The art of Rob Loukotka
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The Apollo 11 Collection The Apollo 11 Collection

The Apollo 11 Collection Poster

I spent basically a whole month researching all of the original manifests and stowage lists of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission. I collected over 200 items that we sent to the moon, and illustrated 69 of them on one poster (in reference to the historic 1969 moon landing).

200+ items, 69 illustrations, on one 18×24″ poster printed with metallic silver ink. Available now on Kickstarter.

This poster follows in the footsteps of my popular ACME Corporation poster (which collected 126 ACME Co. items). The ACME print took forever to draw, and raised $105,000 on Kickstarter. This Apollo poster is similarly ambitious, but a bit more factual / educational.

Apollo 11 Collection in the news

The Apollo 11 Collection has already been featured on Gizmodo / io9, Space.com, Mental Floss, Cool Material, Tested, and more!

Adam Savage (of Mythbusters / Tested) digs it too! Very humbling and cool because I’ve been a huge fan of Tested and Mythbusters forever, and I know Adam is an even bigger Apollo 11 nerd than I am (and I am a big nerd).

Basically, this poster is super fascinating if you have any interest in space tech, space history, or NASA gadgets in general. It’s going to look great up on a wall, and is available for just $29 (with free shipping in the US) on Kickstarter. 9 days left in the campaign as of right now, so get at it!

The Apollo 11 Collection Close Up

Free Mystery Print! – Black Friday “Week” Black Friday Week | Free Mystery Print

Good news everyone! A new season of shopping debauchery is upon us! Bask in the glowing warmth of “deals”!

I’m not one to shy away from fun free stuff, especially during the week where we’re all basically deciding what we need to buy our friends and families. So here’s the deal: Buy anything in my store on Black Friday (or the whole week), and I will include a free mystery print in your shipment. Pretty simple, but here’s more details:

The print is 8×8″. It’s hand printed by me, using a wood block print technique here in my workshop. Signed and numbered by me, limited to an edition of however many orders are places during Black Friday Week (November 27th to December 4th, 2015).

Free 2015 Mystery Print

I know we are often busy on Friday and this weekend and on “Cyber Monday”. So I made this giveaway last all week. Figure out what sort of gifts you need for everybody, buy art if you can. If you do buy art, grab some here, and get this exclusive print. Cool? Cool. I think it is cool, anyway.

ACME Crate Coasters

Also, ALSO. Since some folks are buying extra posters and frames and often exceeding $200+ per order, I am giving away whole sets of my ACME Crate Coasters (in addition to the free mystery print) for any orders over $200. This is an easy way to tack an extra gift onto your order, and I hope these two giveaways show my thanks to all of you who are buying art as gifts this holiday season. Rock on!

Note: The final day for US orders to ship and subsequently arrive time (say, by Christmas Eve) is December 18th. So urgent presents should be snagged soon, but you have until the final date of Dec 18th, 2015. Then I’m probably gonna take a week off and drink. Because shipping is hard. I love you though.

International orders: I’m sure Canada can keep ordering gifts, but Europe / Asia, etc. can randomly take between 2 weeks and 6 weeks. So no guarantees on timely holiday gift shipments outside of the US.

Now Hiring in Chicago! Office Administrator / Workshop Assistant Now Hiring

CLOSED: As of September 10th, 2015, I am no longer accepting applications. A TON of people applied, so thank you! Am in the process of emails and interviews now, but no longer looking for any further applications for this position. Cool!

I need some pretty substantial administrative and shipping help at my Chicago workshop. I’m primarily an illustrator, but as my company has grown more successful selling artwork, the customer service and shipping needs have skyrocketed.

I’ve hired one great assistant before, and they’ve stayed with us for an entire year, but now the company needs a lot more help than the 10 hrs per week we had assigned them, so this post is a search for somebody who has 25 hours a week available to work. By this time next year it could become a full-time, permanent position. But until then, we’re looking for a flat 25 hours per week (at least through January). Hours could change mid next year, or possibly develop into a full-time position in 12 months or so. It’s a small company with wild ups and downs, but it’s super fun, and we’re selling more prints now than ever! So come on board.

Fringe Focus PAX

The Fringe Focus workshop is CURRENTLY in Logan Square. But we’re aiming to move to Lakeview at some point in the next year, so being located near either neighborhood is ideal. Fringe Focus is an art studio, production center, office, and woodshop. Fringe Focus designs (and sells) screen prints, posters, and laser engraved housewares via https://fringefocus.com There are occasionally gallery shows or fairs as well. We just did Renegade Craft Fair and PAX Prime in Seattle. (Helping with shows or prep work is part of the gig, once in a while)

Fringe Focus Desk

I am looking for an entry level part-time office administrator / workshop assistant. Honestly the title can be whatever, the work changes month-to-month anyway. I produce new work every month, and you’d be assisting me in producing art and housewares for customers all over the world.

This means cutting wood, gluing projects together, staining / finishing, and operating a wide variety of small power tools (table saw, drill press, hand tools). It means responding to a wide variety of customer emails as quickly as possible. And it means working with our pretty killer custom shipping software to mail art to people’s homes, pretty much every day. And ideally we’ll have some free time to invent new projects, make the shop more efficient, and do some marketing.

It’s very much a job for a generalist, or somebody who would like a good look at what it’s like to run a small company by themselves.

Did I mention there is a laser cutter? We’re gonna burn things.

Fringe Focus Inc. is a successful independent art studio. It’s not huge, but it’s a successful machine and requires great care. The workshop is the design and illustration office, the production studio, and the fulfillment center (all in one). The office administrator / workshop assistant would primarily be working in the shipping / packaging station, and at the computer making sure all customers get their art smoothly.

You’ll also learn quite a bit about running a small business, and working for yourself. Fringe Focus Inc. has no clients, and nobody to answer to. There are no conference rooms, no phone calls, and no exact schedule (we’re flexible, but there are windows each day we need somebody at the office for sure). If you’re very detail oriented and can follow instructions, you’ll be able to learn how to operate every machine in the woodshop (including the laser cutter).

So this is 40% admin and customer service job, 40% shipping labor, and 20% totally random stuff we’ll basically just make up as we go along.

Production tasks will vary, but may include:

  • Cutting wood and other materials.
  • Staining / Finishing / Painting.
  • Operating a laser cutter.
  • Gluing or fastening projects together.
  • Drilling… holes… into stuff.
  • (Production tasks will be repetitive, we may make thousands of one item)

Shipping tasks are daily, and include:

  • Filling boxes with packing material and artwork.
  • Packing tubes with rolled posters.
  • Printing and applying shipping labels.
  • Mailing postcards and small items.
  • Usually need to ship under 10 packages a day, but around once a month we get a wave of 200+ packages at a time.

Organizational / Efficiency Tasks:

  • Keeping workbenches organized
  • Cleaning & vacuuming dust
  • Printing detailed labels / instructions for various tools & machines
  • Building jigs to make boring tasks easier for both of us
  • Building workshop furniture, like shelves, racks, and tables (to be used as infrastructure here)
  • Going on quick runs to the hardware store or art store for supplies.

Customer Service Tasks:

  • Remembering tiny details about tons of different orders every week
  • Customers are 98% happy. 2% are not. Be able to deal with that 2%
  • Writing very quick / swift emails that get the job done

Skills & Qualifications:

Shop Skills:

Many skills you’ll learn here! But if you have experience, that’s cool too.
  • Operating wood shop power tools.
  • Operating a laser cutter.
  • Operating laser cutter software & and design software.
  • Wood finishing techniques
  • Using a spray booth.
  • Building furniture.
  • Fulfilling online orders.
  • Efficiently packing boxes, tubes, etc.

Necessary Skills and Traits:

  • Be awesome. And kind. And calm. And super nice to customers, and medium-nice to me.
  • Having ‘an eye’. That means being detail oriented and having taste.
  • Can follow strict instructions exactly.
  • Are always hunting for a more efficient / faster way to complete a task.
  • Focused, responsible, and awake when operating power tools.
  • Have better handwriting than me.
  • Enjoy, appreciate, or practice the visual arts (in any capacity).
  • You’re confident, intelligent, and curious.
  • You like to make things with your hands.
  • You’re cool with repetitive tasks. (Packing 200 boxes, sanding 400 coasters, etc.)

Qualifications:

  • Carbon based. From earth. Still living. (No robots, or floating heads in jars).
  • Graduated High School (mandatory).
  • Graduated College is optional, if you’re currently a student that is fantastic as well.
  • Can operate most Google apps, spreadsheets, etc.
  • Familiar with Photoshop or Illustrator (any skill level is fine).
  • Familiar with basic hand tools (drill, hammer, hand saws, etc.).
  • I would say familiar with social media, but that’s pretty much a given.
  • You live in Chicago. (Lakeview, Logan Square, or somewhere in between is ideal)
  • You’re available between the hours of 12pm-5pm every weekday. (Can be slightly flexible there)

To Apply:

As of Sep 10th 2015, I am no longer accepting applications for this position. Plenty of applicants already, and interviews are underway. Thank you for your time, and stay tuned in months/years to come for other positions at Fringe Focus!

Write an interesting (non-boring) email with the subject “Fringe Focus Office Assistant” to rob <at> fringefocus <dot> com

If you have artwork, or pictures of previous hobbies, send those as well. Show me stuff!

This is a an entry level paid part-time job. You need to be available every weekday in the afternoons due to package pickups and deliveries. Ideal hours are 12pm-5pm Monday to Friday, but we can be flexible for the right person. This could be ideal for someone that already has another part-time job, or if you have a school schedule.

I will make a decision at some point in September 2015, and an ideal start date is at some point in September 2015.

No phone calls. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Free Batman print for all of May! Do You Bleed? Batman v Superman Print

“Do you bleed? You will.”

Free Batman giveaway print for ALL orders in May!

The new Batman v Superman teaser trailer is cool as hell. So it Batman’s new armor. So I drew it, and am letting you get your hands on this portrait for $0. For everybody, for any order, for the entire month of May. Celebrate the beginning of the Justice League, or just order whatever posters you’d like from the store and get this print for free!

This print is an 8×8″ portrait with metallic inks! It’s dark blue with a cool silver metallic overlay by the fantastic VGKids. The edition size will be based on how many orders occur in May, but rest assured this print is a limited edition. Signed and numbered by me, Rob Loukotka. These are printing now and will ship in mid-May.

Read more about the Do You Bleed? Portrait.

Do You Bleed Batman Portrait

Or check out the cool laser cut wood variant!

You can be first to know about new art prints & limited edition poster releases on the Fringe Focus Newsletter! New art each month. You are also entered to win a poster giveaway (at random) each month! Join thousands of Fringe Focus subscribers.

Sustainable Art & Eco-Friendly Poster Shipping

Fringe Focus ships out thousands of packages a year. That’s a HUGE opportunity to make thousands of pieces of art 100% sustainable (or close to it), with little to no negative effect on the environment! Some details on how Fringe Focus tries to make Earth better, instead of treating it like a toilet.

SHIPPING BOXES

  • Fringe Focus shipping boxes are 100% recycled material. They’re also 100% recyclable (can be recycled again) & biodegradable (easily decomposed).
  • You too can source 100% recycled boxes from Eco-Enclose. Highly recommended.

POSTER TUBES

Fringe Focus Explorers Shipping Tubes (Astronaut and Diver)

  • All Fringe Focus custom poster tubes are 100% recycled paperboard & are 100% recyclable. We recommend Yazoo Mills instead of shitty suppliers like ULine.
  • Note: Currently just the tube end caps are made of plastic. Working on finding a sustainable end cap. Until then try keeping your Fringe Focus poster tube & using it for storage. Or protect your art when you move. Reduce, re-use, recycle!

PACKING MATERIALS

IMG_7933

  • There is a 100% recycled paper alternative to bubble wrap! It’s called Greenwrap‘. Great for protecting frames & other fragile packages. Also available at Eco-Enclose.
  • Fringe Focus uses kraft paper to protect prints, posters, and frames which is also 100% recycled & recyclable.

POSTERS AND PRINTS

  • Most Fringe Focus posters are printed on cover stock from French Paper Co. in Michigan. This paper plant has run on 100% hydroelectric power since 1922! No fossil fuels are used making the poster paper at the factory! They also use recycled post-consumer fibers, but the percentage varies by color.
  • While the majority of prints are on French Paper, a few prints need Mohawk paper which is technically 100% wind-powered. This wind power is purchased via credits post-production, thus good for the environment, but not as ideal as French’s solution.

WOOD

I am Groot | Wood Portrait | Fringe Focus

  • All Fringe Focus wood artwork / housewares are produced on renewable hardwoods sourced from sustainable forests in the US.
  • Currently our Cherry wood is harvested, and this is the truth, by the Amish… with horses! And hand saws. That means no power whatsoever. Imagine your art starting as a tree, cut down by hand, and pulled by horses!

PRINTING PROCESS

  • Most Fringe Focus posters are screen printed sustainably by VGKids in Michigan. So inks on Fringe Focus posters are water-based and eco-friendly.
  • VGKids does direct-to-screen writing. No films. Stops the usage & waste of TONS of plastic for exposing images. Hooray!
  • When using the in-house laser cutter, Fringe Focus doesn’t produce any products by lasering plastics / acrylic (bad fumes, VOCs). And if we’re printing with wood blocks, we also use eco-friendly inks.

All of this info will remain permanently in the Fringe Focus FAQ for future reference. Will also add to it over time.