Dare To Be Stupid is the long-awaited and first-ever collection of Ryan Duggan at Drug Factory Press’ poster art from 2006-2014. Duggan uses a style that creates an instant reaction, whether it be disgust, elation, or a little of both, each and every design he’s cranked out is instantly identifiable and locks into a good place in your mind, even before you can process the “garbage-in, garbage-out” aesthetic that so warmly graces his creative work. As an artist employed by several music venues across the Chicagoland area, as well as having his designs featured at Michelin Star-rated restaurant/inn Longman & Eagle, Duggan’s work is ripe with snark, presented in a rudimentary starkness and ambiguity so effortless, it’s become an institution in a short amount of time, and we couldn’t be more excited to get his first book out into the world, and most importantly, into your hands.
Lavish illustrated posters featuring the likes of
Thee Oh Sees, The Black Lips, The Effigies, Cheater Slicks, TV Ghost, Running, The Melvins, Obits, Fake Limbs, Guided By Voices, The Sueves, Heavy Times, Tight Phantomz, Nones, Vivian Girls, Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall, Netherfriends, Bleach Party, High On Fire, Pissed Jeans, Radar Eyes,
and many more!
About The Author:
I learned the basics of screenprinting in highschool from a man who insisted on being called ZIM who would absolutely loose his shit if you called ink “paint.” To this day I cringe when people use the wrong term, expecting ZIM to jump on a table and scream.
It was a ‘graphics’ class that taught the basics of apparel printing, running a small offset press, and other forms of applied arts. It’s sad that less and less schools offer classes like this or wood shop, metal shop, etc. Fine art is pretty and all, but the ugly arts are more fun.
Fast forward five years through an ill-chosen, yet formative college education centred on advertising copywriting and you find me living in Chicago’s then-cheap neighborhood of Logan Square. During this time I befriended bands like Maps & Atlases and Russian Circles. I also started meeting like-minded artists and printers like Alex Valentine, Josh Davis, and Kyle Reynolds. People began asking me to design posters and at a certain point I thought, “Shit, I used to print–I can figure this out.”
For the first part of 2006 I lived in a two- bedroom apartment with Shiraz Dada of Maps & Atlases and began to delve back into printing. My setup here was truly the most ridiculous.
To expose a screen I would take all the clothing out of my closet (the only light-fast room in the house) and coat a screen in there. Once dry I would expose it using two small flourescent black lights suspended above the screen by two strips of wood placed on two kitchen chairs. Printing was done hinge-less on a drafting table and all wash out occured in our bathtub. Screens would inevitably clog within a few uses and I would stretch new mesh on the frames because I didn’t own a pressure washer (or much common sense). When people started asking what the name
of my operation was I settled on Drug Factory because my setup was more akin to a meth lab than an art studio.
In the fall of that year myself and three friends rented a storefront on Milwaukee Avenue with the intent of opening an underground music venue/ art exhibition space. In the brief two years we were there we hosted bands like Japanther, Matt & Kim, The Arrivals, The Repos, The Death Set, Dan Deacon, DD/MM/YYYY, Pit er Pat, Sweet Cobra, and countless others. Having this space also allowed me to build out a slightly more functional print setup in the basement. I still didn’t know what I was doing, but I had more room.
By the end of the summer in 2008 I decided I wanted to have a bathroom used by less than 200 people a week. I moved into a nearby coach house that had a half-finished attic space that could be my printing area and darkroom (4). Unlike the basement it had natural light and I didn’t have to worry about flooding or the god damned rats. Other than still washing out screens in my bathtub I was finally approaching a legitamate studio.
I was also getting more poster work than ever. It was nowhere near enough to live off of but it was starting to turn into much more than a hobby. The years in the coach house (2008– 2012) were really formative for me. I started doing larger editions, experimenting with color blending, and in general fucking up less paper. Somewhere in there I built a website and made business cards (3) (prior to the website I actually had a Drug Factory stamp with my phone number on it, haha).
In 2012 the studio and I moved into a house in the Chicago neighborhood of Avondale. It was here that I finally got a pressure washer and a proper washout booth (1). This development improved my practice and life exponentially. A year into this era I had so much work coming in I decided to take the leap and quit my day job. If this book sells really well and gets reprinted I’ll update this section to let everyone know how rich I got.