First impressions: Inside the OVERINKED Studio

This year, as part of  Prints Made in May 2023, we met with the members of up-and-coming printmaking studio, OVERINKED Studio at their workspace in Quezon City.

Conceptualized late last year, with their rooftop studio officially running just this February, OVERINKED admits to having had a whirlwind start; they have since hosted a series of trial workshops and released their first editioned collection of hand-pulled prints, The Zodiac Collection—a series of twelve prints that combine their shared fascination with Astrology and appreciation of Philippine flora. This May, the studio, which brings together artists Poeleen Alvarez, Tammy De Roca, Faye Pamintuan, Jam Rosal, and Jone Sibugan, also took part in the annual global printmaking event, Print Day in May, during which they attended the Show and Share call organized by fellow printmaker Angela Silva. 

A lot is happening but the team is unwavering in its goals while keeping in mind their capacities as a group and as individuals. There are many things awaiting OVERINKED, with exciting collaborations on the way, plans for workshops, and an upcoming demo/tutorial at this year’s Modern and Contemporary Art Festival at the Fairmont Makati. 

While the studio took root just this year, the group’s beginnings go back almost a decade ago. Under the tutelage of artists and Fine Arts professors Ambie Abaño and Rey Concepcion at the University of the Philippines Diliman, the block mates found a shared passion for art and aligned goals early on. Years of friendship (forged through late nights spent together completing coursework and, after graduation, navigating their individual art practices) culminated in the realization of a working collective. 

This drive also began to take a stronger hold as a result of the pandemic, as the artists were each forced to confine their practices at home. Particularly for Faye, Jone, and Poeleen who specialized in intaglio printmaking, having no access to a press (which was difficult enough before the pandemic) meant adapting other, more DIY-friendly methods of artmaking. Moving forward with printmaking, they all point out its inherent collaborative and community-based nature—something that sets it apart from other, more solitary, studio art practices.  

Access and community laid the foundations of the physical studio, based in Quezon City. Since launching their social media account, the group has been met with a broad and curious audience, shooting them messages asking about the relatively unknown art of printmaking. Managing their channels, Tammy notes social media’s integral role in fulfilling their vision as a collective. Through campaigns like their ‘Terminology Tuesdays’, programmed by Faye and Poeleen, the group carries out an educational purpose that exposes printmaking to an ever-growing audience and community and fosters an appreciation of it as an art, where it has often been seen as a mere “hobby”, if not overlooked. 

The Zodiac Collection launched this June 1.

Operating as a collective of five, they note that the collaborative dimension of printmaking goes hand in hand with the craft’s high physical demands, as they found most recently while working on the Zodiac Collection. While most production is headed by Jone and Jam, all hands were on deck on the days leading up to the June 1 release, with all five being involved in producing the cards from inking and rolling to pressing and hanging up each impression. Much the same could be said of their dry runs of printmaking workshops, during which both the collective and the students came to appreciate that printmaking is not something that can be got down in a few hours, even a day. Even so, for all its demands on time and energy, it is—and everyone could attest to this—totally engrossing as much as it is rewarding.

First rounds are always overinked.

“First rounds are always overinked.” Every plate goes through this trial process. When more ink is deposited onto the matrix, the impressions indicate the beginning of the image, showing what remains hidden. True to the principle of over-inking every fresh matrix, the group is all about beginnings and the importance of carving spaces for ideas and exchange, knowing that with each risk in scoring the matrix is a chance at revealing something new. 

OVERINKED Studio is based in Quezon City. Workshops and other events are open to the public; follow their activities on their official Instagram or Facebook pages. The studio released its first-ever project, The Zodiac Collection, this June 1. A limited edition of fifteen, the collection can be ordered online via this form.

Members Jam Rosal and Jone Sibugan join this year’s Prints Made in May, curated by Marz Aglipay. Jam's Objectification I and Jone’s Wall are available in the Shop. 

About the artists:

Poeleen Alvarez (b. 1998) is a visual artist based in Bulacan, Philippines. Her zines and collages draw inspiration from literature, the banality of everyday life, and the visual rhetoric of popular media. Her practice is informed by her training in printmaking, ceramics, and the digital arts. Alvarez teaches Art History at the College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines Diliman where she also earned her BFA degrees in Painting (2018) and Art History (2020). She is currently completing her Master’s degree in History at the same University.

Alternately living between Manila, Philippines and Texas, USA for the past decade informs Faye Pamintuan’s (b. 1994) practice as she cultivates and maps out her own space in this in-between. Her paintings are inquiries that respond to the dilemma of the diaspora: probing on the sense of self through imagined moments colliding, exploding, and melting into each other. Departing from natural forms, her works encourage conversation between intuitive mark making and mediated strokes, probing at the visual possibilities of slowing down movement, suspending time, and elongating moments. Pamintuan received her BFA in Painting (magna cum laude) from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She plans to pursue her Master of Fine Arts in the forthcoming year. Her works have been exhibited at various galleries in Metro Manila, New York City, and at McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.

Tammy De Roca (b. 1995) is a visual artist whose works explore how textures build images through paintings, sculptures, and other forms. De Roca continues to study and experiment on how our perception of appearances and images is challenged or supported by what textures represent. She completed her BFA at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She has been actively participating in exhibitions and projects across Metro Manila, Singapore, and Florida, USA. 

Jam Rosal (b. 1997) is a visual artist based in Quezon City, Philippines. Her works are explorations of different mediums, techniques, and processes. She received her BFA Painting at the University of the Philippines Diliman (2019) where she draws inspiration on the topics of feminity, identity, and the subconscious mind. She is drawn to collages and maximizing the capacity of her medium such as printmaking, ink and bleach, graphite, and ceramics, to create endless possibilities.

A young artist with promising talent and vision, Jone Sibugan (b. 1997)  is a visual artist currently based in Quezon City. He received his BFA Painting degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. His works emanate from his ruminations on a variety of themes such as nature, memory, death, identity, and the subconscious. By juxtaposing his past memories and the present reality with his dreams, fantasies, and musings, he creates a landscape in between what is familiar and otherworldly. Sibugan’s mediums range from oil on canvas to printmaking and experimental work in soot, and encaustics. Lately, he has been exploring alternative matrices like PVC board for his relief prints, pushing the boundaries of his printmaking process.