Will Arnold showcases colorful passion at University exhibition

On Friday, the University YMCA held an exhibit by Will Arnold titled “Down, Down Into Infinity He Goes.”

By Maaike Niekerk, Staff Writer

An exhibition full of creativity and color was held at the University YMCA on Jan. 27, as an abundance of bright collages, posters and small booklets were showcased for the public to see.

The exhibition, entitled “Down, Down Into Infinity He Goes,” consisted mostly of original works by artist Will Arnold, along with some student creations.

Arnold, a technology integration specialist at the University, manages student labs but still finds time to nurture his passion: creating art pieces out of vintage comics. 

“I will sometimes actually take physical comics, cut them up and paste them together by hand,” Arnold said. “Other times, I’ll do digital layering or scan in things and put together images digitally.”

Much of Arnold’s work consists of small booklets known as zines. Zines can be loosely defined as self-published print works, often with a certain do-it-yourself feel to them. Several student-created zines from the University were showcased alongside Arnold’s own work as well.

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“Some of (my pieces) are kind of narrative, other ones are sort of poetic,” Arnold said. “I love working with the comic imagery.”

Arnold described how he grew up with comics and found his way back to them in adulthood through zines. 

“I grew up reading comics, but I had kind of gotten away from it as I got older … when I started getting into zines,” Arnold said. “I was making zines of photography and going to shows with other artists that were making zines and making comics. That really got me back into comics.”

Along with his zines, Arnold creates posters and other art pieces, mostly with comics.

“Some of my favorite (comics to work with) are romance comics … from like the ’50s and ’60s,” Arnold said.

However, he said that part of the fun for him is blending different genres of vintage comics together. 

“I like kind of crossing genres … taking stuff from sci-fi comics, from superhero comics and kind of blending it together,” Arnold said.

Arnold said he uses a digital printing system known as Risograph to create his work. Created in Japan in the 1980s, Risograph is sort of a cross between photocopying and screen printing, as Arnold explained at his exhibition.

Arnold said the Risograph is an essential tool in giving his work its colorful look. 

“The risograph printing process that I use to print these has really vibrant colors … it really pops on paper,” Arnold said. “Even though I don’t draw it myself, I get to work with bits of imagery from other things and mash them up and put them together.”

Comic and zine shows are held in major cities throughout America, where Arnold occasionally travels to share his work along with sometimes hundreds of others. 

As for when he is working at the University, Arnold’s work is always on display at his website, twarnold.com. Fans of his work can also purchase collages and Risograph prints. 

Arnold said he has no plans of stopping his artwork in the future, with more projects on the way in his life. 

“I always try to have one or two book projects or print projects on the back burner, so I can constantly be making something new,” Arnold said.


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