Give Printmaking a Go
Printmaking methods, and the approaches within each method are a perpetual ocean for exploration and experimentation. Add to that artists’ layering of techniques – and hacks on traditional procedures – to create a bottomless channel available for deep study. The best way to dip your toe in the wonderful world of printmaking is to take a weekend workshop, so you can be guided through printmaking in action, with an understanding of the materials and sequences. If you work well with printed directions and solo creative endeavors, you can follow along with a printmaking book, or take an online course, and wing it at your kitchen table. I can vouch for this approach, since I love a good experiment, and newbie-failure propels me into passionate problem solving till I get it right.
Artistic Inspiration vs Comparison
Printmakers are very active on Instagram. Who do you follow? Artists posting their glorious work on that platform are the main source of my iphone’s weekly report of too much time scrolling through Pretty. Instagram is a deep conduit of inspiration, ideas and process hints, but be careful to avoid using it as a comparative watermark on your own progress. Visit Instagram for a shot of inspiration, or a mingle in community, and keep your competition squarely aimed at yourself. Try (always) to best the work you made last month. Browbeating does not make you a better artist. Here are just five inspiring printmakers to follow on Instagram.
Printmaker Kat Flint
Kat Flint is a Scottish illustrator, designer and musician living in London. Her work is inspired by folklore, fairytales and classic Scandinavian design of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. She has an Etsy shop called Kat and Kin here, and her work is on Instagram here. I highly recommend following her.
Printmaker Hannah Forward
Hannah Forward took a brief course in relief printmaking in 2013 to supplement her daily sketchbook practice. The process swept her into it’s evocative lure, and her prints garnered attention from magazines and print fairs, as well as sales. Visit her website to read more of her story here, and follow her on Instagram.
Printmaker Gerald Ruggiero
Gerald Ruggiero teaches monotype printmaking in Scottsdale, Arizona. He’s a prolific artist, with a passion for line, unapologetic shapes, and familial color in his genre scene portraits and roomscapes. There is a quiet atmosphere in his work, tugging against beautifully energetic textures. You can see his monotypes on his web site here, and follow him on Instagram here.
Printmaker Hester Cox
Hester Cox is a seasoned printmaker and an avid runner in North Yorkshire, England. She works primarily in collagraph, linocut and monotype, and her studio photos on her blog are inspiring for the scale of her work, and her skilled rendering and creative execution. She also teaches workshops. See her website here, and follow her on Instagram here.
Printmaker John A. Pedder
John A. Pedder is a prolific artist and printmaker from Sheffield, England with original prints for sale here. He posts stills and video clips of work-in-process on his large format, geometrically narrative woodcuts on instagram. Read John’s statement about the freedom a perpetually curious artist gets to exercise when self-set limitations support the notion of a deep dive into a particular artform. Watch this video about him, and follow him on Instagram here.
Share the Love
There are so many printmakers sharing their wonders on Instagram. If you follow anyone who inspires you, please share a link to them in the comments. And if you’re interested in more printmakers to follow on instagram, let me know, because there are hundreds of them, all carving, pressing and getting inky together over there.
Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post!
P.S. You can subscribe to get every new post via email as soon as it’s published here.
P.P.S. Speaking of meeting printmakers on Instagram, let me also introduce you to martial artist and printmaker Tom Callos, and his beautiful glass barens on Etsy!
The purpose of technique is to free the unconscious. If you follow the rules ploddingly, they will allow your unconscious to be free. That’s true creativity. If not, you will be fettered by your conscious mind. Because the conscious mind aways wants to be liked, and wants to be interesting. The conscious mind is going to suggest the obvious, the cliché, because these things offer security of having succeeded in the past. Only the mind that has been taken off itself and put on a task is allowed true creativity.