Where does somebody’s personal style come from? David Weidman's work is immediately recognizable as his own, yet it bears numerous influences he picked up along the way. In art school (he attended the Jepson Art Institute) one of his teachers was Rico Lebrun who showed him there was something else than the omnipresent Norman Rockwell school of realism. He turned him onto the work of Matisse and Picasso (yes, him again…), artists working with the “graphic elements” of image making.
Later on, out of school and having to provide for his family, Weidman worked for several animation studios, one of which was UPA (United Productions of America), known for its more simplified, flat style of animation (as opposed to the, again, more realistic style of Disney).
Later still, from the early 60ties on, Weidman started to work for himself, setting up a home printing studio and shop. The idea to do so might have primarily come from the need to have a more steady income than working for the animation studios could provide, but it also catered to his need to be able to freely express himself artistically.
He didn’t have much contacts with other printers and soon developed a unique style of doing things, experimenting with printing on damp paper, folding up prints, putting them with the ink still wet together and back apart again, looking to create unique textures, working with transparencies, and so on… Here the properties of the technique itself start playing an important role in the creation of the image.
When asked about it, Weidman considers himself first and foremost a problem solver. “That’s how I get fed, by solving problems”, he says. “Whether it’s printmaking, architecture or ceramics (he build his own house and when retired from printmaking started working with clay) that’s where I get my energy. I’m a do-it-yourself person. Partly by choice, partly by necessity, because I’m a bit cheap…”
Of course, in the end, doing it yourself is perhaps the most significant factor which determines ones own personal style. You do what you can, even if you’re not an expert at the task at hand. And you find solutions, solve problems.
More Weidman? Visit his website.