Vincent Hulme is a lithographer, serigrapher, writer, and performer, or as he explains on his website: He’s doing his best to spread the word of Vince.
A snowman is breathing glitch fire next to a naked couple having an intimate moment in bed; there are flowers everywhere. Pink letters are forming the words “I loved you for too long” above them. Artist Vincent Hulme’s Tumblr feed is as ironic as it is aesthetically pleasing; it’s also his biggest source of inspiration. His contemporary style can easily be found in the feed.
Vincent lets us into his apartment with a shy smile; it’s a Monday morning, and we’re all tired. The colors of his prints, hanging in his room, immediately energizes us, though. They are perfectly printed in purple and green. When making a print, the first step for Vincent is always to create a prototype by playing around with different images, colors, or shapes in Photoshop. The printing can finally begin after he’d gotten it back as an offset plate from the plate maker. “I always go back to printing. That’s the one thing I do recurrently”, he explains.
Before moving to Berlin six years ago, Vincent was studying Fine Arts at Concordia in Montreal, specializing in screen printing. Now he spends his days working as an art teacher, scrolling Tumblr for inspiration, and practicing his art, which means spending a lot of time by the offset printing press in his studio.
A tiny lift is taking us down to the underground floor in the impressive Kunstquartier Bethanien, where Vincent makes his prints. With its big machines and small paint stains, the studio’s atmosphere is both industrial and creative. Seeing him move in the space makes it seem like we’ve stepped into his second home.
The print he’s working on at the moment was inspired by the idea of printing the color brown. The prototype image shows an intriguing pattern of lines in purple and orange, surrounded by a background in different shades of brown. To reach this result, he’s printing multiple layers on top of each other — all with different colors and shapes.
Since every layer needs to dry before a new one can be printed, it takes Vincent several days to finish the artwork. He usually makes ten versions of it and then chooses the best ones as his selection of limited prints, all though this particular piece will be in a maximum edition of four.
While systematically moving the big canvases between the printer and the drying rack, Vincent tells us that the bigger you make a print, the more room there are for mistakes. This used to make him nervous but not anymore. As his confidence has grown, so has his canvases. “I just keep wanting to print bigger and bigger,” he says laughingly.