In the beginning, Issac Hastings found himself in a collective space with a bunch of different artists and thought that being a painter was the only way to go about his work as an artist. Later, wanting to explore other options, he came across a screen printing press shop and was pulled in by the medium of ink, how tactile it was, how altering the layers and amount of ink could change the look, and began to pursue designing his own T-shirts. With his first design, Isaac was invited to set up a table at an open studio event and quickly sold out: IHSQUARED was born. A participant in Craft Lake City for 10 years in a row, for several years he also traveled the arts festival circuit all around the country. Then COVID hit.

And a mural, too..

Evan Jed Memmott and Isaac Hastings pulled out the rollers and brushes to

give their mural at Clever Octopus (2250 S. West Temple,) an upcycled arts and crafts business, a more “screen-printed” look and feel, using a technique that is more common to their method of spreading ink than mural painting. As explained by Isaac, “We were able to achieve texture and dimension, not by shading or traditional spraying, but with only a few colors. The illusion of depth is from the spacing between lines, or from the placement and proximity of dabs or dots of paint.”

Now Isaac sells his original tees and tapestries online—ihsquared.com. Recently he added a tarot deck. And fortunately, while art and music festivals were canceled, online sales continued to climb. For a closed event in Seattle, Isaac announced an exclusive sale for those living in Washington, and the response was favorable, “Folks usually wait to see me in person versus buying online. This was the biggest feeling of love ever, to ll orders and be supported, it was awesome.”

Isaac explains his dark-themed or even frightening designs: “I find a lot of beauty in the increments of life. We’re here as long as we are here—experiences have made me appreciate the life death balance. I love ecosystems, the grim reaper in the form of the vulture to clean up the bones and also allowing things to survive and thrive. Sometimes it’s gnarly and scary, but such is a part of everything.”

For more on artist Issac Hastings and IHSQUARED, visit ihsquared.com

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