Pulling Prints with Joel Selby of This Paper Ship

Local Illustration Powerhouse Gets Their Print On

We have a vibrant creative scene here in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill. This area is packed with top-notch talent across the board. From design & illustration to motion graphics and development if we need it done well we do not have to look far from home. In the illustration area one of my favorites is This Paper Ship.

Husband and Wife team Joel and Ashley Selby have been running This Paper Shop for just about 10 years now. I found out about them through a class they were holding on hand-lettering at Gather in downtown Cary almost 6 years ago. I have always loved their spin on classic mid-century modern illustration, heavily influenced by the great Mary Blair. Right in my wheelhouse. I had a great time in the class and immediately started social stalking them for a continuous stream of inspiration. Over those many years we always had been meaning to get together and talk shop, but life and family and all the things just whisked the time away and here we are 6 years later and opportunity finally presented itself.

Hand-Printed Goods

A few weeks ago Joel emailed me and we went back and forth a bit on life, business and illustration. They had been trying to knock out this beautiful travel poster while giving screen printing a try and were having a few issues getting it down to a science so he asked if I would be willing to print them to get things moving along. I suggested that he come out and we finally make that meeting happen. Joel showed up with some ink a screen and ready to go. I walked him through the screen prep and press setup. He was 90% there. Just a few small details that at times can make or break the entire process. In no time Joel was pulling prints like a champ.

Joel Selby of This Paper Ship
The Fabulous Joel Selby of This Paper Ship

We had a blast together catching up and taking design, print, business and all points in between. As we were printing I would randomly toss a few other colors of paper (French Paper of course!) in the mix just to see what it looked like when we lifted the screen. It always looked great. Near the end we even tossed some other colors on there and got some beautiful split-fountain prints out of the deal. It is always those unexpected and unplanned experiments that yield the most fun results.

In return for having Joel out I am looking forward to visiting their new homestead and studio soon and getting the full lowdown on some letterpress printing and hopefully together we can each help the other make new products and keep us inspired with new techniques. Thanks so much for your time, talent and wisdom Joel! And congrats to you and Ashley on baby girl #2!

LOOK! Split Fountain Goodness!