In this month's FOUND we caught up with two hardworking dudes at Risology Club, a DIY print studio in East Nashville located at our favorite DIY venue, Queen Ave! They use a Risograph, a high-speed digital printer that was made famous in the 90s. Think of it as the lovechild of an old-school photocopier and a laser printer. Read our interview with co-founders Graeme Morris and Josh Shearon on how they got Risology Club started, what they've been working on, some inspirations, and where you can purchase their work. Follow them @risologyclub to keep posted on all things Risograph!
What is Risology Club? What do you guys do?
Risology Club is a printing studio in Nashville that specializes in high quantity duplication via Risograph printers. We run posters, flyers, invitations, stationery, record covers, art prints, zines, and do the majority of the production work on those types of projects.
Who is involved? How did you guys meet?
The studio is ran by Graeme Morris, and myself, Josh Shearon. We have other studio-mates as well, but we conduct all the official R.C. business. We met each other while getting our BFA’s at MTSU, and now we both work in the graphic design industry here in Nashville.
What’s your mission?
To learn and grow as artists first and foremost, but we really have set out to provide Risograph printing to any and all who are interested in it, locally and regionally. We know the more people who are familiar with the process, means more people will seek it out. So while it might not be our last mission, our current one is educating via accessibility.
How did you guys hook up with Queen Ave?
Graeme found out about the studio space behind the venue from Tyler who started the collective. They had just started a Hat company, Dad Hats, together so they had a vision. Graeme jumped at the opportunity to have studio space, and we had been collaborating on some art, so he invited me to join in on all the fun. I had been preaching the Risograph gospel for a couple of years from my house.
Where do you find your equipment?
We’ve gotten most of the machines off Craigslist, or from eBay. The machines themselves have come from out-of-business print shops, fellow creatives upgrading, churches, or colleges.
What inspires your work?
Josh: Humans, living and dead.
Graeme: Taqueria Andrea down the street from Queen Ave, biggest influence!
What’s been your favorite/ coolest job so far?
I’d say the coolest thing we’ve done yet is this book of poetry by Jeremy McAnulty called Echos + Loops. He commissioned illustrations that were created on a Harmonograph by Mark Bond of The Features. Mark set the instrument up for a demo in the studio during a Book Fair event that happened at Queen earlier this spring, and he blew everyone’s minds. I think it was then when we felt like we really had a hand in something COOL happening in Nashville. We love music, but it’s always nice seeing Nashville elevated and inspired without it being in the forefront.
What events do you do?
We have open studio hours pretty much anytime a good band plays Queen Ave. Since we’re in the studio a lot, those are the easiest events to do. We just open the doors or mention it on Instagram. Events we’ve participated in lately have been book fairs, and exhibition style art / literary parties. We have some other things lined up this year, and are always interested putting the Riso on a pedestal for the evening.
What do you see Risology Club doing in the future?
Well we don’t want to circumscribe ourselves just as printers, so in the future we’re wanting to really focus on being a design / creative studio. We both have 5+ years of experience as graphic designers, so it would be great to incorporate things like art direction or consultation into the risology studio.
Are you guys from Nashville? How long have you been here?
We’re both from Nashville. Graeme is from Hendersonville, and I grew up in East Nashville.
What are your favorite mediums to work with?
Marker, newsprint, found images, glue, tape and bright saturated foliage that you can wring the sweet juices out of :).
Describe your creative process.
Think. Sketch. Think. Erase. Sketch again! Think more, and celebrate when something is good enough.
Any favorite bands you’ve worked with?
Natural Child is a studio favorite. We’ve ran a couple of different posters for them in the last year. Other than those guys, we are really more of an ally to the artist/ designers who are creating the work for their favorite bands. Our favorite people we’re making prints or zines for are Story Beeson, Davis Gooch, Sam Jaco, and Harry Kagan. Oh, and Music Band is our other favorite! Can I Live?
What are you working on now?
Right now, we’re getting ready for the Earthwhile Collective Artistry Fair and Skill Share that’s happening at Fond Object in September. We’re going to be doing a zine demo and selling some zines, art prints, and books.
Where can people find your work, purchase your work, contact you about making posters/flyers?
Well, best way to reach us for design and printing is sending us an email. You can also buy things we’ve been making on our site Risology Club.
Thanks for showing us around, you guys rule. Anything else you’d like to share?
We want to give a shout out to our Nashville makers over at Fort Houston, as well as all those in this city who inspire us as artists, including you guys, thanks for talking to us OGFUZZ!
Thanks Risology Club! All studio photos and work by Graeme and Josh at the Risology Club in East Nashville, TN.
FOUND is a monthly series by Original Fuzz Magazine. We aim to discover visual artists from every corner of the world, no matter the background or creative vision. We believe that all art is as important to our culture as music, words, news, science, even religion. FOUND celebrates the visual and those who create it, serving as a platform for the creative pioneers who embody Original Fuzz and our products.
FOUND is brought to you by Liz Earle, a freelance writer and purveyor of curiosity and imagination in the arts.