Since you aren't printmakers, what is the collaborative process like working with a printmaker to produce your images? 

 

When we decide to make a printed piece, the first thing we do in our creative process is to select which workshop or printer we want to collaborate with, taking into account the type of print work required. During the collaborative printing process we try to take advantage of the tools and experience of the printer selected for each art piece. If it is a large piece of screen printing for an individual print or the sheet for a handmade book, specially if made with analog positives, it is very important for us to work with the most experienced printers in the city of Oaxaca, since it requires a lot of skill to make these types of prints. When we collaborate in this way, we deliver the positives, paper and color palette to the printers and we can only appreciate the final result once the entire project is ready. On the other hand, if the work is a risography, we can select the printing workshop based on the colors that workshop handles. Since the printing is done by a risograph machine, we can select one in Oaxaca or one in other part of the country. In this case the images we create are translated into computer files and are sent digitally, the dialogue that we have with this type of printers, in general, is not face-to-face. In the case of traditional engravings, it is very different because these types of pieces are made directly in the printing workshops in Oaxaca, and during this collaborative processes, tests and changes are made on several occasions, always with the advice and guidance of the printers.

As two independently brilliant artists, what is your collaborative process like?

 

As artists and publishers it is very important to us and we highly value our independence, since we fully trust each other's decisions and abilities during each project. For this reason there are some collaborative projects between us and others that we run separately within our studio. In general, we work on our pieces as artists completely independently, occasionally asking for a slight opinion on some aspect of them. In the case of projects where joint decisions are involved, we usually talk about color palettes for printing, paper and book formats as well as discuss drawing, painting or printing techniques, especially when doing projects with other artists for our small press.

Mirel, what do you love about Alfonso’s work?

 

I love the themes and compositions of Alfonso´s artwork, his use of colors which are usually darker than my own palette, and his amazing skills as an artist, when using so many different techniques. 

 

Alfonso, what do you love about Mirel’s work?

 

I am very inspired by the way she develops her projects and her ability to synthesize concrete and defined ideas.

What music, movies, book, etc. are you finding inspiration from these days?

 

Mirel: I really like bands like Warpaint, Radiohead, M83, The Knife and MGMT among other bands. Books by artists who inspire me a lot like Hilma af Klint, Cisco Jiménez, Pedro Friederberg, Etel Adnan and Rosa Loy, as well as the book of Tao, the I Ching, and a book that I am just beginning to read called Thought Forms from the beginning of 1905. There are many films that I love and inspire me from directors like Michel Gondry, Wes Anderson and Jim Jarmusch, especially from the latter, Dead Man, which I also absolutely love its music.

 

Alfonso: Art books constantly inspire me in my work. I see everything from Italian fresco artists, primitive art, Goya, Gauguin, Flemish art, contemporary painting, avant-garde, Mexican muralism, etc. I consider myself an artist in constant learning and exploration. As for music, I don't have a favorite genre, but I really like listening to music from the 80's, 70's, 60's and 50's. As a musician, I have learned to love genres, from classical to contemporary psychedelia. In movies, I really enjoy horror movies and suspense.

Can you tell us what about bright colors you are both so drawn to?

 

As Mexicans, vibrant colors predominate and are an important part of our culture and way of life, wherever you go there is always very vivid colors creating beautiful harmonies. If you go to a museum or see a book on Mexican painting, there are bright colors; if you go to a town or a market, everything is full of colored objects that brighten the spirit. Handicrafts, popular art, as well as traditional clothing.

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