Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Artist Spotlight: AFH Photography grad back to lend a hand in screen printing
Chris Rogers is 20 years old and from Boston, Massachusetts. He started out in the photography studio when he was a high school sophomore and has since graduated from high school, received an associates degree from Bunker Hill and is back at AFH as an unofficial mentor to the other students in the screen- printing studio. He plans on going back to college next year to pursue his bachelor's degree. After talking to him, I see him as a Jack-of-all trades type, with many different pursuits and skills in the arts realm. He is putting into practice the skills he learned while at Artists for Humanity and continues to build on the strong relationships he established here.
How was it coming back to AFH being a high school graduate?
It is really comforting. Although most people from my generation are no longer here, I like everyone here and am pretty much friends with everyone. There’s an amazing community here and I am constantly getting a lot of help and guidance from my mentors who helped me when I was still in high school as well as now, being out of high school. They needed help in the screen- printing studio so I offered to help. There is always something to do here. There is no room for standing around, you can always be busy doing something.
How successful do you think the screen-printing studio is right now, even in the economic recession we are in?
We’re still really busy! It doesn’t really seem to be affecting us poorly. As everyone keeps telling me, it is T-shirt season so we have still been pretty successful. We also print hats, sneakers, hoodies and even underwear.
Do you think there is an artistic element to screen printing?
Yeah definitely! To do screen printing you have to be intuitive and it totally requires an artistic feel. Anyone here can come up with a design, then we send it to the graphic design studio, print it out and then start screen printing it on T-shirts. We print logo’s for Cheers, Summer Shack and we also do some of our own original designs. We have this one T-shirt design that has been really popular which is of Hayden and Keith’s cat (both of whom work at AFH) with this cool white swirl around it.
How do you think AFH has prepared you for your future?
Before coming to AFH, I only took a few broad art classes and learned a little about graphic design. Coming to AFH pushed me in the direction I wanted to be in. Here, there are so many different forms of art media: painting, sculpture, web design, screen printing and I wouldn’t have known about all of these things without being at AFH. It is hard to focus on one thing for what I want to do in the future. That is why I like working here. There is no room for standing around, you can always be busy doing something here.
Can you see yourself taking the skills you learned here and applying them to whatever you do later in life?
I have learned so much at AFH. A lot of the projects I am working on now I learned here at Artists for Humanity. Me and a few others who also work at AFH started a skateboarding team of about 40 kids, some of whom are my friends from beforehand, and others who saw us skateboarding and asked us to join. We created a website (sandyrivercustoms.com) around our skateboarding team with photographs and videos of the skateboarders so that some of them can get sponsors. We have some amazing skateboarders in our group so we have been working on taking video’s of them and posting them on social media websites like Twitter, facebook, Youtube to get the word out about them. We are also working on designing T-shirts for our team. There is nothing that is like this for skating in the city, so it would be really cool to turn this into our own business. I have also done some song and music producing the last few years.
Wow cool! It seems like you are really applying the entrepreneurial and marketing skills you learned at AFH to start up new projects and businesses on your own.