By Alexandra Lopes
An interview with Jackie Lee
Jackie is the owner, operator, designer, and screen printer behind Secret Planet Print Shop!
Jackie graduated from OCAD University in 2014 with a degree in Fine Art Printmaking and has experience in stone lithography, relief, and screen printing. Now, she is also a small business owner! It was such a pleasure working with Jackie to design the new CAGIS Apparel, we wanted to hear more about her creative background and design process.
Why did you decide to pursue visual arts? Have you always been a creative person?
In high school I was engrossed in alternative music culture. All of the punk bands were spray painting their own t-shirts and printing their own posters, sewing handmade patches onto their jackets and things like that. I was really drawn to the “Do-it-yourself” attitude, as well as the community surrounding that music scene. After designing a few posters for my friends’ bands, I decided to take art more seriously and ultimately ended up at OCAD U.
What is it about printing, in particular, that appeals to you?
Accessibility has always been a concern for me in my art practice. I never wanted to be someone who made paintings that sold for many thousands of dollars. Instead of making one painting for $1000, I can make 100 posters and sell them for $10 each. Printing has always been a method of art-making that was “for the people” and that is what really drew me to it. I knew that I could make some really beautiful work that can be enjoyed by many and with a much lower financial barrier.
So much of your work showcases a space theme. Tell us about this theme and why it inspires you.
As a joke, I started telling people that I draw space art because no one can tell me exactly what it’s supposed to look like (or not look like). And while that is still partially true, I am also a big fan of science fiction comics, movies, and television. I loved the oldschool stuff too like the Jetsons and Star Trek. I think that this theme really inspires people to dream and imagine outside of the box. It brings out a playfulness in my audience (and in myself) that I really enjoy!
Many of your space prints feature women. Why do you choose to highlight women in space this way?
As a Chinese-Jamaican-Canadian woman in a male-dominated art scene, I have always made it a point to insert myself and parts of my identity into all of the work I create. The women I depict in my work are typically asian-presenting and have many asian themes in the symbols and colours I use. I want to create posters for those who may be underrepresented in contemporary art and illustration.
Do you have a favorite space print?
My personal favourite print that I’ve made is my “Ska Night at the Kaiosei Club” print. It embodies so much of what I love and I really put a lot of myself into that one. It has a lot of movement and is just full of joy.
Jackie, we love the designs you created for CAGIS! It was amazing to find a designer whose themes and style fit so well with our organization. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about future projects or things to look forward to?
It was a pleasure to work with an organization that does such amazing work! As for the future, you can count on me to keep putting out more and more space-themed, colourful, and fun prints. Thank you!
You can find Jackie’s amazing work in her print shop at 918 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, or online.