Husband and wife team Robert and Hannah Hinojosa recently started their small business, Rhinodillo Designs. We spoke with them about starting up their creative business.
ABI: Tell us about your art and your printmaking techniques.
RH: We do four different types of printmaking; Screenprinting, Block Printing, Intaglio, and Lithography. Screenprinting is a stenciling technique using a fine mesh to transfer ink through to paper or fabric. Blockprinting is a technique where negative space is carved away on a linoleum or wooden block and raised space is inked and the image is transferred onto the substrate.
Intaglio is a process where an image is engraved onto a metal plate using acid baths. The plate is then able to hold ink on the engraved portions and transferred to a moist paper. Lithography is a process where a flat stone is drawn on with a protective grease and given an acid bath. The protected portions are able to hold ink and transfer the image to paper.
In addition to printmaking, we also paint with acrylics and oils, and do graphic work, both commercially and for t-shirts.
ABI: What type of products do you sell?
RH: We sell editions of our original prints. We do not reproduce editions of our prints, so they are very limited. We also sell digital prints of our paintings, and t-shirts we design.
ABI: How do you sell your work?
RH: We sell our artwork primarily through a local farmer’s market in Little Rock, Arkansas every Saturday throughout the summer. We also have our prints and t-shirts available online through our website.
ABI: How has your business grown, and what opportunities does this present?
RH: Our business is a little over a year old at this point. When we started, we were working only out of our home, painting and making artwork right in our living room and garage. We started selling at our local farmer’s market, a good experience the first year, and we got a surprising amount of sales from the market. It allowed us to rent a small studio in downtown Little Rock above a local gallery. We developed our website, and started making our artwork available online, allowing us to sell throughout the year.
Our first year was largely trial and error, trying to figure out what works, and how to make sales and gain interest in our artwork and business. We did live-screenprinting for a local zombie event, got our work in a local magazine, Arkansas Made, and established a working studio. This along with countless revisions of our website, and struggling to get the hang of using social media for gaining exposure and a following of our artwork, and figuring out shipping of our sales, have made for an interesting first year.
Beginning our second year, we focused on getting more involved with other local artists and organizations. We connected with The House of Art, a local artist group focused on building up starting artists and the art scene in Little Rock, to participate in their first annual artist fair.
We also connected with an art supply store in Conway to begin teaching classes to those in the community that are interested in honing their skills as artists. We have partnered with the Latino Art Project to participate in local art exhibitions and display and sell our artwork. Overall, this year has been the best yet, and we have plans to expand even further in the coming year.