Updated: May 20, 2019
After finishing my Textiles degree at Manchester Metropolitan University I decided to rent a studio space to remain a part of a creative network after finishing my degree. I thought i’d share with you a little insight into my current workspace.
I am very lucky to share my Stockport based studio with a very talented printmaker, Karen Mercer (@klmprint) and her little dog Pepe. I had never thought about what an impact it would have on myself and my artwork by sharing my workspace with another maker. Personality wise, myself and Karen are very similar, we are keen to rid the planet of plastic and we both have a keen eye for printmaking and a love of dogs, it’s not uncommon for us to arrive at the studio wearing a similar outfit!
Sharing a workspace with Karen has inspired me to get back into printing, she uses a wide range of printing processes from risograph to Geli plate, each new idea springs out of the last as she plays with the technique, combining colour and natural shapes. I find lino block print and mono print work well for me, using a contrast of negative and positive shapes, keeping the monochrome colour palette.
One thing that Karen has recently inspired in me is the fact that she only ever produces 5 of each print, this makes her prints rare and special. Testing out ideas on a small batch basis, keeps the ideas and processes constantly flowing. When I first started to get my illustrations printed, I naively (or rather arrogantly) thought I would sell loads of prints and wanted to protect the digital files to get more produced when I needed them. In fact there’s something nice about selling out, only having a select few prints keeps them special and small batch- something I’m now aiming for.
Shifting from wanting to fill the world with my illustrations to making a few and making them special has really helped with the creative process for me. The slower act of printing by hand, instead of digital printing really allows me to think about what i’m doing and in return helps me to think up new narratives and characters. Keep your eye out on my Etsy page for new lino block prints, I will only be making a few of each from now on, once they’re gone- they’re gone!
Sending out a big THANK YOU to Karen for always providing me with entertainment as well as a great lunch time on a Friday.
If you'd like to come and have a look at more real life studio spaces, Marketplace Studios will be having an open day on the 6th July 2019- it would be great to see you there!