Featured Screen Printing Shop: Pop Octopus
What is your role and the name of your screen printing business?
Owner and Chief Weirdo at Pop Octopus
What is the story behind your screen printing business?
“I had a degree in graphic design and illustration but was working crappy restaurant jobs with some freelance design on the side. I decided it was time to try something else and bought a basic shop’s worth of equipment that I had to rescue out of a barn in Estacada Oregon. I taught myself how to screen print and started a t-shirt company. We did pretty well selling online, at fairs and wholesaling but the whole mass production thing got a little tiresome after 10 years or so. I decided to start making art instead. Now I make prints and paintings that combine screen printing and hand painting techniques.”
Tell me a little bit about the structure of your company.
“I’m the president and janitor of Pop Octopus Industries. I pretty much do it all.”
What are your most proud moments as a screen printing shop?
“I think just building something from nothing, having return customers come back year after year and knowing that my work has been seen all over the world. That’s pretty cool.”
What is it like to work at your screen printing shop?
“Wake up, go out to the garage and start working. Try not to get too distracted and find the motivation and inspiration to be productive. I can be slow to start but once I get going I really get going.”
What kinds of printing does your shop specialize in?
“Original art prints. I combine screen printing with graffiti style and hand painting techniques”
How did you find your niche?
“I just went with what I like to do, the subject matter is primarily sci-fi and pop culture oriented and I just do what I want and take chances. If the love is there you’ll find a place for it and other people will love it too. Also, I love to paint on old wooden screens, I kind’ve gotten known for that.”
What kind of ink do you print with?
“Mostly Speedball Acrylic Poster ink, I’m not really doing garment printing anymore”
What kind of Ryonet equipment and/or supplies do you use in your shop?
“Virtually everything in my shop is from Ryonet. Since it’s headquartered in my town it’s kind’ve hard not to use.”
What made you choose this equipment and/or supplies?
“Value, convenience, ease of acquisition. Ryonet’s pretty good at basically unrolling the carpet to your front door.”
When did you start working with this equipment and/or supplies?
“My first press and gear was rescued from a barn well before Ryonet was even a company. As Ryonet grew I kind’ve just grew along with it. I got my Riley Hopkins press and Black Body dryer around 2007 or so. Everything else just shows up as I need it.”
How do you feel your equipment and/or supplies have affected your printing?
“Obviously once you start upgrading your gear you upgrade your game. Better equipment means more capability and more credibility as well.”
What is one unique trick or piece of advice that you can pass on to other screen printers?
“In screen printing, just like anything else in life, integrity is what matters. Get your work done on time, deliver what you promise and be easy to work with and you’ll have no shortage of customers.”
You can also find original artwork by Pop Octopus scattered all over the world. Locally, we were excited to see his creations on the walls of Mon Ami, a delightful cafe in downtown Vancouver, WA. His work literally pops off the wall and never fails to impress. We are honored to have such creative spirits as partners in this industry!