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Pressing Matters

On-the-street printing press rocks Whit Block Party
Revaud Godwin. Photo by Trask Bedortha
Revaud Godwin. Photo by Trask Bedortha

When it comes to screen printing, Revaud Godwin only comes out at night. That is, unless it’s Whiteaker Block Party weekend. Then you can catch him on the street hard at work behind his press. Keep your eyes open for a man of shorter stature surrounded by T-shirts, working at a machine that looks kind of like a new-age catapult or something out of a Transformers movie. That’s Godwin. He is an old-school Whiteaker resident, enthused by the independent spirit and funky ambiance of the Block Party.

“I’ve lived in the Whiteaker for 18 years now,” Godwin says. “It’s the proximity to entertainment and good food and friends that I love.”

Godwin found his way to screen printing shortly after dropping out of the advertising program at the UO journalism school. It was right around this time that he began hanging out in Eugene’s thriving independent music scene, inspiring him to put even deeper roots in the Whiteaker neighborhood.

“I dropped out and started hanging out with bands,” Godwin says. “I realized I didn’t want to work with all the people I was studying with. I was like, ‘God, I hate these people.’”

After taking work as a printer for several large-scale advertising companies, producing CD packaging for the likes of Sony and Universal, Godwin moved on to a smaller operation. But that smaller company preferred him to work during office hours, in the daytime, and Godwin is a creature of the night. One thing led to another and he wound up starting his own company.

“I pretty much always work at night,” Godwin says, “which is why I named my company Nocturne Screenprinting.”

Godwin’s tool of the trade is a six-color, four-station screen printing press that he uses on a nightly basis to create designs you’ve probably seen on someone walking around the Whit or elsewhere in town. His studio, located just off West 11th and Conger, is filled with his latest designs and previous accomplishments.

Godwin says he views T-shirts as a form of advertising — but more creative and unique. He enjoys screen printing T-shirts because of how much he loves to work with ink.

“T-shirts are fun because it’s a canvas that you can wear around,” he says. “I always feel that my role isn’t so much as an artist, it’s more like what a sound engineer would do for a band.”

It’s apropos that Godwin would use a comparison to music when describing his print work. He also happens to be a member of one of Eugene’s older indie rock bands, Hot For Chocolate. When he isn’t sequestered in his cavernous studio cranking out designs, he is at band practice cranking out tunes. In fact, Hot For Chocolate will be gigging the Whiteaker Block Party at 8 pm Saturday, Aug. 4, at the G Spot Stage. 

At the Block Party, Godwin will print T-shirts with a special Whiteaker Block Party design. You can even bring him your own shirt; he will happily print his design on it. 

“Last year Block Party was a lot of fun,” Godwin says. “It’s a lot of work, though, because I’m running around and playing music. But it’s pretty incredible that this all started with some neighborhood kids who had an idea and made it big time.”