If you follow BLURPPY or even occasionally check us out you will note that we have a fondness & appreciation for the Washington D.C. artist Tracie Ching. (Enter her name in our search bar and check out all the articles…I’m not making it up.) It can be broken down into 3 simple reasons. 1) Her art grabs our attention and is getting better with each and every piece/show she does. 2) She was THE first artist to give BLURPPY her time when I started the blog over a year ago. 3) She makes me laugh. Funny, loyal and talented, no matter how you look at this artist, we dig her and THAT is why we are excited to have her as one of the participants in BLURPPY’s first exclusive for 2013. (She was actually the first one we thought of and contacted.)
Tracie describes herself as a dork by nature and designer by trade, who creates limited edition silk screen prints heavily influenced by her love for classical portraiture and pop culture. Funny, I see no mention of “ham” in there but rest assured, it WILL pop up in this, the second of 7, artists interviews.
BLURPPY: How would YOU describe your style or how would YOU like it described. You always get OUR/ BLOGGER point of view, let’s hear from YOU.
Tracie: Frankly how anyone else describes it is fine with me. I know what I see and what I was thinking when I make something. I much prefer to hear what other people like or notice or feel. Staring at something for days on end takes the shine off. It’s always nice to hear what fresh eyes see.
BLURPPY: How did you get started in the “poster” scene? What was your FIRST print?
Tracie: Like many others, I drooled over Mondo’s posters. After discovering them I found other galleries and artists that showcased screen printing, which until that time was total foreign to me. Eventually the love for them overflowed and I decided to test the waters and see what I could do. I started with “The Princess“, shortly followed by “The Admiral“, and I guess the rest is history.
BLURPPY: Ah yes, “The Princess” print. That was how BLURPPY discovered your work. You certainly have come a LONG way in just under a year! What are your 3 favorite pieces that you have done that you feel really show off your talent or truly capture a subject you love.
Tracie: My three favorites are Life Aquatic, Prometheus, and the Star Trek TNG: 25th Anniversary posters.
BLURPPY: Your Life Aquatic print blew my mind! It looks extremely nice in my office. What would be your dream project? What would you KILL to work on? This can be a real project or something crazy like “design the next Death Star for Lord Vader.”
Tracie: To take a little break from print talk – I’m not sure many people know I professionally design sports jerseys, particularly for ultimate frisbee. I don’t have a lot of pie-in-the-sky dreams but I harbor a secret wish to design the jerseys of the first US Olympic Ultimate Team.
BLURPPY: Ok, I knew about your passion for ultimate frisbee but I didn’t see that coming. What is your process like? How do you get started?
Tracie: Creating a print or design without a firm plan is agony so typically I stew for a bit and come up with a couple ideas. Then, like many artists, I start gathering reference material. If a portrait of someone famous is required I search online for images or if it’s a movie or show I’ll watch it and take screen caps. Now and then I’ll take photos of my own and then start arranging a loose composition. Once I have something I like, I draw until I’m satisfied (or until I run out of time, which is more likely).
BLURPPY: Whose work do you follow, love, crave? Any specific pieces by these artists that stand out to you?
Tracie: I recently discovered the incredible work of James Mylne. I would give my right hand to own one of this originals, particularly one of his Hepburns.
BLURPPY: Thanks for the heads up on this guy. Unbelievably talented. I may never look at a pen the same way again. How do you see the whole “pop-culture poster craze” evolving? What is your hope for it?
Tracie: I find myself asking this question a lot of late. I get the feeling with such a saturated market the pop culture bubble will likely deflate sooner rather than later. Our audience will either have so much work their walls will collapse from the weight or they will get bored and move onto the next thing. I don’t mean to say I think Low Brow is going to go anywhere soon but I think the focus will likely change in the next couple years. My only hope is that I enjoy the next thing as much as I have enjoyed this.
BLURPPY: Personally my walls ARE full but I haven’t slowed down as far as collecting. My flat file just keeps getting bigger. What is your “can’t live without possession?”….NO KIDS or PETS!
Tracie: Hands down my Android. I’m the douche that is always on their phone – answering emails, checking Facebook and Twitter, playing cutesy games. I even have a couple modeling apps that I use for drawing. Upside to the obsession, it’s really hard to lose something you check every 5 minutes.
BLURPPY: What is your favorite guilty pleasure?…..ham, Honey Boo-Boo, Junior mints, American Pickers, coffee ice cream, long walks on the beach….etc…(wait for it….)
Tracie: Ham is not a guilty pleasure. It is a general staple in my diet. I would say my favorite guilty pleasure is watching period dramas. Can’t get enough of that shit.
BLURPPY: PHEW! I’m SO glad you didn’t say Honey Boo-Boo. How is 2013 shaping up for you so far? Any projects, shows or secret collaborations you can talk about or tease?
Tracie: A-MAZING! I am transitioning to full time freelance this month and am really excited about the projects I have lined up. I can’t share many details but I can say I will be part of the all-girl Gallery1988 show co-hosted by Hello Giggles/Zooey Deschanel opening Feb 1st. Safe to say it will be the year of the Ching!
BLURPPY: That has a nice ring to it…”Year of the Ching”. What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
Tracie: Worst question ever. Why don’t you just ask me which organ I would like to keep. GEEZ.
BLURPPY: Ok, which organ would you like to keep?…
BLURPPY: (OUCH!) Pick one from each line as your favorite:
Peanut Butter and Jelly or Ham and Cheese (I know where this is going…): Ham. No cheese (I saw it coming a mile away.)
Whedon’s AVENGERS or Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: Whedon’s AVENGERS
Summer on the West Coast or Fall on the East Coast: Fall on the East coast. BOOM.
Kubrick’s The Shining movie or Stephen King’s The Shining Book: Kubrick’s The Shining Movie (cuz I never read the book)
Morning or Night: Night
Pizza or Sushi: Pizza
Justin Bieber or Gangnam style: Gangnam style
Cats or Dogs: Dogs
Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd: Led Zeppelin
Charlie Brown Christmas or It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown: Neither. I find Charlie Brown irritating
I would like to thank Tracie for her time on this exclusive project and summarize what we have learned about this pop culture maven. In just under a year she has already established herself as a respected artist and has even quite her day gig to do freelance full time. She needs to go get a copy of Stephen King’s The Shining and READ it! Oh and she loves ham and hates Charlie Brown? How can you hate Charlie Brown? Tom Whalen’s work alone will make you love that bald boy and don’t even get me started on how great Vince Guaraldi’s work on those specials is!