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Jeik Ficker

Tucson's Tanline Silkscreen Printing (2610 N. Stone Ave. and tanlineprinting.com), expanded its artistic offerings in October by doubling as a live music venue. The studio's grand opening show drew an audience of more than 200 and its doors are always open to artists and musicians looking to show off their work ... and maybe get some free stickers in the process. We spoke with owner Jeik Ficker about Tanline's schedule for 2013, the local music scene and the perks of printing.

What inspired you to incorporate live music and the studio into your shop?

I've always had shows at my house, and now it's just done commercially, in a commercial building. I don't know, I've always printed where I lived, and liked having shows whenever there's bands coming through town. ... I don't know where the name Tanline Studios came from. Someone made that on Facebook and I just went with it. But the company's Tanline Printing, and we mainly just screen-print out of here. But I figure we have the extra room, we throw shows and between all my friends, we know a lot of touring friends that need places to play. And it's all ages.

When did you guys have your first official show?

It was Oct. 27. It was our Tanline Studio grand opening, and it was just a big party. We had some of our friends play, we had Golden Boots play, Happiness Machine, the Wanda Junes, Treasure Mammal. ... We didn't get the cops called, so we figured we could just have more shows. I don't know. So we'll see how far it goes. The all-ages thing is a little hard to do, I mean, it's the way it is I guess. I can't refuse anyone.

Are you a musician as well?

Yeah. And I screen-print, so having bands around is nice because I can make stickers for them, I can make shirts for them, whatever. Stay the night, get me drunk and I'll print you some stuff!

What do you have planned for upcoming shows?

The next show here is Feb. 7. That's it so far, and then ... we want to plan another party for early February, early March. We were going to do it Feb. 2, but there's another party in Phoenix that I want to go to ... so ... (laughs). We just like to play music, and I love to screen-print. We deal with a lot of different artists in town. We also have the vending machines at Che's and Congress, so we're just trying to support the art community as much as possible.

Do you change out the art in the vending machines often?

If there's something new in there I usually put it in the front, but now that it's the beginning of the year we're going to revamp it. At Che's, the three artists that are the big sellers are Rich Rogowski, Donovan White and Danny Martin. They're all going to have their own front, and design their own front. So it's gonna be a plethora of their designs. That's the great thing about them being only 50 cents, you can just try.

Do you represent mostly local artists?

Yeah, mostly Tucson. I just have people send me art all the time. Pretty much with the vending machines now I run a deal that if you send me an image, and I like it, I'll print it and give you 20 stickers and 80 will go in the vending machine, so you get 20 free stickers for just sending me a design. So hopefully one day I'll just have an email account of random designs and every time I print them I'll just give them to the person. We'll see what happens in the next year and a half.

What's your favorite part of the creative process in both printing and music?

I stopped playing music for like five years, and started playing again like a year and a half ago. I went and worked at a shop and learned how to screen-print. I screen-printed like 60 hours a week, and that was my school. I guess my main motivation is not having to go work for someone ... I work for tons of different people and they're my friends, most of them are my friends, so it's just nice having customers that are your friends.

What is it about Tanline that brings a different feel to the music scene?

It's kind of like Solar Culture where you can BYOB, so it appeals to everyone because you can be underage and see the music, and be of age and be drinking. Just be responsible is the biggest thing. Whenever someone makes an event page for a show here, they always put "Be respectful to the place!"

What was your favorite Tucson show that didn't happen at Tanline?

I guess when I first moved here I was at the roller derby and Bob Log III played. I didn't even know he was playing, and I was like, hell yeah! That's probably my most memorable, but there's so many good shows.

More by Kate Newton

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