Art News

The Other Art Fair Chicago: The Framebridge Artist Studio x Todd Irwin

The Other Art Fair Chicago’s new Official Framing Partner, Framebridge, is partnering with local Chicago artist Todd Irwin to offer a bespoke artwork printed live on site for Fair visitors in the Framebridge Artist Studio.

Visitors will be able choose their background design then watch as a design (custom to each day) is printed on top. Stop by the Framebridge Artist Studio for an exclusive discount and guidance on how to frame your art (their new West Loop store is just blocks away)

The Framebridge team caught up with Todd ahead of the Fair to find out more on what drives his creative process and where he finds his inspiration

Todd @iprintfakeshit is a multidisciplinary artist who works in several facets of artistic production including design, printmaking, and sculpture. His work shows a bold graphic quality with subtle social commentary and affinity for the multiple.

When did you begin your practice in print design, particularly mixing mark making and striking, bold colored backgrounds?

I started screen printing in 1999. It was my first real job after high school. The process seemed so timeless and real. Something clicked and I never looked back. In those days, I wasn’t even making my own art, just printing for others. But all those t-shirt graphics, over time, started to inform my eye. That’s probably why I’m so drawn to color now. It hooks you.

How would you say your art practice has changed over time?

Early on my work was much more didactic. That was during the Bush years and I was feeling charged politically – and screen printing is (and always has been) a perfect medium for churning out protest graphics. Culture jamming was more of a thing then, too. That impulse is still at the core of my practice, but over the years I have increasingly embraced nuance within my work.

How would you say your use of collage in your practice enhances the final product?

I would say that my work is closely informed by the screen printing process. Many decisions are made intuitively at the press, which is a more freeing way to work. My hope is that this use of collage speaks to my approach and to a printmaking vernacular of traditional show posters and 20th century commercial prints.

What do you hope to convey to the art-loving public of Chicago with your four prints?

The four prints I am presenting are part of an ongoing series called Sunset Clipart. My hope is that viewers respond to my use of color, and find moments in each composition that allows their imagination and mind to wander.

How do you hope people will react to your work at the Framebridge Artist Studio?

I am excited to share my work and show people my process! Screen printing on site is always a challenge, but I am also thrilled to share this printing method with others who are new to the process.

Would you say the process you use in your artworks paints a picture for what the future of art might look like?

This period in time has us so inundated with graphics. More than ever before we are navigating images online and in real life. It’s really interesting. Thinking about memes and emoticons, there has been a real evolution in visual literacy. I can’t say what the future has in store, but I think there will be an increased interest in abstraction as a response.

What does Chicago mean to you as a creative home?

Chicago has offered me countless opportunities over the years, especially within the printmaking community. I owe so much gratitude. It’s a great city to be an artist. And I say that after living in NYC (which is also a city place to be an artist), but Chicago will let you play the long game without totally burning you out.

Your artwork takes inspiration from the everyday, reimagining the mundane, how do you pick your individual designs?

I am constantly looking. Like when you are shopping for nothing in particular, but then something jumps out at you. I’ll see a halftone on a pizza box or an old letterform. Then I’ll snap a pic with my phone. My camera roll is full of random textures and crap from thrift stores. I guess I am responding to moments where I might detect the hand of the maker from behind a computer or a printing press. A lot of imagery in my prints comes from past client work I have done too – now recycled and abstracted into something new.

And finally what advice would you give to an aspiring artist who would like to delve into print and design?

The best advice is to surround yourself with the people doing the work that you want to be doing. Put in the time. Then put yourself out there. Then put in some more time.

Join our Official Framing Partner, Framebridge,  Todd and hundreds of other amazing artists at The Other Art Fair Chicago this weekend at Revel, Fulton Market, Sept – Oct 3. Get your tickets by clicking below!

You can Framebridge just about anything, online or at a store near you. To find out more visit