Paloma Chavez (US Version)

Paloma Chavez (French Version - en cours)

Recently, I have been contacted on forum, as I was introducing my blog, by Erin Page who noticed that there was few girls answering my interviews. This is (was ?) true, and this is the reason why I am so pround today to introduce you Paloma Chavez who really deserves to be the first US female artist interviewed by the CrewK. Hope to have a lot more onlined soon. 

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you? 

"Obstáculo" by Ana Tijoux

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do? 

My name is Paloma Chavez, I live in the U.S. - Milwaukee, WI. I'm a graphic designer + screen print artist. I lived in Chicago for a little while where I really started to get immersed in screen print art. I think a lot of it had to do with getting tired of sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen all day long, I just wanted to get my hands dirty. I eventually learned about Steve Walters who runs a coop called Screwball. I eventually became a member there and learned how to screen print from him. It's an incredible place to be. You're completely surrounded by a TON of posters all over the place ranging from artists who've been doing this for a couple weeks to established artists who've been printing for 20+ years... it's amazing.

When did you start drawing?
I've always been creative since I was a kid. I did a lot more drawing back then. Nowadays it's almost all graphic design work.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
I always wanted to go to school for something creative, but I didn't really know what to study or what I wanted to do after I finished studying. I ended up majoring in Communication Design (Graphic Arts) mostly because I didn't know what else to do to be honest. Falling into something, accidentally, is a funny thing. Especially when you realize it's something you like and, it turns out, you're good at. I'd say my work has improved the most in the last year, getting into more screen print work. It makes me think about the way I design a lot differently than I have in the past. It poses a lot of restrictions that I have to work within... I have to think a lot more about what I'm doing and why it is I'm doing it that way.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ? 

Technically both. I have a regular 9-5 working as a graphic designer for a marketing agency in the greater Milwaukee area. Outside of work, I do screen print work, specifically screen printed gig posters.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?

I'm incredibly influenced by all the artists that are a part of the screen print community. Once I realized there even WAS a screen print community, all these artists completely blew my mind right from the beginning. Artists like: Aesthetic Aparatus, Burlesque of North America, Little Friends of Printmaking, Scott Campbell, Jason Munn of The Small Stakes, Delicious Design League... lots of people.

What are the principal steps in your work ?
It depends, the process always seems to change. The main goal in doing screen printed gig posters, for me, is to visually show the sound of the band. Whether I ever reach that goal is questionable. I don't always feel like I get it right, but that's what I strive for every time. How I get there is always different. Sometimes, I listen to the band, sometimes I'll listen to bands that have a similar feel, I'll do a lot of research on the band or potential concepts I've got floating around in my head, and just move on from there. A lot of it is computer work. After that, it's fumbling around trying to figure out how that final concept gets printed... that part's a whole 'nother animal.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
For the most part the computer. It's been a long LONG time since I've felt confident enough to work by hand. But I'm starting to realize that going straight to the computer with an idea isn't always the best/quickest way to get to that final point in the artwork. I've been trying to do a lot more beginning sketching lately.

How long does it take you to do a poster?
Really depends. Some ideas are quick and happen within a few hours, other times it takes staying up all night, or working for weeks straight.

You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?

I don't purposely set out to have a specific style. I just tend to work the way my brain's been wired to work. If someone - out of nowhere - asked me to do an oil painting, they'd find out pretty quick they asked the wrong person.

For which band have you already worked for?  

Just recently finished up some posters for Volcano Choir + the Rur

For which band would you love to work?  

Way too many to name.

Do you choose the artists yourself?  

Yeah for the most part. Since this is something I do outside of my day job, I tend to pick things to work on that I'm really interested in or a fan of. It keeps it from feeling like all I do in my life is work.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ? 

The most difficult part about designing a poster is the entire process itself from beginning to end. You're always striving to get to the best possible solution you can think of. Whether you get there or not is a whole 'nother thing. But when you do get to the end, and you've got a solid piece of work, it makes all the difficulties you had getting there well-worth it.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
I think I'm just starting out getting involved in something that's had a major resurgence in the last 10 years or so. Everyone that I've met along the way have been incredibly encouraging, supportive and inspiring. I don't know if I'd call that a 'scene' so much as a community that I feel lucky to be a part of.

A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?

If you ever happen to find yourself out in the midwest, you'd find my work at various shows around town. If you're looking online, you can find more of my work at:


The best praise you received lately?
I recently found out Little Friends of Printmaking actually knew who I was. That in and of itself was the best praise I've gotten so far.

What can we wish you for the future?
Uhhh... that I can focus long enough not to burn myself out and keep doing whatever it is I'm doing.

Last question  Do you know anything about french rock posters scene ?  

No. That's probably the wrong answer. I should probably look some artists up quick before I say anything.

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!
Thanks so much for asking me to be a part of this.

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