Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I am absolutely thrilled to bring back our window installation series for the Summer. The concept is the same, a local artist installs a window display and creates limited edition products to go along with it, but now we're calling it Window Dressing! Our first artist is BT Livermore and his window will be up all of June, starting with a First Friday party June 6th from 5-9pm. Here's an interview we did with BT to learn a little more about him, his process and his window installation!

Your Name:
BT Livermore 
Tell us a little about what type of things you make.

The short answer is that I make whatever tickles my (or my paying client's) fancy on any given day. The long answer is that I am an illustrator, sign painter, letter maker, screenprinter, and I do occasional letterpress and wood work too. I also co-run the facial hair products company, Man's Face Stuff, with Evan Dumas. I get restless pretty quickly when I'm only doing one thing for too long, and I love the process of making things, any thing, so much that I like to have a good variety of skills to have at my disposal wherever the path of inspiration may lead.

How long have you been doing this professionally?
I've been freelancing at least part time since 1999, but full time - and with the same general focus that I do now - since 2006. I used to be a freelance web designer and animator, but grew tired of using computers for the bulk of my work.

What's your favorite part about being a professional full time artist?
Barring any specific deadlines for client work, I have been able to keep to whatever time schedule I wish for many years, to the point where I rarely know what day of the week it is anymore. This is also probably one of the worst things about being a professional full time artist as well.

What's the theme/inspiration for your window installation?
I started with the initial theme of "camping"  but it grew into a broader theme of outdoor adventuring and travel. I grew up in the midwest and went on many summer road trips with my family, and even more once I was able to drive myself. There was a sense of endless possibility of starting a road trip in the middle of the country because my direction of travel wasn't limited by nearby coasts, or the longer distances (and days) required to travel from the outer edges of the country to the opposite side. I could go anywhere and everywhere with relative ease. That's what inspired the name of the show, "Anywhere & Everywhere."

What limited edition items will you be making?
I wanted to keep things in the vein of items you might pick up as souvenirs on a trip. I'll be making some screenprinted felt pennants, a metal flask, and most likely a screenprinted or letterpressed postcard.

What's your favorite thing to do during the month of June in Portland?
Biking, definitely. I love biking in most weather conditions, but June is that first month where you can be pretty sure will be prime bike weather in Portland.

What's your most prized vintage find/vintage possession?
I have a bear skin rug made from a black bear my grandfather shot in the early 1950s. Growing up, I was always told it existed in storage in my grandparents' attic (along with my dad's baseball cards  from when he was a kid). In my teen years, we helped them move from their house into a smaller apartment, and no one could find the bear (or the baseball cards, sadly). Last year, one of my aunts found it tucked away in her garage. It now resides on the wall of my studio, Magnetic North.

We heard you're headed to Montana for the summer. What's your plan for that trip besides fishing and drinking beer?
First off, I'll take whiskey or gin over beer any day. Secondly, I'm not one to take it easy or stop working for too long, so I will be taking all my painting supplies, as well as wood and any other tools I think I may need. I'll be teaching a three-day workshop in hand lettering in late June, and I have an art show booked for August at a gallery in Butte. Besides that, I will be hiking and biking around, getting inspired, and hopefully convincing at least a few local businesses that they are in need of some new signage.

We can't wait for BT's window and I hope to see you all at the opening reception party on Friday June 6th!  Keep an eye out on Instagram for more peeks at his process and limited edition items. We'll be using #windowdressingpdx so you can follow along all Summer!

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