WHAT IS SUBVERT®? Subvert® is a philosophy. It offers a perspective on leading a focused, less-harmful, and balanced life. Illustrations of the Subvert® philosophy are made using hand-carved linoleum blocks.
WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM? I started sketching out the idea in 2009, the same year my son was born. I was working as a coffee roaster (among other things) and had a little time between batches to jot down thoughts and doodles.
WHY DON'T YOU JUST SCREEN PRINT? I first fell in love with block printing during an introductory printmaking class in college. I really enjoy the fact that each print is unique. This makes the production process an adventure, rather than a rote striving for uniformity.
WHAT DOES 'FOOT-PRINTED' MEAN? When printing T-shirts, flags, and hat patches, I place the linoleum block on the item to be printed. I then step on the block, 'using my body' as a printing press. This is a good workout, especially when I have a wholesale order of 500 shirts!
IS SUBVERT® SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE, SUSTAINABLE, GREEN, ETC.? These principles form the very core of Subvert®. Whenever possible, I use existing materials for products (a.k.a. 'upcycling'). For example, prayer flags are made from thrift store sheets, art cards are made with beer and cereal boxes, and hat patches are either retired prayer flags or printed on thrift store curtains or sheets. When I do buy items to be printed (like T-shirts or hats), I strive to support the best in the business. I currently offer made in the USA T-shirts, and hats made of organic cotton and recycled plastic, for example.
WHAT'S UP WITH THE RAYS? The sun rays found in most of the Subvert® imagery is intended to highlight an otherwise common item or act. It puts it in a different context, and gives it a quality of significance.
WHAT IS LINOLEUM? Linoleum (a.k.a. 'lino') is a floor covering made from renewable materials such as solidified linseed oil, pine rosin, and ground cork dust. The heavier gauges of linoleum are known as “battleship linoleum,” and are mainly used in high-traffic situations like offices and public buildings. It was originally manufactured to meet the specifications of the U.S. Navy for warship deck covering on enclosed decks instead of wood, hence the name. Most U.S. Navy warships removed their linoleum deck coverings following the attack on Pearl Harbor, as they were considered too flammable. Because it is made of organic materials and is purportedly non-allergenic in nature, high quality linoleum is still in use in many places (especially in non-allergenic homes, hospitals and health care facilities). Linoleum is used in break dancing as an alternative to cardboard as it provides a large, slick and durable surface. Early in the twentieth century, a group of Dresden artists adapted the printmaking techniques for woodcut prints to linoleum, thus creating the linocut printmaking technique. Prominent artists who created linocut prints included Picasso and Henri Matisse.
WHEN CAN I EXPECT MY ORDER? In most cases, I print to order. I typically have the necessary stock on hand, and strive to ship your order within one week of receiving it. I will do my best to inform you if there might be a delay for some reason. If you need to get your order within a specific time frame, please include a note when completing your purchase.
WILL THE IMAGE FADE? It depends on the product. The block prints on T-shirts will fade somewhat over time with repeated washing. Most folks I've asked about this say they love how the image subtly changes over time. I have shirts from 2009 that have gotten used and abused but still look great. If the print will not be washed (e.g., on prayer flags, stickers, hats, and art cards), you shouldn't notice much, if any, fading.
CAN I REQUEST SOMETHING CUSTOM / NOT FOUND ON THE WEBSITE? I love special orders! In fact, new products are often inspired by an order from a creative customer. Feel free to run ideas by me and I will do my best to work with you to realize the vision.