Marco Mazzoni’s “Santa Lucia”

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Our whole business is built on collaboration. But every once and a while a project will surprise us, highlighting what a gift it is to be able to work with the most talented artists alive. Marco Mazzoni’s Santa Lucia (produced for and sold by Hi-Fructose Magazine) was just such a project.

We ♥ Hi-Fructose! We love Atta and Annie; seeing their magazine grow from the obscure little gem that we first found eight years ago into the beloved, huge deal that it is today has been a joy. When they suggested working together with the crazy-talented Marco Mazzoni on a project we said, “of course!”

It all started with some comps:

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We rather fancied that one in the middle, but Marco and Hi-Fructose both had other ideas. Black ones:

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And you know what? Seeing Marco’s neon colored-pencil embellishments pop out of the final, velvety-black prints — they were right! But I’m getting ahead of myself. First we had to print the things:

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We were a bit worried about printing all of that black, and things got off to a rocky start. But once we brought some heavy-duty wiping tarlatan to bear on the inky plate, the edition printed like a dream.

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What we should have been worried about were the customs hoops we would have to jump through to send a fully-insured stack of prints to Italy. After a few horrible calls with UPS1 and hundreds of extra dollars, the prints finally arrived in Marco’s hands.

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We knew that he’d be be hand-coloring them all in colored pencil; knowing Marco’s work, we also knew that these embellishments would be something special. What we did not know until we opened up the return shipment — because of distance, because of language — was that they would all be different:

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Surprise! Beautiful!

We’re not used to giving up so much control on a project, but each time we loosened our grip on this it turned out better for it. Working with talented people is a gift.

A little embossing and a little hand-framing and we were finished.

These prints wouldn’t exist without our friends at Hi-Fructose, and we can’t wait to work with Marco again.

Santa Lucia will be available for purchase on Wednesday July 10th at 12 pm PST through the Hi-Fructose Store. They’ve written a bit about the project on their blog, too.

1I believe the words “abandoned,” “after 30 days,” and “the package will be destroyed” were all used