Soul & Ink and Batang Kankaloo would like to thank everyone for all the support we received in making our second annual Samasama Art Show & Gathering bigger and better. We are still unpacking our lives from the 5-day whirlwind of love that was SAMASAMA!
Our Samasama Art Show & Gathering on May 2-6, will exhibit over 50 artists in honor of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month! Presenting original work by artists of color from diaspora communities + week long, family friendly community events.
To kick off spring on March 15, 2018 we participated in the National Cherry Blossom Festival Pink Tie Event at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
Thanks to you this year has been abundantly blessed. Click below to view our Top 10 Moments of the Year.
- Drink & Ink Workshops | To start off our year we hosted a slew of workshops across the DMV. We partnered with Cotton & Reed, Jos. Magnus Distillery, Big Chief, The Lemon Bowl Collective and Bump ’n Grind to teach the basics of screen printing, while letting our guests play with our newly innovated 6 station workshop. Read more on our blog.
Cross Country (Birthday) Tour | In March, we turned three years old! We were hired by Fiserv to activate a number of their conferences across the country. That tour took us to Philly, Vegas, Dallas and Plano, Texas. View the photo journal here.
SAMASAMA Art Show | Sherry and Les Talusan aka The Pinstriped Rebel co-curated a one night only art show in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Hosted at Ten Tigers Parlour, we brought together artists from the local area that represented the Asian-American experience. Together we raised more than $1400 for Asian American Lead and had a turn out of 1000+ guests over a span of 4 hours. Read more on our blog or view the album.
The 202 TV Show | We were invited by DC’s Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment to be featured on their new show The 202. Sherry was interviewed by Fermen Patterson and Michel Wright as Frankie explained the screen printing process live on camera. It was a blast! Watch it here.
NEA Conference on Racial and Social Justice | We activated the National Education Association’s annual conference at the Boston Convention center. After a long drive to Boston, we live screen printed over 600 shirts with socially conscious messages for educators nationwide.
Expanding the Business | This fall, we continued to grow our business by expanding our equipment to four 4-arm presses and by increasing our customization options to include; airbrushing, stenciling, a DIY button making kit, and a patch making kit. We were able to put the button making kit and patch making kit into action for Bloomingdale’s annual Denim Days event at two store locations simultaneously with two separate teams.
Illuminasia: A Festival on Asian Art, Food & Cultures Fresh off travel in October, we came back to activate the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler Gallery’s re-opening celebration all weekend long. We designed and printed 1000+ custom posters over the span of two days. Read more on our blog or view the snapshots.
Washington City Paper | We're humbled and honored to be featured in this year's Washington City Paper People Issue! Thrilled to see we are in good company with many of our fellow peers making a difference in DC and beyond. Read the article here or listen to the full podcast.
Minh Lands the Gig | Just recently we reconnected with a former student of ours, Minh Pham. A talented artist in his own right, we were able to teach him the fundamentals of screen printing in-depth at Pyramid Atlantic. He shared with us that he was able to make one of his personal dreams come true - he landed a job as a screen printer at a local shop, solely using the knowledge he gleaned from our workshops. We are SO proud of him!
Winter is Coming | December is usually a slow month for us. Not this year! We were extremely grateful to be fully booked this December. We covered a number of in studio printing jobs, holiday markets and parties. A highlight for us was activating Facebook's holiday party, while enjoying the delicious food of Spilled Milk Catering and rocking to the sounds of local Ska band Party Like it’s...Read more and see how cool the atmosphere was on our blog.
On the night of December 8th, Blind Whino, the colorful converted church, had their lights on for a party. From ice sculptures to a mashed potato bar, Facebook pulled out all the stops for their Holiday Bash.
To say thank you to their staff, they threw them a spectacular night filled with live mural painting, a magician, a photo booth, a DJ, a ska band, a pizza truck and of course live screen printing! We live screen printed four exclusive Facebook designs on poster paper and tote bags for guests to take home.
Surrounded by cool people and cool art, our night kept on getting better. We got to talk to enthusiastic Facebook employees about screen printing, have a magic trick done right in front of our eyes and capped the night off with dancing – we were having a blast!
On October 14th and 15th, we participated in IlluminAsia: A Festival of Asian Art, Food and Culture for the Freer|Sackler Galleries’ reopening celebrations...
Soul & Ink and Batang Kankaloo present “SAMASAMA” Art Show and Gathering for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
We recently had the pleasure of working with two amazing talents Erika Layne of Erika Layne Photography & Design and Cayce Carlisle of Little Miss Whoopie, the collaboration took us to new heights. In the studio, we created a funky new look for a Little Miss Whoopie brand boost! Take a look at what we crafted together. We took a moment to dig deeper and chat about what drives and inspires these powerhouses.
Starting in December, we partnered with local distilleries Jos. A. Magnus and Cotton & Reed to offer a fun, hands on approach to combining two popular past times that pair well together. Imbibing in spirits, while creating art that could be gifted for the holidays. During the month of January our Drink & ink workshops took on more of a design for social justice focus as we neared Inauguration.
Thanks to you 2016 has been a successful year of artistic collaborations and steady expansion.
When clients asked if we can make an idea work, we say YES! It opens doors and keeps things exciting. The results raise the bar each time, creating a new activation concept for live screen printing. We rung in 2016 with a week at 9:30 Club's World Fair, pushed boundaries in May as featured artists at the Smithsonian APA's CrossLines: A Culture Lab on Intersectionality, and collaborated with Freer | Sackler Gallery for Chinamania in July.
In February, when our clients at luxury event team Evoke asked if we can airbrush kicks, design & live print tees, and create an event logo for a Bar Mitzvah we said YES! The result? We now have more quality services to offer our clients including in studio printing, logos, promotions, custom shoes and even company retreat workshops. View our new & improved services list here.
This Spring, we partnered with our community of artists from DC, Cali and Japan for the launch of our first streetwear line, KRU 2016: The Artist Collection. A collaborative tribute to culture, freedom, and artists who strive to not only satisfy their appetite for creative expression, but to also be the face of change while doing so.
When a client called and asked if we travel internationally, we said YES! During the month of September, we traveled to Germany and New York for dmexco and Advertising Week to give users a chance to make a personalized t-shirt using IBM Watson cognitive technology. Learn more here.
Social Justice & Community
We were thrilled to work on so many projects that involved helping a great cause including Safe Summers for PG Parks and Recreations, Wake the Vote on Election night in North Carolina, printing tees for artivist Kate Dececcio, events for the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity for A Space to Dream, Uncensored DC, and Phife is Living. It is our mission to continue doing work for social justice and with the community.
When guests asked us if they could try, we said YES! We went back to the lab and crafted a portable 6 station workshop press and held a soft launch at DC Design Week. To close out the year and support local, we teamed up with the District's newest distilleries and bars to introduce fun hands-on workshops called Drink & Ink. Join us for more in January and February here.
For 2017, we are focused on a year of travel, work on the social justice front and exploring more in streetwear. We'll continue to strive to meet your creative needs and hope to reach above and beyond. Thank you for being a partner on this journey.
To start, users take a quiz with IBM Watson. Watson analyzes their social profiles and answers to thought provoking questions to match them to the best t-shirt design for their personality. The user then has a shirt live screen printed with the Watson recommended design.
The result is a data-driven use case to illustrate how a cognitive approach to marketing can visibly drive smarter business decisions over time.
This Spring, we partnered with selected artists from DC & beyond on the curation of our first streetwear line, KRU 2016: The Artist Collection. We collaborated specifically with artists known for their strong, clean signature styles that we admire and respect for their art and the uplifting messages consistently expressed through it. The collection ended June 30th and was a success! Thanks to all the talented artists and change makers in our community that participated.
This huge push was a first for us on several fronts. It was our first time opening an online shop, a first time collaborating with 14 local & international artists. Our launch party was the first time we threw our own event and collaborated with local small businesses Nomad Yard and Jos. A. Magnus Distillery and musicians CMPVTR CLVB. Finally, the collaboration culminated in the collection being featured at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center in the Crosslines: A Culture Lab on Intersectionality exhibit. More info on the collection below.
The moniker KRU is an alternative to the English word CREW, but beyond that and more importantly it is meant to pay homage to the spirit of the Liberian Kru people who vigilantly refused to be captured into slavery and have history in the DMV area - resisting settler's efforts to control their trade in Maryland. The Kru were known for their skills in navigating and sailing the Atlantic. Their history is one marked by a strong sense of ethnicity and resistance to occupation.
In the same vein, Soul & Ink considers all artists participating in this collection to be modern day rebels, renegades, and freedom fighters in their own right - adamantly dedicated to manifesting their own destiny, representing culture and freedom while blazing trails along the way. Together through this collection, we are able to represent and celebrate the myriad of subcultures and history of DC that makes it such a vibrant community today.
KRU 2016: The Artist Collection
THANK YOU to those who came out & celebrated with us at our KRU 2016 Collection launch party! Special shout out to the illustrious Erika Layne Photography. View the photo album here. Read our announcement newsletter for the launch party here.
Join us on July 16th for an upbeat community festival presented by Words Beats & Life. Phife’s own struggle with diabetes served as an example for the need of arts and healthier eating habits to help revive a healthier community. Soul & Ink will be printing Phife Dawg and A Tribe Called Quest inspired designs to celebrate this call to action.
We had a successful evening working with the Freer + Sackler Gallery to kick off a series of new exhibits celebrating Chinamania. Included are the designs of MICA illustrator Margaret Huey which were printed on canvas bags and posters.
We just wrapped an amazing groundbreaking event, CrossLines: A Culture Lab on Intersectionality presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, over Memorial Day Weekend. We were invited along with 40 other artists to challenge issues such as race, gender, sexuality, and class to examine and reinvent our impact on history. Over 11,000 people attended the 2-day exhibit.
CrossLines raised the bar for cultural institutions to celebrate art in a way that is no longer dormant and hanging in museums, but rather as an immersive experience for many people creating a collective piece or a community even. Read more about what the curator Adriel Luis, the White House, our co-founder Sherry Meneses and other artists had to say about it. Plus more pics!
At #Crosslines, we shared our project, KRU 2016: The Artist Collection, featuring artists from DC & beyond. A collaborative tribute to culture, freedom, and artists who strive to not only satisfy their appetite for creative expression, but to also be the face of change while doing so.
DJ Ayes Cold is blazing trails and pushing boundaries with her musical journey. Who else to represent our new streetwear line KRU 2016: The Artist Collection (and therefore DC artists at large) proper? Listen up here! Catch her rocking Soul & Ink limited edition #KRU2016 swag at these events this month:
4/30 Broccoli City - 12:50-1:50 - OLM Stage
5/7 U Street Funk Parade
5/28 Smithsonian APA CrossLines
Join us in celebration of
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
The Smithsonian APA is breaking new ground with CrossLines: A Culture Lab on Intersectionality. Soul & Ink is honored to be among this talented line up of artists. Click the image below to learn more.