Dan Padavic graduated from the University of Kansas in 2004 with a degree in Visual Communications. His work incorporates the knowledge and hand of a printmaker, combined with the sensibilities of a graphic designer to produce works across numerous platforms for clients both large and small. Dan heads up Vahalla Studios in Overland Park, Kansas.
DESCRIBE HOW YOU WERE FIRST INTRODUCED TO SILKSCREEN PRINTING.
I was first introduced TO SCREEN PRINTING my sophomore year at KU (2002). I took a Serigraphy class and fell in love with the medium, the process, the repeatability, and the physical interaction. I remember looking at Shepard Fairey’s work when I was younger and being really inspired to create like he does.
WHY DO YOU CHOSE TO MAKE WHAT YOU MAKE IN KANSAS CITY?
I have chosen to make here IN KC because I am surrounded by friends, family and an amazing creative community. It’s not too big, and it’s not too small. The size and accessibility of this town is what keeps me here.
WHAT ABOUT KANSAS CITY INSPIRES YOU? HOW DOES IT INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?
What inspires me most about Kansas City is the amount of potential we still have. I don’t think we have hit our full stride yet. That really inspires me to keep pushing and bring our hometown to the forefront. It inspires me to put work out there that opens people’s eyes. “You’re from Kansas City?” is often something that is said to our studio when we are displaying in other parts of the country.
“...TYPOGRAPHIC CHOICES CAN BE THE DECIDING FACTOR OF A MESSAGE BEING READ CLEARLY OR NOT.”
YOUR WORK ALWAYS SHOWS A STRONG USE OF TYPOGRAPHY. WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS?
Typography has always been something I am drawn to. A designer’s typographic choices can be the deciding factor of a message being read clearly or not. When it comes to typography my process is pretty simple really. I try to show as much restraint and refinement as possible. It is so easy to get elaborate with type, and if the project permits it, I will take the chains off, but for the most part I try to convey the message as clearly as possible.
HOW DOES YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A PRINTMAKER USING TANGIBLE PRINTING PROCESSES LIKE SILKSCREEN INFLUENCE YOU AS A DESIGNER?
Being a printmaker IS THE driving factor in my creative work. I love creating things that will last, something that will not be thrown away. You know, that greeting card that you hold on to and keep in your desk drawer for way longer than you should because it’s just so damn cool???? Being a printmaker has pushed me to think reductively. How can I do more with less? It has also made me focus on the mark or the physical interaction that is left behind by the hand of the artist.
“YOU KNOW, THAT GREETING CARD THAT YOU HOLD ON TO AND KEEP IN YOUR DESK DRAWER FOR WAY LONGER THAN YOU SHOULD BECAUSE IT’S JUST SO DAMN COOL????”
AS A PRINTMAKER YOU ARE CONSTANTLY COLLABORATING WITH OTHERS. DESCRIBE YOUR FAVORITE COLLABORATION.
I am so fortunate that I get to work with some of the best designers out there and help bring their projects to life. It would be really difficult for me to choose just one that is my favorite. I did have a lot of fun working with Ty Mattson, of Mattson Creative in Irvine CA, on his Breaking Bad print project. He designed some amazing illustrations of Walter White right around time of the season finale of that show. The prints were insanely successful and it kept us running for weeks straight here!!!
IF YOU COULD MEET 1 PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU, WHO WOULD IT BE. WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM?
That’s easy… Jimmy Page. In my opinion the best guitarist to ever live. I would love to chat with him about his writing process, and what he studied when he was learning to play the guitar.
“BEING A PRINTMAKER HAS PUSHED ME TO THINK REDUCTIVELY. HOW CAN I DO MORE WITH LESS?”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON IN KANSAS CITY?
Fall is easily my favorite. The cool weather is a welcome, the leaves changing, Chiefs and Royals, its a great time to be in KC!!
UNIQUE TO KANSAS CITY, WHAT IS ONE LOCAL RESTAURANT, STORE, OR SPACE YOU LOVE?
I love the River Market Antique mall. I have found so much inspiration there over the years. One of my favorite things to do is just get lost there for a couple hours. It fuels me creatively and inspires me to incorporate things that have been learned in the past into my own work.
One of my favorite KC spots is the Peanut. I would go so far to say that they have the best wings I have ever tasted. They have expanded to a handful of locations in the KC Metro. Their BLT is second to none as well!