Creatives We Love: Dave Lefner

What is reduction linocut and what inspired you to start?

Reduction Linocut is the printmaking process of creating a multi-colored print using a single block of hand-carved linoleum. The piece is printed on paper in color stages, usually from the lightest color to the darkest. Once a color/stage is printed, one can never reprint that stage because the next step is to then carve more away from that same block, which will be used to print the next stage. This continues for each color. Sometimes it can be a little difficult to explain or understand, especially without visuals. But that is exactly what drew me into this lost art form… that it was not easy! In college, I was searching for my own expression and I was unimpressed by the “conceptual/theory only” based art world. I discovered a book of Picasso’s linocuts from the ‘50s, and fell in love with this labor-intensive process, which requires an attention to detail, skill, patience, and innate talent. It returned the artist back to the role of an artisan.


What do you want to see reflected in your work?

I’d like people to appreciate the beauty of a time gone by, a slower-paced, mid-century nostalgic America, where craftsmanship and design came together. By documenting still-existing vintage motel neon, or classic cars, I’m trying to preserve our past. This even extends to the medium I work in. I always want the process to be as much a part of my art as the subject matter.


What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

Teaching the process to others, especially younger generations. I’m humbled and honored that art institutions, colleges, etc. appreciate my work enough to ask me to do workshops, lectures, etc. of this lost art form.



Who or what inspires you?

The Urban Landscape… especially Los Angeles!



What is your favorite place or thing to do in Los Angeles?

Ironically, it’s the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens! I love that it’s this magical, peaceful oasis, surrounded by a metropolis.



If you could pick a place to teleport to right now, where would you go?

Spain! I’ve never been, but it’s the birth place of so many of my heroes and everything I’ve read or heard about it,
makes me want to go there!


What’s your motto for life?

“Follow your dreams and work hard to make them come true!”


We believe in creating really personal pieces of wearable art. For some, it’s a reflection of a personal truth they hold dear or a reminder of inner strength. Is there a piece of jewelry or some other personal talisman that reflects you, give you strength, or tells something of you?

My wedding ring is the only piece of jewelry I’ve ever worn… and I’ve been surprised at the powerful effect it has
had on me. The symbolism it represents, the love my wife and I share, gives me great comfort and strength. Also,
knowing our unconventional, creative lifestyle is truly reflected by Claudia’s unique vision makes me cherish it all
the more.

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