My family recently told me an anecdote. I have no memory of this, but when I was 11 years old I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. I replied that I wanted to be a “local artist”. What a little oddball I was… I actually went to Cambridge Uni to study literature, and forgot all about art. I took on a “serious” career as a copywriter and digital strategist and have run my own consultancy business for 15 years.
The trigger was an abandoned etching press, rusting in a garage. For two years, I nagged a relative to pass this on and finally won. My dear stepdad, Jim, restored it.
So, I had no choice but to master print making. Could I even draw and design after a gap of nearly 30 years? No pressure then…
I was lucky to count a printmaker already among my friends. Lee Wright and I had kids at the same primary school. I joined one of Lee’s workshops and had around 8 hours of lessons. This really got me going. Lee has been an inspirational teacher and I still count on him as a mentor as well as an awesome friend.
But I also challenged myself and worked hard. I attended life drawing sessions for a year to improve my observation, patience and hand-to-eye coordination.
So I’m mostly self-taught. I’ve experimented and stretched myself. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. And funded my expensive hobby with the unrelated day job. Then there’s the benign neglect of my kids…
Going on a printmaking course is exciting and fulifilling. You can work closely with your own photographs (and tracing paper) – all you need is the confidence to make marks.
Linoprinting brings a lovely retro and vintage vibe to an image by enhancing the basic line. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll pick it up and make a print that pleases you – especially if you use good quality materials.
Warm wishes for your ventures in printmaking… I hope to see you at Skirrid Print Studio.