the facilities after hours for his personal projects, including a new “Bieber Fever” t-shirt.

Photos and interview by Kelsey Johnston

Secrets of the City: Where are you from?

Andy McInnis: Originally I’m from Minneapolis but, I really grew up in Bloomington, the burbs.

SotC: How did you get started in this field?

AM: By sheer curiosity. I had learned a little bit at school and I came to this point where I graduated and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had a lot of dumb t-shirt ideas so, I decided to go for it, out of my apartment.

SotC: Where did you get the idea for “Screen Printing on the cheap”?

AM: Screen Printing on the Cheap was something I materialized over the course of a while.  I’ve always been interested in education and I because I didn’t teach workshops at the time.  I read a lot of books to help me teach myself how to do it and realized there was a huge gap, all the books out there sucked and so I had a lot of critiques about those books. So Screen Printing on the Cheap was me stepping into a place where I could secure my critique.

SotC: Tell me about your recent work like these “Bieber Fever” t-shirts.

AM: That was for a girl initially and I thought it was a hilarious idea. I also like pop music. I listen to KDWB and it’s kind of like candy it’s bad for you but, you don’t want to listen to it too much.  Like I said the reason I started screen printing was because I had a lot of stupid ideas in my head and I’ve ultimately come full circle now. I want to continue to do these stupid designs, the dumber the better.

SotC: What is your approach to design?

AM: A lot of googling an image, adjusting levels in Photoshop, live tracing, and illustrator; very amateur.

SotC: How would you describe your style?

AM: I’d like to think it’s eclectic but, it might not be, maybe kind of urban. I grew up listening to a lot of hip hop and that kind of influence and popular so I try to think about what other people like too. Not just me being an artist trying to get my vision out there and being like “if you like it whatever”. I want to accommodate people, to be liked by people.

SotC: What tool can you not live without?

AM: A squeegee.

SotC: What’s the best part about living in the Twin Cities?

AM: There’s a shitload of talent and you’ve got Minnesota nice going on so you can talk to anybody. That’s great because if you can talk to anybody and there’s a lot of talented people you set up a pretty strong network for yourself. We have the seasons, the balance; summertime, wintertime. So we’ve got this amazing balance.

SotC: What is your favorite Twin Cities establishment?

AM: Shuga Records. That dude shows so much love and support to everybody in this city. That dude’s a magnet.

SotC: What was your childhood dream career?

AM: I wanted to be a stand-up comedian, a basketball player, or an artist. So, I’m kind of living the dream here.

SotC: Taylor made me ask — why are you so dreamy?

AM: Maybe we should hook ourselves up to the same dream machine; he knows how to make a man blush.