Episode 20: Clay Hickson
Staying Busy and Enjoying the Process
Clay is not only a hugely talented illustrator with a distinctive 70’s vibe who has worked with clients like Netflix, American Express, and Apartemento, but also a very generous and active member of the illustration community. Shortly after graduating from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Clay stumbled across a Craigslist ad for a risograph printer. He took a chance, bought that machine and learned about risograph printing to start his own independent publishing house and press—Tan & Loose. Since then, Tan & Loose has published books from artists like Lan Truong, Gabriel Alcala, Peter Gamlen, and many more. Clay’s other passion project, a hugely influential one that has earned him acclaim within the creative community and beyond, is The Smudge, a monthly newspaper inspired by 70’s underground political journals, that Clay publishes with his wife, illustrator Liana Jeggers.
In this conversation we talk about:
how Clay became an illustrator
how the harsh Canadian winter encouraged Clay to start drawing more
how and why Clay fell in love with risography
why Clay does so many personal projects
Clay's daily routine
how, where, and with what tools Clay likes to work
resources to learn more about risograph printers
what it's like to run and print an independent newspaper
Clay's art book and vintage magazine collection
Vintage magazine rec: Pushpin Graphic (mostly on eBay); There’s also a book that collects some of these issues and illustrations featured in them.
Favorite pen: Lamy Safari Pen (medium nib)
Helpful risography resource: Stencil wiki
Favorite movies: Indiana Jones (the first one); Wayne’s World; Austin Powers; 20th Century Women
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I may get a small commission from purchases made through them (at no additional cost to you). This helps to support the show.