2021 August - PrintPressPulp
2021 Email Questions - if anyone has questions they'd like to ask me I will do my best to respond :) Here are some questions I got from art student Iarina that I thought I would share:
-How much planning goes into each artwork? Do you keep a sketchbook for sudden inspiration or do you start the piece and see where it takes you?
-- so much planning! Because my main medium is now copper plate etching, it can take 2-4 weeks to even make the plate around my work schedule. I keep a sketchbook for future pieces, with watercolor/graphite thumbnails. I have many other sketchbooks with notes, but recently I’ve been using the notes app on my phone the most to keep track of the number of plates and their sizes haha. A lot of my work comes from mylar stencils, so I can make a lot at once and choose my favorite images to make into plates!
-What was your audience when you first started versus now?
-- I suppose my audience at first was just friends and family, but a lot of my print friends came from the program I went to for undergrad, and now my audience is more so of the larger printmaking community (who are also my friends!). I love love the Instagram printmaking community. I’ve made a lot of online friends in the print community, and everyone does really amazing and different things. Lots to learn from!
-Do you prefer having your original work in galleries more than selling prints? Why?
-- This one is tough because in printmaking, all of them are technically originals. I’ve never made reproductions of my work to sell as giclée prints (not that I’m against it or there’s anything wrong with that!) But there’s pros and cons to selling your work yourself (through a website, or art markets, etc) and having someone sell it for you through a gallery. They just have different audiences and I think to grow the largest audience both are good strategies.
-Do you have any advice for an illustrator who is at the beginning of their printmaking career?
-- keep making what you love! Keep questions in mind like: how do you want your work to be perceived by an Audience? Are you an illustrator first? An image maker? Does it matter? Do you want to have clients and do freelance? There are so many paths to being an “illustrator” and they are all valid. I’ve seen a lot of illustrators be pushed into only making editorial works for clients, and that (in my opinion) can stifle your creative experience. With printmaking, there are so many experiential routes and mediums through which you can translate your illustrative work.
-I really love the feelings created by your mixture of techniques and textures, do you have any advice on finding a personal style?
-- getting outside your comfort zone and keep creating. The topic of an artistic personal style is heavily talked about both in classrooms and online. The advantages of having one art style that you stick with is that your work is easily identifiable by others. I feel like this will come with time and experimentation, though. Don't get overwhelmed with not having found one personal style yet, if you haven't. I found what worked for me by reading more about the Surrealists and the methods of mark making they used, and combining it with the items I wanted to make prints about. Art history can help in this way, looking to artists you admire and seeing how they made things and applying it to your own work.
-What piece of advice do you wish you could have given yourself?
-- 1) Your peers in art school will be your professional contacts, treat them as such! 2) Sometimes you need to look to your larger community for advice/critiques (like how you reached out to me here!) because your teachers are probably very overwhelmed from just being a teacher, they cannot always give you the time, attention, and advice you may need. The critiques you get in school are not the end-all-be-all as they say.
-Has the ability to access printmaking facilities (presses in particular) influenced your career trajectory?
-- Incredibly, yes! I feel so blessed to have continued alumni access to the print studio in exchange for my time as a volunteer. It really allowed me to continue learning about intaglio and the Japanese wet-mounting method called Urauchi. Well-equipped studios are difficult to find, and I know a lot of printmaking majors that switch to painting after they graduate, whether because of lack of access to presses or something else. I knew I would always be making art, but now I can really experiment and make new plates as often as my bank account allows. This access has led me to make my work better, more professional-looking, and be able to apply to grants and residencies which I wasn't ready for when I graduated - it took me a few years. Now I feel confident I will always find a way to print and make plates, and I feel like I really am becoming a part of this larger print community.