Maker: TheRoadMoreFitz: Custom Screen Printing

We’re excited to announce Aaron & Brandi Fitzpatrick will be exhibiting at the 2nd Annual Sunshine Coast Mini Maker Faire on Sunday May 29th.

Le Family Fitz

Q & A about Screen Printing

1. How did you get into screen printing?

Screen printing is something I’ve been interested in for quite a while now. Back in Hamilton, ON (where I’m from), I was running in some activist/artist circles in the downtown, and there were always screen-printing workshops going on. It can be a pretty easy to make your own clothing designs, and you can pretty much do anything you want. I’ve always been an artist, musician and entrepreneur, and screen printing provides a new outlet for me to express myself, as well as allowing me to create fashionable and consumable products with a personalized touch.

2. Is screen printing a vanishing art? Is there a movement to save this unique technique?

I’m not sure if screen printing is a vanishing art. However, I don’t know if screen printing has ever really been ‘mainstream’ form of artistic expression either. It seems like home-made screen printing projects have always existed in one form or another, in the studios of struggling artists, or in our case, in the bedroom closets of the happily self-employed. As long as word of the technique continues to be spread through artist circles or to musicians looking to save a few bucks by printing their own merch., I think screen printing will always maintain some sort of presence.

3. Do you ever offer workshops?

We haven’t offered any workshops yet. But through our lives, my wife Brandi and I have always prided ourselves on running in circles where the ‘each one, teach one’ motto was strongly passed along. We’ve always attended a variety of workshops throughout our lives on a variety of subject, and we’re always looking to learn something new. So if people are looking to learn something new from us, screen printing might be something we could teach.

4. Can you print outside designs if they are created properly for screen printing?

It’s definitely possible to print outside designs. I’m still fairly new to my experiences with the screen printing process, so I’m still kind of wrapping my head out the best way to go about successfully printing your design. But with good communication on what’s hoped of for from the final result, pretty much anything can be screen printed.

5. Where can people learn more about screen printing and designing for screen printing?

When I first started researching screen printing, I was gathering information mostly from YouTube tutorials. We were also able to get our hands on a ‘screen printing kit’, which came with an instructional DVD. Most of the material I have come across so far, though, hasn’t touched very much on the actual ‘design’ aspect of screen printing. I’ve spent a good part of my life working in graphic design, so I’ve been able to combine my knowledge in that field with the little bits and pieces I’ve gathered on screen printing, and the results so far have been pretty nice.

6. How are you liking living on the Coast?

Moving to the Sunshine Coast has been a pretty big transition for me, but Brandi and our two children (ages 2 and 9), are taking to the coast like grey whales to the Georgia Strait. For me, the coast itself has been a real breath of fresh air (almost literally!) compared to where we’re coming from in the ‘Steel City’ of Hamilton, ON. Where I’ve struggled is mostly with homesickness, having called Hamilton ‘home’ for my entire life. I left a lot of deep-running connections behind in southern Ontario, but it’s all been for the benefit of my wife and kids, who are thriving on the Coast. And for my first time living abroad, I couldn’t really have picked a much better place than the Sunshine Coast. Overall, we’re loving our time here! I had never seen an eagle before I came here, and now they wake me up every morning with their beautiful calls. I’ve experienced many firsts here since we arrived last August, and many of these experiences are making for great inspirations for some of the work we’re doing as we explore the world of hand made crafts and art.

7. Are there any collaborations you are interested in with local makers or makers from the worldwide network of maker faires?

We are interested in collaborating with local makers. We’ve already made connections with some very talented people, whose interests are wide ranging and very exciting. We’ve met blacksmiths and musicians and authors and artists, all residing on the Sunshine Coast. And the more experience we gain with our art and the screen printing technique, I feel like the list of potential collaborations is endless.

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