We had the good fortune of connecting with Tony Clough and tri: faundeen (pronounced tree) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tony and tri:, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor for us is quality. We consistently provide new and returning clients the highest quality artwork. We’ve built most of our business on word of mouth, and we’ve gotten a lot of clients who were referred to us because they were looking for something different or unique.
Silkscreen printing is one of those mediums that can be done by almost anyone, but it’s actually very rare to run a (successful) fine art studio that specializes in hand-printed limited edition prints at the scale that we operate.
We are an artisan studio with over a decade of experience under our belts, and we spend the extra time to make sure things are done properly, from custom color mixing to hand touching-up prints during post production. We are almost obsessive about our dedication to quality.
Many artists are precious about their work, and want to sign their names on artwork that they can be proud of. It’s a risky endeavor to have someone else produce your personal creation. So they trust people like us to produce their prints, so they can accelerate their careers and share their work with a larger collector base. At the end of the day, artists want their artwork to be manifest how they envision them in their minds. They turn to us to transform their visions into reality, because they know we are honest, dependable, and they can rely on the quality that we provide. Client satisfaction is extremely important to us, and we are extremely grateful for everyone who works with us.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We are really proud and excited about the artists we work with and the artwork we produce! And we are so grateful that our schedule is full and our staff is growing.
Regarding how we got to where we are today professionally, it’s been surprising how organically we’ve grown. Though figuring out how to expand and grow has been challenging at times. What we do is so specialized; it’s difficult to run more than one project at a time because we only have one Master Printer. Training someone is extremely time consuming and a huge investment. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t matter if it was for a positive reason, it can still be disheartening.
We’ve learned a lot from all the experiences we’ve had, and it has helped us be more clear with ourselves about our intentions and goals. We feel super fortunate that circumstances aligned to get us support to start publishing and printing more projects. It’s really easy to keep doing what we think is working, so it’s helpful to have new energy and new ideas from our team. Feedback from our our team and from other business owners are both important resources for us. We also look to other art businesses to see how they operate. At the end of the day, however, one of the greatest and hardest things about being a business owner is the independence to make our own decisions!
It’s easy to get into the day-to-day work of running a business, so sometimes we can forget to take a step back and reflect on all the accomplishments we’ve achieved. Tony started the business from trying to make the best of being laid off, not thinking in terms of starting a company. But he has worked on expanding his limiting thought patterns, invested in himself, and took small risks, all of which allowed the company to expand in a way that sustains our growth. We can’t say enough how excited and grateful we are to be in the position we are, to have the freedom to be our own bosses.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Some of these things might not be available due to the pandemic, but there are a lot of take-out and online versions available!
Places we take all our friends:
- AYCE Korean BBQ – usually at Hae Jong Chon. People from out of town usually haven’t experienced Korean BBQ, much less all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ. Plus
Tritri: is a Korean adoptee so they love Koreatown.
- Almighty Opp on Saturday nights corner of Western and Elmwood in Koreatown. It’s a puppet show, but it’s so much more than a puppet show. It’s really hard to explain so you just have to go and experience it.
Places to go:
- we are super into Escape Rooms
- hiking in the San Gabriel mountains
- Descanso Gardens – epic gardens!
- Point Magu State Park/ beach
- Brewery Artwalk if it’s happening
- Little Tokyo : eat at Marugame Udon, Kura revolving sushi, Beard Papas, shop at Daiso
- Shopping in the downtown districts
Places to eat/drink:
- Dan Song Sa for drinking and more eating
- OB Bear for Korean chicken wings and drinking
- Dim Sum at Atlantic Seafood on the weekend because of the rolling cart service
- While waiting to get seated for Dim Sum, go to SunMerry Pastry shop
- In n Out
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We of course want to give a shout out to Richard Duardo from Modern Multiples, who passed away in 2014. He personally mentored Tony and taught him how to print. He is also the one that facilitated our relationship, as we met each other working at Modern Multiples! Without him, we literally wouldn’t be where we are today, being long-term partners in both love and business.
We also want to give a shout out to all of our clients. We truly are grateful to work with so many awesome artists, to have the opportunity to produce such amazing artwork throughout the years. Our clients have been extremely generous in their referrals to us. We’ve never had to put much effort into marketing our contract services, due to their support.
Finally, we want to shout out David Sanacore, the person who runs our marketing and coordinates our publishing program. We have always wanted to do more publishing, but didn’t have the right support until recently. Thanks to David, we just released our first publishing release, and are on our way to developing a really exciting publishing program in 2021. We appreciate him a ton!
Jordana Sheara, Tony Clough