Interview by Chrissy Crawford, ArtStar
ArtStar: How did you get started in the art printing business? Are you an artist yourself?
Aleks: Absolutely not. My painting skills approach that of a 10yr old and drawing is only incrementally better, so seriously NO, definitely NOT an artist. I do love woodworking, but if you consider the countless “in-progress” (read: never gonna finish) woodworking projects that I’m working on, I’m not sure if that qualifies. Photography is a big love of mine as well, and I do like to get out and shoot whatever/whenever possible, especially if it can be turned into a road trip.
As for getting started in art printing, it’s not very sexy I suppose but in a previous life I was a partner at a Discovery and Trial Presentation Services company where I technically got my start in wide format printing. This wasn’t fine art printing by any means but we utilized similar equipment and I was able to cut my teeth by printing trial presentation artwork for clients and learning digital capture techniques. Fast forward to 2005 when a good friend approached me about helping him build a company that would serve both as a marketplace for art shoppers as well as a platform for emerging artists. I jumped at the chance, and we went on to build Imagekind.com. It was there that I really learned about things like proper image preparation, substrates, why pigment ink is better, colorimetry and most importantly how to build a color managed workflow.
Artstar: Why are ArtStar prints gallery quality prints?
Aleks: Well for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason of course is the content and quality of subject matter on ArtStar. But beyond that, ArtStar prints are gallery quality prints for three very simple reasons:
- Very high image quality standard such as clarity, color and resolution. [ArtStar] makes it easy for us to make beautiful prints!
- Quality of materials and substrates used for ArtStar prints.
- Sophisticated prodution techniques/equipment & expert execution
ArtStar: What do Hahnemuhle paper and archival mean?
Aleks: Honestly the two are synonymous with each other. In the context of art printing, archival means long life. Prints made using archival techniques are expected to not only live but also look perfect, for tens if not hundreds of years. Similarly, Hahnemuhle is the oldest paper mill in existence, dating back 4 centuries and I believe were the first to invent inkjet capable fine art papers. Though there are now lots of choices available in fine art papers both for art reproductions as well as photography, Hahnemuhle still represent the pinnacle of quality in archival printing and is among our favorite paper manufacturers.
ArtStar: What do you and Spoon (your dog) like to do on the weekends?
Aleks: When she’s not on Tinder, Spoons favorite weekend activities include harassing any and all birds (and/or skateboarders) and adding to her stick collection. Oh and swimming; preferably in fast moving river water, although crashing waves on the coast is ok too.
As for me, I just do whatever spoon tells me.
ArtStar: What is your favorite ArtStar print and why?
Aleks: Oh man that’s tough. I really love a lot of the work on ArtStar for different reasons. As a hobbyist photographer I like to shoot a lot of architecture and city/landscapes so I’m drawn to images like Urbanology #3 (Irene Suchocki), Glitter at Dusk (Irene Suchocki) and CA-58 (Noel Kerns). Zaria Forman is amazing and Greenland #62 in particular is monumental for me. I’m totally fascinated by big wave riding and the guts that it takes to commit to that, so I’m really loving Late Drop (Grant Rohloff). All that said, my fav piece right now is Mark Mann’s portrait of Bill Murray because it’s beautiful, imperfect, demonstrative and more importantly it makes me laugh every time I look at it.
Interview by Chrissy Crawford, ArtStar