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Amy Pirkle

BIOGRAPHY

ww.perkolatorpress.com

Amy Pirkle established Perkolator Press in 2005 and received her M.F.A. in Book Arts from The University of Alabama in 2007. Although she was trained as a letterpress printer and fine binder, she began making one-of-a-kind flipbooks in early 2016, and hasn’t looked back. As a flipbook artist, she has received commissions from NBCUniversal, the SyFy network, Best Western, and Callaway Golf, among others. She is also an instructor for Bluprint (formerly Craftsy), and her flipbook classes will be available through their website later this year.

She has taught letterpress at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and worked as a freelance printer at Pace Prints in New York. Her work resides in over 50 permanent collections across the United States including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Meridian Museum of Art, and Yale University’s Robert B. Haas Special Collections.

Amy is a full-time instructor at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where she teaches book arts, design, and interdisciplinary studies.

ARTIST STATEMENT

As a book artist, I have two primary goals for my work: the first is creating a narrative for the viewer, and the second is connecting with my audience in a sincere way. I have always found books to be highly interactive and intimate, which is what drew me to this form of art in my early 20s. I wanted to create work that demanded a one-on-one interaction with the reader, and for me, there is no easier way to request this interaction than with the flipbook format.

For over a dozen years during my professional career, I created letterpress editions with reduction linocuts, screenprints, intaglio, and pochoir. This was satisfying at the time, and it achieved my first goal of creating a narrative through my work. However, the second goal wasn’t being met. I felt that the fine press books I was making became too precious. They were stored in artist book collections in rare book libraries, tucked away until a researcher or book arts lover could make an appointment to access them.

With the invention of and subsequent widespread appeal of social media, I found another way to present my work to an audience. I began sharing photos of my letterpress and bookbinding work on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and I began to engage in a community of other book artists. But it was difficult to present the work to my audience through photos alone. It didn’t capture the experience of paging through a book, or the dynamic feeling of opening a tunnel book to peer through.

One day in 2016, I filmed a flipbook I had made as a gift for my husband and posted it on Instagram. At the time, I didn’t consider making flipbooks to be a serious art form like letterpress printing and fine binding. Flipbooks were just for fun, something I liked to do as a kid. But my flipbook video got a lot of attention, and I was suddenly connecting with more people. I posted a few more flipbook videos and my presence on social media began to grow exponentially. I connected with other flipbook artists, and realized that I could reach thousands of people with my work. With flipbooks, I found the medium that perfectly married my two goals of creating narrative and connecting with an audience.

Now that I’ve allowed myself to consider flipbooks a serious art form, I find that my studio practice has increased ten-fold. I enjoy the immediacy of creating one-of-a-kind works that can be completed within a few days (instead of the delayed gratification that I got from months of working on a letterpress edition). My books contain anywhere from 60 to 120 drawings (all hand-inked and hand-colored). They cover topics that range from lighthearted (holidays and fan art) to more serious (political messages, love stories). But most importantly, I try to connect to my viewers in meaningful ways with these books by offering messages of hope, love, and empathy.

ARTIST'S WQRK

Project Descriptions

All flipbooks are drawn using archival/acid-free pigment liners (Copic multi-liners and Prismacolor liners). They are colored with archival art markers (Copic Sketch and Prismacolor Premier).

Size: 3” x 5”
Page count: Varies, from 80-120 pages per flipbook
Paper: 70lb drawing paper (Utrecht), or 80lb drawing paper (Strathmore 400 series)
Edition size: All books are one-of-a-kind

Flipbooks in Action:
youtube.com/c/PerkolatorPressFlipbooks
www.instagram.com/perkolatorpress

Bower Birds

Deer

Fox

Message in a Bottle

Prism

Turtle

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