We all have a t-shirt, a CD or even better – a vinyl from our favourite band. I like the touch, the material rendition of a memory connected with the band. But what about the process of printing? And more importantly – the people behind it? What follows is the story of such person.
I met Dido Peshev somewhere in 2012. It must have been a concert or something. The guy is not your typical in-your-face hardcore kid. He tends to keep to himself, but when spoken to it’s easy to notice that he has things to say. And show. He’s a guitar player in Them Frequencies – a Sofia based band that stands out with their unique sound. Check them out if you’re into something mathy and Converge-y. The thing that sparked the interest in me was that Dido was also behind a very interesting project – Brave Moustache.
It didn’t take me long to see how passionate is he about it. He’s been into screen-printing for roughly two years when he stumbled upon it. It was the handmade process and the preparation behind it that further motivated him to start doing it. He spoke passionately about the process of exposing the screen, covered with light sensitive emulsion. Quite close to photography, actually – resulting in a negative version of the design.
I spent a day with him trying out a new design. It wasn’t my first time at his place – furniture and clutter kept to the bare minimum. Walls are mostly covered with Brave Moustache stickers and prints can be seen all over the place. Evidences of his passion for screen printing don’t stop here. As he was preparing the materials for the print he was focused and there was a nice sense of care in his actions. I got to observe the whole process. From the choice of design to drying the ink on the t-shirt, he likes to do things with great caution- thinking and using his hands as often as possible. As he was washing the screen he even preferred using a regular shower head to a high-pressure water cleaner that he had laying around.
Covered in photo emulsion and ink he told me about some of his previous prints. The way they turned out from the first try. The silly mistakes he’s done. The countless problems he’s encountering. I even got to see him handling one- he overexposed the first screen, but quickly realised his mistake and went straight for the second try. He definitely handles this trial and error method better than I did.
The tools he uses are mostly built by him. Printing table sticking out of a bookcase is something awesome to see! As DIY as you can get. He finds tools and materials from a range of places- just ask him about local crafts shops or places on the internet.
He also has a unique approach to offering his work. He wants to be personally involved in the process as much as possible- meeting you and discussing instead of just shipping the ready product. His whole attitude adds to the experience of getting something by him. He mentioned his interest in printing in front of people, something I’m quite looking forward to seeing.
And since this is already double the length I planned it to be I just wanted to add how awesome it is to have such people around. Pay attention and support your local craftsmen and artists, otherwise we’re in for a very boring long ride.