Maker Profiles: Meet and Andrei and Sheina of Hocus
Apart from being Collective co-habitants, the creative duo of Andrei and Sheina (a.k.a. Hocus) showed us the exciting possibilities of screenprinting, and well, the general joy of just working with your hands. Apart from printmaking, they enjoy putting together custom bikes and have taken to horticulture (we all wish more plants would survive in our space). Watching them work gives you an appreciation for manual production (as opposed to the more mechanized modes nowadays), the care that goes into handmade, and the joy of making things. Apart from showing off their stuff at our upcoming Paper Popup (starts this Thursday), they’ll be having postcard screenprinting this month! You can check out their schedules here.
How long have you been printmaking/screenprinting? What got you started?
ANDREI: We made a “shirt line” back in 2005 called Sell Out shirts, before that I was cutting stencils and doing some street installations
SHEINA: I learned how to screen print from Drei. I was doing mostly graphic design work, digital stuff. But Andrei was the one who really had interest in printmaking. He took printmaking workshops and studied screen printing for a semester in San Francisco.
How did your craft evolve into a business? How long have you been doing this?
Before we had our shop at The Collective, and before we called ourselves Hocus… and with very basic knowledge on how to screen print, we started making our own screen printed t-shirts. We used to consign what we made at I Love You Store, back when they were on the second floor of SaGuijo.
Eventually, we started to become more active in learning more about the screen printing process. We continued to make shirts, started to print on other materials like paper and textiles. A friend of ours suggested that we join the Legaspi Sunday Market. And so we did. We were screenprinting on t-shirts and making other printed stuff, like post cards, artworks, screen printed patterns on fabric. That must have been around 4 years ago.
What’s your favorite medium (among printmaking media, if anything other than screenprint)?
SHEINA: stamps, rubbercuts , block printing, photo transfers on clear tape
ANDREI: anything that uses a press and brayers
Tell us about your favorite projects.
SHEINA: We had a group exhibit at Outer Space gallery (it was entitled “I was drugged and left for dead and all i got was this stupid print”) , displaying our screen prints on fabrics. We did a lot of overtime (in other words, cramming) and sometimes our printing sessions overlapped with b-side events, which wasn’t so bad because that meant we had live music and friends dropping by with beer and shots of lambanog. Also had a lot of fun printing posters for JP Cuison.
ANDREI: JP’s 2 4-color poster jobs was our first big run 18×24 print, in size and qty. also the 10 yard repeat prints for Heima.
What’s the one crafting skill you’ve always wanted to master/learn?
SHEINA: sign painting,
What are you currently working on?
Aside from the screen printing, we also build and restore custom bikes. Currently, we’re working on 4 custom bikes. On the printmaking side, we’re preparing for a print run of invitations, making wallpaper, product dev., constantly thinking of/ making new screen printed products to sell at art fairs and Christmas bazaars
What’s your dream project? What have you done to make it happen so far?
ANDREI: a proper yardage print, working on our designs
SHEINA: What he said. And I want to be able to makes silkscreened gig posters for local events, maybe even international ones too
Aside from crafting what else do you do?
ANDREI: restore/recondition bicycles,
SHEINA: graphic design
How does creativity influence the other areas in your life?
Definitely in a good way, creativity motivates us to learn something new – all the time. It reaches out to everything we do, and it develops this mindset of finding ways to improve or shift the way we approach even the mundane, everyday tasks.
Any advice for other aspiring crafters/makers?
SHEINA: Never underestimate the power of using the right tools for the job.
ANDREI: Take down notes!
What do you do to beat a ‘creative block’?
ANDREI: I change the music playing.
SHEINA: I drink some coffee, try to compete with Drei. I work better with a little competition.
Give us 3 crafting essentials you must have in your toolbox at all times.
ANDREI: blade, glue , tape
SHEINA: notebook, black pen , tape
Why should people get their hands busy (and start crafting)?
ANDREI: It’s anti-technology! hehaha , but really to prepare for the zombie apocalypse
SHEINA: So they don’t forget how
Where can we find your work?
Hocus, Craft MNL, Bungalow300, Ritual, 10a Alabama craft fair, Etsy, Facebook!
What’s something you learned from getting into the screenprinting business?
A good squeegee is very important! And a properly stretched screen.
It will save you from a lot of frustration to invest in the right tools and equipment.
What’s an important tidbit of information on screenprinting you can share that you think makers should know?
Get to know other local printmakers and screen printers, especially the oldies. Screen printing isn’t new, it’s been around for ages, so there’s a lot to learn from those who have been doing it practically their whole lives. You’ll discover all sorts of awesome you won’t find on YouTube. Like some old school printers that make their own photo emulsion using white crafting glue and chemicals. There’s also a good chance you’ll meet an old printer who will tell you that they used to use old slippers as a squeegee.