Our next installment in this series about our wonderful summer interns features Alec Pomukchynsky, a senior studio arts major at the University of Buffalo. Alec was a prolific artist during his time with us, working on a number of cool projects that he’d like a chance to show off! 

Hi! My name is Alec and I’m a jack of all arts! I’ve dipped into multiple different art mediums over the years but by far my favorite ones have become digital art and letterpress. I’m originally from a town near Binghamton and I moved up to Buffalo for school, where I’m a studio arts major at University at Buffalo going into my 4th year. I love creating things and when I have an idea, I will try to perfect it as much as I can. (I’m also impatient, so all together it’s a stressful work flow, haha.)

Our first mission of the summer at Book Arts was organizing the ink cans and labeling them by color. The whole process went pretty smoothly, considering that there were three interns working on it. I loved organizing everything — as someone who needs stimulation to be productive, this task did it. Seeing the ink cans all labeled and in a chromatic order made the space feel more organized.

Alec’s letterpress projects, available now in our artist shop!

Finally we were given our first letterpress project! I had taken a letterpress course in the past but I never thought I’d be making so many cards. I definitely struggled to figure out what I was going to make, but in the end I think I made a card that at least a couple people can say “you’re welcome” to.

For the next project, I really wanted to make something that had elements of Buffalo while still being artistics, not just something that blatantly said “BUFFALO” in big bold letters. Using mostly ornaments and letterpress cuts was great… until I had to remember where in the studio I had gotten them from!

Our next assignment to create for the Book Arts shop was a notebook with a hand-printed letterpress cover. Binding the books was definitely the hardest part—it was just so time consuming—but I think the end result speaks for itself! Using the P22 Blox I tried to make a design that I could print upside down and it would fit perfectly into the first layer. Figuring out the design was a lot of trial and error and I’m pleased with the result. (Editor’s note: P22 Blox are an invention of our co-founder Richard Kegler.)

Screen printing was actually the one thing that I hadn’t done before in a class, so there was a bit of a learning curve. But as soon as I found out I could do digital art, I was all for it. I work as a bike mechanic and I wanted to incorporate Buffalo’s bike culture into the first design. Taking a proof of a metal type in the shop and scanning it in, I drew everything else to finish out the design!

And finally, my last project was one of my favorite designs I’ve made! I wanted to play on the 1960s era monster movie trope: on the posters, it always had a scary monster and a damsel in distress. But here I tried to flip the script and have the monster be the damsel. I took heavy inspiration from the classic “Creature From the Black Lagoon” movie poster! 

Alec’s screen printing projects, including this biking Buffalo tote bag, are also for sale in our shop!

Alec’s cryptid-themed monster movie parody is called “I Fell in Love with an Introvert

and for comparison, here’s the 1954 “Creature from the Black Lagoon” poster it was inspired by!

Interning at Book Arts this past summer was a blast! Learning new skills as well as honing existing ones really helped me progress as an artist. If anything, this experience has further solidified my passion for print media and art in general!