Art From the Hills

Meet Bradley Cantrell

By | Art From the Hills, Artist, Photographer, Tweek Imaging | No Comments

Learn a little more about photographer Bradley Cantrell! We love working with this guy, and we think you’ll love his work.

​Probably our favorite thing about being printers is that we get to meet and work with really cool artists like Bradley Cantrell. Bradley is a super talented photographer who lives and works right here in Knoxville, TN. Bradley has an awesome show coming up at Pellissippi State in the Bagwell Center Gallery that will run from November 20-December 8. We were luckily enough to chat with Bradley this week about his work and motivation. Check out our conversation below!

  • When did you first pick up a camera and what was your motivation?
    • When I took a photography class in high school, I think 10th grade. I bought a point and shoot Canon.
  • Has your motivation changed from then to now? Has you gear changed from then to now?
    • Absolutely, obviously then it was for a class I didn’t really care about. Now I am trying to make art. My gear has definitely changed, I shoot lots of different film cameras, and currently am shooting Sony for digital.

  • What is your favorite camera or format to work with?
    •  My Hasselblad 500c medium format is probably my favorite camera I have.
  • Do you plan out a lot of your shots ahead of time, or just shoot as you see things? Favorite subject? What inspires you most?
    • I love to plan almost nothing, I think I get the best images when i’m not trying to. I love photographing people, and I find a lot of inspiration from movies.

  • When you’re shooting while traveling and snap one of a passer-by or something do they ever notice and say anything? Ever had any interesting reactions?
    • Yes, I was in Scotland and this lady was in the middle of the street feeding some birds, easily 200 birds it was surreal and as soon as I lifted my camera to photograph this scene she freaked out and ran over to me and my friends screaming at us, demanding we delete any photos of her. She was actually scaring some of the people with me so I had to tell her off! It was an experience. 
      • This story is awesome!

  • What is your favorite location that you’ve seen/photographed?
    • There was an Island in Scotland that was the most incredible place I have ever been or even seen. Lush green hills and a rocky coast to the ocean, not another person in sight. It was a place you see in movies and I never imagined I would step foot near. 

  • Black and white or color?
    • I never liked black and white until I started shooting film, that is such a tough decision but I would go with black and white.
  • Can you give us the details of your upcoming show?
    • The reception is Nov. 20th, 4-7pm. It is all photographs from a trip to south korea, 59 images total. it will be hanging until Dec. 8th

  • What brought you to Tweek?
    •  Emily Brewer messaged me about a special discount on prints, and probably a hundred prints later here we are. 
  • Would you recommend Tweek to other photographers?
    • Oh yes, I recommend Tweek to all my photographer friends. Excellent customer service, especially if you are local, and you guys actually care about what you are working on. 
      • Thanks buddy!

  • Current musical obsession: I’ve been stuck jamming The Killers and Manchester Orchestra’s new albums.
  • Favorite meal of the day: Breakfast, no doubt.
  • Coffee or Chocolate: Coffee

Check out Bradley’s website or his Instagram to see more of his work!

Meet Lesley Eaton

By | Art From the Hills, Artist, Tweek Imaging | No Comments

It’s featured artist week at Tweek! Meet our super talented, paper-pepperin’, collage-makin’ friend Lesley Easton! Read on!

I bet you thought we’d never introduce you to another artist didn’t you?!1 Do you have no faith in Tweek? Come on guys. Ya’ll can always rely on your friends at Tweek.

Now, onto what we really want you to read about today…Peppered Paper2! We love Lesley’s clean, yet chaotic, work. How she can handle working with such tiny pieces of cut paper for long periods of time blows our minds but she loves it! And thank goodness because the world is a better place with Peppered Paper! On to the interview and more photos of her work!

TI: So, your work started with scraps of paper painted for other projects during art school correct? Are you painting paper specifically now for Peppered Paper?

LE: My “peppered paper” is a collection of butcher paper that was used as drop cloths to catch all of the spills, splatters, and brush strokes as I painted. It’s filled with haphazard markings and texture and lots of color! I love incorporating this paper in my recent collage work, but I’ve never limited myself to only using this scrap paper. I will often add other papers I’ve painted or paint on top of this paper if I want a specific color- the dinosaurs of a good example of this. I painted lots of paper for them because I knew I wanted to use specific bold colors, and the somewhat intentional by-product of painting more papers is more “peppered paper” on my drafting table.

TI: What was the piece you made that inspired Peppered Paper?

LE: Well, as typically happens, my style evolved very naturally and intuitively. I started working mostly in painted paper collage for children’s book illustration. It’s where my “peppered paper” drop cloth scrap paper came from. I painted lots of papers, lots of bright colors for this illustration work. My first official “peppered paper” piece was actually created for a silent auction fund raiser for a food pantry. I wanted to donate a piece of original art that was more accessible to the attendees at a wine and cheese art auction than children’s illustration would have been, and I had been saving all of this exciting paper from my drafting table for a couple of years. I started playing around with my x-acto knives and came up with these wonderfully sharp and delicate leaves and petals creating my first “peppered paper” collage, a blue thistle.

(Photo by Alison McQuain)

TI: What has made you choose the subjects you’ve made?

LE: The second “peppered paper” collage I made was the old-time banjo. I definitely had this vision of using some of the mostly white butcher paper with a few colorful splatters and brush marks for the white head of the banjo. So, my instrument series evolved from there. The thistle is a good example of the hard and sharp edges I’m drawn to creating with cut paper. I love the juxtaposition of the delicate and sharp, the chaotic painting and super meticulous cutting and gluing. A lot of the subjects I’m drawn to have a sharp edges or points with a kind of gracefulness at the same time: deer antlers, spiky thistle leaves, raccoon whiskers, insect antennae, crustacean claws….

 TI: How does your love of book illustration shape your work? Or does it at all?

LE: I’m really itching to get back to more narrative work. It’s not the kind of work that sells at silent art auctions ;), but visual storytelling is my true passion. So, as my style continues to evolve I’m excited about experimenting with combining more drawing with my collage work.

TI: What is your favorite part of your process? Why?

LE: That part when my logical brain turns off completely. Some people refer to this as working in flow. It’s getting lost in color a lot of times for me- just painting papers, or getting lost in drawing, when I have time. Most often it’s getting lost in design, curating and piecing together all of the perfect papers for whatever I’m working on at the time.

TI: Your two little guys are so adored at Tweek, how do they impact your work?

LE: Balancing motherhood and creative work has been a huge challenge for me. Like I just mentioned, my favorite part of creating involves letting my logical brain turn off. This can be tough when time in my studio is so limited, and the mom job is so demanding and exhausting for me at times. However, I’m starting to realize how grateful I am for the challenge, for the drive to push through and keep creating, and really for the affirmation that I should keep fighting to reconcile my calling as both artist and mom.

TI: Is your family involved in the creation or showing of your work?

LE: I loving refer my husband as my manager. And I really need a manager! I’m not so great at details, marketing, following up with people, etc. He’s also super creative and handy, so he’s built lots of displays and beautiful frames for some of my original pieces. The boys love when mom has an art show now- I’m pretty sure they think all art shows have some type of craft donut or ice cream truck around.

TI: What made you decide to make prints of your originals?

LE: I really wanted to offer a lower price point for people to purchase my artwork. I LOVE when people purchase an original, but, I completely relate to having a lower budget for art and decorating right now. We’re slowly adding to our collection of original pieces, but I enjoy the professional art prints I’ve purchased from other artists just as much, and know that it’s supporting their work as an artist too!


TI: What is your favorite aspect of getting your art reproduced?

LE: As much as I love selling original work, I still sometimes have trouble letting go of some pieces. Having my work reproduced and printed feels like I get to keep a little part of the art, so it’s easier to see it go, ha! It’s just reassuring to me to know that I have my art documented and saved in that way.

TI: Why work with Tweek?

LE: Attention to detail! My work is super meticulous, so you might correctly assume I have pretty high standards for its reproduction, for myself, but also for anyone purchasing my work. I want the reproductions to reflect the quality and craftsmanship I put into each piece. The photographer/printer always gets lots of compliments at show because he does such a good job making sure the three-dimensional aspect of my work is captured. My work is so unique because it’s all cut paper, so it’s pretty important that this is evident in the prints as well. Tony’s also always been great to work with me if I need a quick turn around, and to make sure the colors are “tweeked” just right.

Current inspiration: The Unmistakable Creative podcast with Srini Rao

Current musical obsession: not sure I’d say obsession, but The Hamilton Soundtrack, The Lumineers, and The Tallest Man on Earth are getting lots of play time lately

Favorite meal of the day: Breakfast

Coffee or chocolate: Coffee! but, pregnant lady gets to say both, right?


1 How much did you love learning about Matt Day the other month? Yea?! Us too.

2 Remember us talking about art reproduction? Well, here is an artist that allows us to reproduce her work!

Giclée you say?

By | Art From the Hills, Services, Tweek Imaging | No Comments

We’d like to start today with some vocabulary. Then we’ll move on to some thoughts about selected vocab. There will be a test.

Art reproduction: an accurate representation of an original piece of art (not just a copy, but with the depth and feel that the artist had in mind)


Giclée1: a word coined by printmaker Jack Duganne of Nash Editions (according to wikipedia) in the early 90s originally referring to prints made with Iris printers back in the 80s we now use inkjet printers for the same process.

So, sometimes thinking of art reproduction for Giclée printing makes you think of a Monet or Van Gogh that you can buy in the poster form at MOMA or online from one of those terrible ‘art poster’ dealers. Ugh…don’t even…ok. Sorry. When Tweek does art reproduction and Giclée printing we are working with artists to digitize their work to create prints of the original. You’re sitting there thinking…yeah, that’s exactly the same as buying a Monet or Van Gogh print. Yes, you’re right. However, most current artists are making limited amounts of a print. This allows those of us on a smaller budget the ability to have fine art in our homes. Imagine your favorite moderately-known artist makes 15 Giclées…then say 40 years from now is considered a creative genius and there was only one original piece and 15 Giclées and you own one! Does that help a little with perspective?

Now, let’s talk about how that fine art reproduction gets in our homes. The images with this post are of Tony2 during the reproduction process with one of our artist’s, Lesley Eaton3, work. Here’s how our process works:

  1. The artist’s work arrives (big or small we can handle it all!4).
  2. Depending on the size, we can scan, set it up on the copy stand or in a horizontal setup5 to shoot.
  3. Now we’ve got a high resolution file ready to move on with…
  4. We then take the image on to color correction.
  5. After color correction the artist reviews the corrected file for printing approval.
  6. The file is then set up for printing and is, well, printed of course.

During this process we keep in mind what we know artists are looking for:

  • Color matching or color deviation, such as brighter, more saturated or even less contrast6
  • Texture/dimensionality to be accurate to the original.
  • Quality result with a good value.

Tony says, “You know you’ve done it right when someone almost has to touch it to see if it is real or not.”

How are we different from a big box office/sign printer in art reproduction? When an artist brings us their work, it stays in the same building for the whole process. We don’t have to farm any piece of the process out to any other vendors. We are working directly with the artist post shooting to make sure the prints will be exactly what they want to sell. When an artist decides to sell more of the same print we have their color match proof on file and can recreate exactly what they fell in love with the first time. And just because we do everything ourselves this doesn’t mean we can only print 20 or so prints at a time…we can do large runs of prints if that’s what an artist is interested in.

That’s enough for today. We’ve got to get back to our Giclée-making. Or retouching. Or photo restoration…we’re busy making our clients happy. *winkwink*


1 Want more info on Giclee (zhee-klay)? Check these resources out: one & two. Pretty helpful.

2 Fearless leader

3 Can you keep a secret? You may or may not be learning more about Lesley in an upcoming artist spotlight. Shhh

4 Couldn’t resist

5 Scanning: up to 11×17 (flat art, example watercolor); Copy Stand: up to 20×24

6 Some clients want richer or brighter coloring. As we learn what the artist leans toward in proofing we can make the proofing quicker for future pieces.