Before there was 'Jonathon Kimbrell Fine Art' there was 'Napkin Art Studios', then shortened to 'Napkin Art Studio' (mostly because I let my original website domain lapse and some huckster wanted to charge me $800.00 to get my domain back. No thanks.) Napkin Art Studio existed in many different forms and functions since 2004, upon graduating with my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I was going to be a working artist no matter what, and I felt a quirky name was needed at the time.
Fast forward to 2020. Despite all the crazy bullshit going on in the world, and me being knee-deep in my MFA program, I felt like it was time for Napkin Art Studio to reinvent itself. Most importantly, I felt it was time I reinvent myself as an artist and what I wanted to do with my work. I've grown quite fond of letterpress over the last couple of years, and I've been learning tips and tricks where I can in between my grad school studies. It's a printing process I really want to continue learning. Between letterpress and screen printing, I feel like I have my bases covered, even if I decide to walk away from painting for awhile.
In addition to letterpress, I've become slightly obsessed with book arts and the amazing things you can do with paper. I'd like to spend some time learning book binding, along with what I'm able to design and print. Self-published art books, zines and the like are all I can think about in my creativesphere, right now (aside from album packaging design, of course). So, with an increased focus on letterpress and silkscreen printing, let me introduce to youth the new SeriTone Press. Artist books will have a home under the SeriTone Books imprint, while all of the album packaging and vinyl projects will fall under the SeriTone Records banner. Of course, the website is under construction, as well as some of the final ins-and-outs, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like the new moniker is a solid identity. (The name SeriTone derives from the term 'Serigraph', the technical term for screen printing, and 'Tone' with the nod to music and sound. SeriTone has that classic feel that encompasses everything I want/love about art and music. I really couldn't come up with a better name if I tried.)
Over the last few years I struggled wether or not to retire Napkin Art Studio, but I feel like now is the time. My taste in art and production has changed dramatically since I first started Napkin Art, so it's only fitting that my studio has a more grown up name and direction,. That's not to say I still won't have fun and come up with kitschy design every now and then. It just means that I will finally be able to do everything I want under the same umbrella and it make sense. So, here's a toast to Napkin Art Studio and the last 16 years. Thanks to everyone and anyone who contributed to its success. I'm very much looking forward to the next adventure with SeriTone and seeing where the fun takes me.
And in case anyone was wondering, the fine art side of things won't be going away anytime soon. I'm having too much fun making personal work for a change. Why stop now?