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‚Äôm 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‚Äôt 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 ‚ÄúScreen Printing on the cheap‚Äù?
AM: Screen Printing on the Cheap was something I materialized over the course of a while.¬† I‚Äôve always been interested in education and I because I didn‚Äôt 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‚Äôs kind of like candy it‚Äôs bad for you but, you don‚Äôt 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‚Äôve 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‚Äôd like to think it‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúif you like it whatever‚Äù. I want to accommodate people, to be liked by people.
SotC: What tool can you not live without?
AM: A squeegee.
SotC: What‚Äôs the best part about living in the Twin Cities?
AM: There‚Äôs a shitload of talent and you‚Äôve got Minnesota nice going on so you can talk to anybody. That‚Äôs great because if you can talk to anybody and there‚Äôs a lot of talented people you set up a pretty strong network for yourself. We have the seasons, the balance; summertime, wintertime. So we‚Äôve 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôm 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.