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ISSUE 3 / DREAMSCAPE / JOSH LAFAYETTE / RAND RENFROW is a stream of doodles and images, featuring creative, original works from sketchbooks and other mediums into one location, with the hope to inspire continued creative thinking. PeculiarBliss Magazine is the quarterly continuation of this effort. This issues theme: “Dreamscape� Cover design: Josh Lafayette




Dreamscape - Ana Espinoza




Six Roots Under - Evelina Silberlaint


Dreamscape - Kelly Maguire


Dreamscape - Stephanie Abdallah


Symbolism - Yuko Michishita



JOSH LAFAYETTE Josh LaFayette is a graphic designer, illustrator, and musician from Alabama. He currently resides in Mobile, Alabama where he just landed a job at Red Square Agency. He has an affinity for the ephemeral and his wife thinks he’s pretty cool.

interview BY : VAUGHN FENDER


PHOTO BY Amy Anderson

Yes Ma’am • mixed media on found wood



Who are you, really? I’m a 25 year old guy from the U.S. who lives with his wife in another married couple’s spare room. I was raised in a New Religious Movement (which I abandoned at 22). I’m well-read in art history, and existential philosophy, but I get frustrated talking about it because I find my vocabulary unsatisfactory. If I had a lot of money, I would buy a lot of stuff. But I don’t, so I don’t. I get moderately bored extremely quickly. Where did you grow up? On the rolling plains of Dixie—that’s Alabama. Any early signs or insights into art? I became obsessed with sketchbooks around first or second grade. Later on, once I got over my obsession with drawing Dragon Ball Z characters, I filled most sketchbooks by copying band logos and trying to draw words with weird letterforms.

Once my grandmother punched me in the balls as punishment. True story.

What are your major influences currently? Jean-Michel Basquiat, vintage Life and Playboy magazines, Alphabet Arm Design in Boston, and the feel of dirty Mississippi Delta blues music. Your styles is consistent, but your mediums vary, what’s your favorite to work in? Collage. I love finding, cutting, tearing, and pasting. Collage is destroying and creating simultaneously. What comes to mind when you think of “Dreamscape?” The desert, outer space, houses for rent, unintelligible print, the inability to run. How did your move and internship in Boston affect your outlook as an artist? That internship really helped me see what the client-filled world is really like. I learned how to create something that a “normal person” can be satisfied with while still maintaining my integrity as a designer. Also, taking breaks to goof around is an integral part of maintaining creativity and sanity. How did traveling to Florence influence your work? Fiorentini (people from Florence) are supernaturally laid back. It’s like time passes and no one cares because they are floating around on a cloud of enjoyment. In addition to this constant euphoria, my internet access was super-limited, so I stopped looking at blogs (something that I spent most of my time doing) for about two months. Florence taught me how to achieve a state of relaxed individual freedom inside of my own head.


PHOTO BY Amy Anderson


Where was the most influential, thought provoking place you’ve been? Locked out of my apartment at 4pm on the first day of Christmas holiday in Florence, Italy. The building door was locked, the interior security gate was locked, the door to the apartment was locked, I barely spoke Italian, the realty agency was closed, and my prepaid phone was out of minutes. Six degrees of sheer hopelessness. I emerged from that situation a new person, for sure. What is the most personal piece/project you’ve done? My undergrad thesis was to design an identity and a butt-load of collateral for the band, These Are Magnets. These Are Magnets is my solo project. So, I basically had to research myself, write and record an album with deeply personal lyrics, create a design concept based on those personal lyrics, and design 15 pieces. In three months. I feel like “narcissist” is an understatement. What are your favorite tools to use? X-acto #11 blades in a skinny knife, vintage magazine ads, Staedtler or Micron pigment liners, copy paper, and Mod Podge. You are a musician as well as artist. How do you balance the two? Precariously, while crying. What would be your favorite merger of the two? Graphic designer for a record label that signs me and gives me the summers off to tour. Man, what a sweet gig that would be.

Bout to Have Church • mixed media on wood

You recently had a show called “Ain’t Got Nuthin.” What’s behind the title? First of all, the series created for the show was based on Southern idioms, and double negatives are a huge part of Southern vernacular. Secondly, I spent about $250 dollars on supplies for the creation of the pieces—about $230 more than I could afford—so I started that show with nothing. The third layer of conceptualism is this: the show was at a gallery in Fairhope, Alabama—an area of disgustingly rich people. The double negative phrase, “I ain’t got nothing,” when translated to proper English means, “I have everything.” ZINE SPREAD • PEN & INK


Granny was a Pistol! • mixed media on found wood

Simple Violence Press LOGO • VECTOR






hollygorock LOGO • HANDRAWN/VECTOR 14


How was the move to a solo, semi-formal setting? It was weird. It consisted of about 4 hours of fake smiling, hand-shaking, and hearing how I was “so young.”

Josh at the opening of his solo show “Ain’t Got Nuthin.”

Which parts of your artwork do you think connect with people most? Definitely the text on my pieces —especially with “Ain’t Got Nuthin.” Peoples’ thoughts are restricted to their language, so when language is featured on a piece it opens up a whole world of relatability. Do you always find a way to bring your sense of humor into a piece? I always try, that’s for sure. But I know when to keep those solutions to myself. Do you ever anticipate peoples response to your work? Yes, but it’s usually me thinking that everyone is going to feel completely indifferent to it—probably because mediocrity is my biggest fear. PHOTO BY DOUGLAS Anderson

Do you sketch/doodle everyday? Of course! Do you see yourself create 3D pieces or merging them with your current work? Sadly, my brain cannot function in 3D. I’m a 2D guy all the way. Cheese?* I feature cheese in just about every personal piece that I do. It started in school when I was assigned an abstract self-portrait of my subconscious (the hardest assignment ever). Somehow, cheese began representing ego in general. Then it represented my ego. Then it began representing me. Now, it’s basically a substitute for anything I want. I love cheese. (*See Issue One) Tell us a funny story? Once my grandmother punched me in the balls as punishment. True story. Any major plans, shows for the future? I was just hired as a designer at Red Square Agency in Mobile, Alabama, so I’m beginning to settle in there. Also, I’m working on a These Are Magnets EP which is due out sometime in THE FUTURE! Isn’t that exciting? THE FUTURE! END 15

visit JOSH’s website for more info


Don’t Escape from my Dream - Onny Ranantalice


Dreamscape - Jo Cheung


Dreamscape - Alex Stikeleather


Dreamscape - Aniela Murphy


Dreamscape - Rukmunal Hakim


Dreamscape - Sabreen Aziz


Fresh out of school. Rand grew up in Austin, Texas, and graduated with two Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, one in Communication Design and one in Printmaking. But, before graduation was even a glint in his eye, he was already screen printing zines, posters, shirts, and starting his own publishing outfit, called Test Everything. When not drawing, printing all day long, for himself, for others or collaborating with other artists, he can be found roaming central Texas, drinking grapefruit juice, eating pizza. interview BY : VAUGHN FENDER


Who is Rand Renfrow? Hmm…I would say I’m just a guy who tries hard to do what he loves and believes in everyday, and attempts to help others do the same. What were your early beginnings like? It is really a straight line in my mind. I have always, always been interested in art, scout’s honor. In high school I took photography and yearbook, thought about what I would do with that type of career, and decided on being a photographer for National Geographic. Then senior year, I took a class on Illustrator and Photoshop and started to get very interested in various magazines, spurred on by my obsession with National Geographic. After high school, I became an intern at a music magazine, and I decided I would be a designer for print. So, I started college in the graphic design program, took printmaking as a required class, couldn’t stop thinking about it, and eventually all my design projects became illustrations that I screen printed. And that is what I do now. And love it. 23

Tell us about your school experience. It was wonderful. I believe I went to Texas State University because of its reputation of churning out great graphic designers (which it does), but then I soon learned that graphic design (or at least what people were telling me graphic design was or what I had to do with that degree) wasn’t for me. I had never heard anything about their printmaking program, but after taking one class, I was hooked. If no one is hearing anything from Texas State’s printmaking program now, they soon will— and from the other fine art departments, because the facilities are amazing and so are the professors— and every year I have been seeing better and better student work. It was (and is) a dream to work there, yet I didn’t really know what I had was so amazing, until I visited other printmaking facilities around the U.S. Yet, on that note, I wish Texas State had a bigger array of illustration classes, even considering the one illustration class I was able to take was taught by Marc Burckhardt, who is a wonderful teacher and illustrator. If you don’t know who that is, stop reading this and go grab an American Illustration book. I found, that I wasn’t really being showed new and upcoming talent in art and design. I heard nothing about all the artists I see today, blurring the lines between printmaking and books and design and illustration. We heard about artists, but mostly ones that are already in MOMA. And no one breathed a word about what a zine was, which I find troubling since I hear about other schools who have zine making workshops. But I am a rather curious and concerned person. It wasn’t hard for me to go from an interest in design to a love of drawing and printing, and not pick up a few tips and friends outside of school along the way. If you care about something, I think it would only be natural for you to go above and beyond what the other people around you are saying, and investigate it for yourself. At least that is how I can tell when I am truly interested in something, and not just the hipness and coolness of it.



What made you decide to double major? I took my first printmaking class —learning screen printing and relief—and found out my brain was able to solve problems and be more creative when my hands were the ones controlling every aspect of the printing process. In general, printmaking allows anyone to control the execution of an idea down to the final step. Obviously this is true of drawing and painting and other disciplines, but printmaking and screen printing, lends itself to the execution of more designed and computer rendered images. The green that your ink jet printer printed your font isn’t the same as the one you designed with? Bummer! That would never happen in screen printing because you are the one in control of everything. And I reacted very well to that control. After that, I secretly wished my major had been printmaking all along, but I was so far along in the design degree that it made sense to finish it. I honestly think it gave me an advantage over the other students who were only taking fine art classes because I knew a lot more about laying images out, color theory, how to use white space, how to use Adobe programs, and countless other information I think contemporary printmakers should learn. Plus, I was already on scholarship and my parents agreed to pick up the bill for the extra classes, so that helped in making the decision. It was easy to 24

see that I was quickly becoming passionate about printmaking, and I know that things that I am passionate about I work hard on, but never seem like chores to me, so I never felt the weight of the extra classes. I am so glad I double majored. It is much easier than it sounds, but only if you know you love art. If your classes already feel like a chore or a bore to you, I think something is wrong. How is the Austin art community? It is growing. It is way beyond other cities already, as far as the amount of artists and the work being created, but I think our main problem is not many people are buying art. But that isn’t a testament to the quality of the work being made, which is amazing. And every artist I have ever met is extremely nice and welcoming, which may be the spirit in art circles everywhere, but I really feel that here in Austin. But we really need people buying more art, I think, to encourage people to make more and have an even stronger sense of community, so people don’t feel crushed by the weight of the world and society telling them they are wasting their life by making art. Of course, I am not as entrenched as I should and want to be, but when I see something I like I try to buy it, which is mostly zines and comics and books. STANDOUT: R AND RENFROW




What are your current influences? I could talk forever about the artists that influence me, so I’ll only drop a few I have been looking at recently: Aidan Koch, Jeremy Perrodeau, Stina Lofgren, Blaise Larmee, Richard Sanderson, Jay Cover, Nicholas Burrows, William Edmonds, Stine Belden Roed, and Romina Pelagatti. On top of their work, some things I look to daily and find inspiration are: plants, cacti, rocks, mountains, cliffs, dirt, pots, tables, cups, a-frame houses, cabins, magic, water, hoods, shoes, temples, churches, Native American crafts, patterns, weaving, blankets, ancient Asia, pencils, backpacks, and patterns. Yes, I listed patterns twice. Also, sticks.

personality because it is 100% your own creation, and you shouldn’t be bending your will and creativity to what other people want or how they may perceive you. I think that is extremely important. How much of your day do you devote to drawing? It varies. Really it is hard to say. Some weeks, my ideas grab a hold of me, and I have to get them down, so I’ll be drawing six hours a day for a while. But if I have to quantify it, because I really want to consider this, and if we include thinking about drawing as part of this process, and doodling, I would say the average is at least an hour a day, total.

“No matter what advice, suggestions, tips, reasons, lessons, information on the “industry,” or critique your professors, friends or family give you, it is extremely important that you remain an individual.” Your work has a very laid back feel, do you think this is carried over from your personality? Thanks for saying that! I really think this is the case. I think I am really relaxed in life, but others may not see it that way. I never sit down and think beforehand, “Oh, this drawing needs to calm people down and look very laid back.” So it is really cool that people notice it in my work. What’s the best advice you’ve been given about work? I wish I had a specific quote from a teacher or mentor to give you, but I don’t. And I am not trying to be pretentious here, but I think a lot of my beliefs and work ethic has been learned through my own trials. There really isn’t a specific sound bite that I have always held on to. But I think my illustration teacher said something along the lines of that at the end of the day, at the end of a project, at the end of working on an image for a client, you should be creating something that you feel strongly about, that wholeheartedly showcases your

How often do you travel. Does it affect your work? Growing up, my family traveled all the time, and usually in the car, and usually within Texas. Texas is huge, and the places we went far away, so I had a lot of time for thinking, reading and learning how to be on my own with my thoughts in the back seat at a very young age. I think that has a lot to do with the person I am now. But on a whole, I really don’t consider myself a traveler. I have been to some bigger cities recently, like Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York, which are places I never went to growing up, and really have only been to in the last couple of years. I also travel alone most of the time, which I am really fine with. I would say it really has little influence on my work besides the people that I meet. I always meet incredibly nice and happy people who are creating some awesome work whenever I travel. They give me a more hopeful and peaceful attitude towards the world, so I guess that eventually trickles down into my work.


But I can meet wonderful and interesting people anywhere. I don’t have to go very far. Do you see yourself relocating to any other major cities? I have been trying to move to Chicago for a while. I have a lot of friends there and I love what is going on in printmaking there. The art community is incredible, and I have already been welcomed and I don’t even live there. I am just trying to get the funds together at the moment. Central Texas is great, but I only slightly feel bad for dreaming about leaving it. I hope people don’t get mad that I said that. How did you get started creating zines? No one ever told me what a zine was. I thought I was making books. Truly, I have always loved magazines. The idea of a regular publication about a specific topic, that comes out to inform odd groups of people, like knitting enthusiasts, is just so cool to me. And how they (the designers) decide to portray the information to that group of people, is so intriguing. Stemming from my interest in that, I had already seen magazines that had open submission art or design competitions, like Print magazine, and I thought it would be so easy to do that on a small scale, especially if I screen printed it. Of course when I decided to do that, I had begun to go to other book stores besides Barnes and Nobles, and I found Domy Books in Austin, and that is where I found out what a zine was, and that they would sell it for me. I figured out, oh yeah, a zine, that is what I have been trying to make. What is your ideal work space? Can describe your current? I would love to just have a relatively small space, with room to draw, a really nice exposure unit in a dark room and then a really nice vacuum table to screen print on. Another nice option is a larger shared studio with a group of people that I trust that are interested in making the same kind of work, because then only one of us could buy the printmaking equipment and then all the honest hard working people would have access to it. Currently, I am very fortunate to still be allowed to work and print at Texas State’s print


shop, which has every piece of equipment I could dream of, but there is just so many people working there all the time, it is sometimes hard to find space. What is your morning ritual to get your creativity going? I try to convince myself that I don’t have rituals, but I do the same thing every morning. Try to wake up early, put the kettle for coffee, take a shower, I make coffee, eat some cereal and drink coffee while I read something, then hopefully get to work. I think the keys are the shower, the coffee, and the reading. The time I wake up and what I eat differ a lot. I always read. What are your favorite tools to use? HB pencil, paper and eraser, OR screen, squeegee, vacuum table, ink, and paper.

Tells us a bit about your collaborations with other artists. I mostly collaborate with Will Bryant, because, he is a wonderful person, a wonderful friend, and a wonderful artist. Our minds are usually insanely parallel when coming up with ideas, regardless of our stylistic differences. We recently combined forces to create the collaboration Summer City. We just had our debut show at Domy Books in Houston, Texas. Other than that, I get asked to be in zines often, most recently in zines put together by Christina Casnellie and Sam Perkins. Look them up. I collaborate with Winners Press a lot. I have a few more in the works, but we will see if they pan out.

Tell us about “Test Everything.” Test Everything was just going to be the name of the zine that I had open submissions for. Then I realized that I wanted to publish more than just that. I wanted to publish prints and solo zines by tons of artists. So I thought I’d start a press to do that: Test Everything Press. It took off immediately, but things have been slow recently, which is my own fault. Time and money have been short, and it became hard to keep up with sales myself and I didn’t really like the Wordpress site I had created. Right now, I am still printing things for Test Everything and am working on a new website. I have printed plenty of stuff, I just haven’t put it on the internet. Any advice to the freshman class? Oh, yes. Stop caring about grades and making money. Stop caring about how others define or perceive you. No matter what advice, suggestions, tips, reasons, lessons, information on the “industry,” or critique your professors, friends or family give you, it is extremely important that you remain an individual, and live and create in the way you believe is best. Of course, listen to everything you are told, but process it, test it all, and come up with your own style of doing and creating. Please, oh, please think for yourself, make decisions you feel good about, regardless of the project, the job, or the stakes. I think all of that goes beyond freshman year (my bad), but you should start thinking this way as soon as you can. What’s next? More drawing and more printing. More! More! I am still not satisfied with my rate of output. I want to work on my ability to focus on the task at hand. And I am working on getting my own print shop together, but that will take a while. Hopefully more shows are on my horizon. Sorry, that isn’t a really definitive answer, because nothing definitive is up next in my life. But I can ensure you will be hearing from me. END


visit RAND’s website for more info www.r


Dreamscape - Eduardo Fuentes




Dream Soup - Jake Evans


After The Storm - B谩rbara Ana G贸mez


A Million City Lights - Beverly Ealdama


Onto The Streets I Flew - Sergio Fernandez Gallardo


Dreamscape - Hélène Scott


Sometimes it’s just Me - Salama Nasib Saeed

P E C ULIA RB LIS S IS SUE THR EE PeculiarBliss Magazine is a quarterly publication. To contribute to the magazine or website, email us:

Editor / Designer Vaughn Fender

Associate Editor Hannah Fichandler

Writer Shannon Duggan

Music Curator Alice “Wonderland” Grandoit

Contributors Josh Lafayette

Jo Cheung

Beverly Ealdama

Rand Renfrow

Alex Stikeleather

Sergio Fernandez Gallardo

Ana Espinoza

Aniela Murphy

Hélène Scott

Dale Wylie

Rukmunal Hakim

Salama Nasib Saeed

Evelina Silberlaint

Sabreen Aziz

Corey Corcoran

Kelly Maguire

Eduardo Fuentes

Stephanie Abdallah

Chris Piascik

Yuko Michishita

Jake Evans

Onny Ranantalice

Bárbara Ana Gómez



We are now accepting submissions for the theme:


Submission Deadline


Content: We are open to all mediums —doodles, photography, digital, paintings, collages etc. All work should be sent by email, please submit work to with the title of the current theme. Guidelines: 1. Dimensions: 10” x 10” 2. P lease create your work high res and provide a copy @ 100 dpi. 3. P rovide your contact info with all submissions. 4. O nly send work you want to have considered for publication.


PeculiarBliss Magazine - Issue Three  

After weeks of collecting submissions, Issue Three is finally here. This Quarter’s theme was “Dreamscape”. Featuring interviews with two ama...

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