Red Hydrant Press is the studio and gallery of local printmaking artist Alynn Guerra. It is located in the historic Tanglefoot building which still bears the name of the company that first manufactured fly strips here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
That's where I work now, but the road to becoming a self-sufficient artist has been one with lots of bends, and obstacles.
While trying to get a degree in Graphic communication I got a change of heart that led me to study traditional art; without a sense of purpose but a romantic idea of becoming an artist, I found the very wonderful art of printmaking. The sense of purpose I didn't find until many years later.
My fascination with printmaking was sparked by German expressionist prints and Mexican revolution posters, but back then I was a highschool student and I didn't even dream about being an artist, let alone a printmaker. It seemed nearly impossible to transform an image from positive to negative and then positive again, transmuting a plain sketch into a bold and vibrant design.
Turns out that learning the technique wasn't as hard as actually creating something good. On bad days I still struggle with it, especially during the long gray Michigan winters; yet, it was here where I found my sense of purpose and what being fired up by it means. In 2002 I became aware of the politics of food; the urgency to spread this information turned into inspiration and the drive to create lots of prints.
Coincidentally, this is why I feel passionate about printmaking; its history of powering social movements and the accessibility and affordability of fine art multiples makes this, a very humble but powerful form of art.
After 20+ years of being an artist I have found that Inspiration doesn't show up as a sudden flash of images and ideas and an irresistible urge to create, it comes from being present and paying attention to the seemingly boring, vanal, minuscule, moments and elements that surround us, sparking curiosity and leading us to ask ourselves questions that turn into research and discovery. This "useless" information is what inspire my work.