INTERVIEW: A Conversation with Andrew Martin Scott

Hello readers!

While I was working at Corey Helford Gallery this summer, I discovered that the street the gallery is located on, Washington Boulevard, is a veritable artistic zone, replete with galleries and artsy clothing stores.  I reviewed a show at Hinge Modern, one of the aforementioned galleries, last month.  

Recently, a small art bookstore opened on Washington Boulevard just a few doors down from Hinge Modern called "And Pens Press" (stylized "& Pens Press").  & Pens Press sells all manner of quirky, interesting art books, handmade independently crafted jewelry and tchotchkes, and contains a small art gallery in the back room of the store.  I was interested in learning about art bookstores, and so I talked to the owner/proprietor, Andrew Martin Scott, about this interesting new addition to the Culver City Arts District.


I On the Arts: What's the story behind & Pens Press?

Andrew Martin Scott: & Pens Press is an offshoot of Needles & Pens in San Francisco - a shop that I opened 10 years ago with my biz partner Breezy Culbertson. A few years ago I started a publishing imprint called & Pens Press out of N&P; & Pens Press is an expansion of that imprint in a physical retail space as well as the sister store of N&P in San Francisco.

IOtA: How did you get into this line of work?  What's your background?

AMS: I've always loved zines and have been making them since the late 1980s. I've always worked with print and small press in my "professional" career from alternative weekly papers (Chicago Reader, SF Bay Guardian), to a stint at being the editor/coordinator of long-running punk mag "Maximum Rock'n'Roll". Opening a shop full of zines and art books grew out of my interest in the medium of self-publishing and manifested itself in a physical locale.

IOtA: How do you curate the art book collection?  The various jewelry and household items you sell?  The art you plan to exhibit?  I.e., how do you decide what to expose your audience to?

AMS:  Honestly, I fill my shops with titles that I like and think that like-minded folks will also find interesting. The same goes for the gallery exhibitions, I show artists that I find engaging. The first show we're doing at the new space is going to be Dave King's - "Secret Origins of the Crass Symbol". (The gallery page can be found here.)

IOtA: What do you hope to do with & Pens Press?

AMS: I hope to continue promoting artists, small press, and zine makers to the greater public--and have fun doing it!

IOtA: What are some of the rewards and frustrations of owning/operating an art bookstore?

AMS: The rewards of operating an art bookstore are many - running a place that draws in a community of interesting and creative people, discovering and constantly being exposed to beautiful new publications.  The downside of running an art bookstore is much the same as any other small business owner - it's a lot of hard work and you're never off of the clock when you're your own boss. But I really can't complain: running a shop is exactly what I want to be doing with my life.  Despite all of the hard work, it's totally worth it.


  1. will have to stop by and check this out. I love that you went for something totally different with this interview!


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