Cutting out and carving image idea sketched above.


Printing the second layer: text.


Final prints drying.

Madison Seto, Scripps College '21

interviewed Marshall Weber

For my final project, I focused on the environmental impact of hyper-consumption in the industrial age. The original, broad idea of environmental justice was inspired by the book artist I chose for our class exhibit. Julie Chen’s book Panorama described the daunting future awaiting us if we continued our current level of environmental impact. Her aesthetic prints and pop up spreads drew readers into her message, but didn’t give advice on how to mitigate the problem.

Then, we researched Ganzeer in anticipation of his participation in Scripps College’s Goudy lectureship. Ganzeer’s approach to the environmental impacts of industrialization intrigued me. His comix The Solar Grid gave a much more specific image of our future and didn’t hide behind the beautiful nature panoramas Chen used. His imagery was clear and effective despite choosing the difficult themes of race, classism, and industrialization. Ganzeer alluded to the problematic one-time-use mindset that industrialized nations adopt and eerily predicts the future we’re creating for ourselves. I appreciated his well-matched visual and textual elements.

In initial designing stages of this project, I tried to mimic Chen’s use of aesthetic images juxtaposed with sinister warnings by using flowery designs with scary predictions. Yet, I found my own juxtapositions to feel awkward and lacking the skillfulness Chen acquired throughout her career. Instead I decided to take a more direct approach, swapping flowers for smokestacks and deforestation. I matched these intense images with equally intense words, mimicking what Ganzeer did in The Solar Grid. Because I wanted to do more than Chen and Ganzeer did by simply depicting a problem, I decided to inform readers of how they could combat this issue on an individual level. I thought this would allow them to see this as their problem too, not something far in the future or in a sci-fi fantasy. The words I chose: Your consumption has consequences, use less, are supposed to initially alert readers of the problem, then immediately empower them with one way to help. After brainstorming the second half of the phrase I wanted to use, I settled on use less because it gets to the one of the roots of the problem and allows me to advocate for solving an issue before it becomes one. By lowering our consumption of single-use products developed for the industrial age, we can make a small impact on the issue beginning to present itself.

I used vinyl to cut out the image component of this piece, cutting it out with scissors and an x-acto knife and carving it with linoleum carving tools. Although I had cut out tree stumps in linoleum earlier in this process, I decided to stick to just vinyl to get consistent ink texture and line variation throughout my piece. I also decided to print in a green-gray color to allude to the melding of two worlds: one of greenery and life and one of smoke and industrialization. After running test prints with my image and getting them approved, I printed all of my images and set my type. It took a few tries to align my type within the white spaces, but eventually got an alignment I was happy with. Some prints have overlapping text and image, which isn’t ideal, but happened due to placement of the paper against the paper guide during both printing runs and possibly due to looseness of the typeset in the press bed.

Overall though, I’m very proud of this final project and hope that it is able to spark the reflection and dialog that is necessary for change to happen. The book our class has created is an immensely powerful physical object that allows people to begin to question their own practices and how they can contribute to the causes we all must play a part in.