RD Imaging Says 'Let Your Imagination Go'

Digital art studio specializes in imaging to unique substrates

Big Picture

Located in scenic, Oregon coastal town, RD Imaging is a digital printmaking studio and training center that can reproduce art onto almost any type of substrate an artist would like to use. For example, RD Imaging used their Encad NovaJet 880 inkjet printer to reproduce one of Juergen Eckstein's painting onto plywood veneer panels that the artist used to decorate the white-closet doors in his Japanese-motif bedroom.

RD Imaging's managing director James Armer describes himself as "A gentleman with a passion for fashion and beauty who takes things beyond the ordinary." He bought his first 36-in. Encad NovaJet Pro wide-format inkjet printer about 11 years ago, and proudly points out that it's still running, even though he does things that aren't really supposed to be done with inkjet printers. Long before mainstream media manufacturers started selling inkjet-receptive coated canvas and art papers, Armer had discovered he could achieve acceptable image quality by applying hairspray to canvas, then allowing it to dry before running it through the printer. He used the same hairspray technique to make other substrates inkjet-printable, including watercolor papers and leather.

Over the past year, Armer's creativity has surged with the acquisition of an eight-color NovaJet 880 that can image to either rolled or rigid materials. He's currently working on a 10- x 119-ft round mural for the Coyote Bluff restaurant in the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grande Ronde, OR. The mural includes images of coyotes which are being output onto a silver metallic material that will help the images come alive as they reflect the casino's pink and blue fluorescent neon lights. Silver and gold metallics are just two of the special media used at RD Imaging. The company has also reproduced artwork on various types of wood and is currently doing some prototyping work on a lightweight concrete material for a European furniture maker.

The company's stress-free location has helped Armer attract a troupe of similarly creative professionals, including experts in digital photography, Photoshop, Web design, trade-show graphics, fine-art printmaking, color-management, marketing and 3-D modeling and visualization.

To enable others to share their passion for creatively applying digital imaging technology, RD is currently establishing itself as Image Consultants utilizing Encad, Kodak, and Onyx Graphics solutions. Armer says RD Imaging's small-group, three-day sessions will allow plenty of one-on-one interaction and enable attendees to walk out feeling good about their abilities to convert their creative visions into sellable art. "There are a lot of people who are afraid to get into this because it can be so expensive," says Armer. "They don't know where to start. But we do. And we can teach them."

Armer promotes RD Imaging as a place "where vision and purpose combine in exciting creations" and "imagination becomes reality." He's happy that RD Imaging is able to prosper primarily through creative networking and word-of-mouth referrals. The company is attracting clients from as far away as Portland and San Francisco, because as Armer says, "Our work speaks for itself." RD Imaging: 541-265-9166; www.rdimaging.com.

View more from this Big Picture issue