We've had a fantastic array of talented printmakers to keep us inspired over the last year via our Meet the Maker blog feature. Here is a round-up of all the artists featured this year.
Grab yourself a drink, pop your feet up and browse this showcase of work alongside some of the advice our printmakers offer to fellow creatives:
"Don’t get too hung up on the precision if that’s ‘not you’ – go with what you enjoy!"
" The advice I would give to other artists, but especially emerging artists is to get into a creative space around other artists. Make connections, network, collaborate and have exhibitions or pop-ups. I used to run a gallery in the Old Town of Margate and this was such a useful springboard for my art and it allowed me to meet so many different people and what came with that was lots of opportunities."
"Connect and reach out to people who inspire you. You never know how much that sort of thing can mean to someone."
"My advice would be to immerse yourself in what inspires you. Make art for you and no one else. Also if there are beginners looking to get into linocut you should know that you don’t need expensive professional equipment or tools to create a brilliant print! Just keep practising and utilise what you have!"
"Don’t be afraid of mistakes, don’t compare yourself to others all the time, listen to your heart and stay focused. It’s okay if an idea takes days or weeks to unfold as it’s always the result that counts."
"Practice, always practice more, be creative, be inspired and never lose hope. Always giving it your all in what you do really helps you accomplish great things!"
"Make time to play. By this I mean, take some time to muck about and get messy! You don’t always have to know the outcome before you start. Some of my best ideas have come when my mind has been in a state of play and curiosity. If you are having fun making something, chances are that people viewing your work will see that too. Have some fun!"
"My advice would be to experiment and explore as much as you can and learn new techniques. View creativity as self-care, something to use for your own wellbeing – not for anyone or anything else. Embrace constraints as opportunities rather than restrictions and use this chance to become self-sustainable, creating your own materials."
"Keep playing, there are no rules! Don’t be precious, put the wrong ink on the thing and see what happens, make something work for you even if it’s not been done before, print on any surface you find, and enjoy the never-ending piles of things that didn’t quite work! And carving is muscle memory, the more you carve the more you can carve! So just keep going!"
"Let go of the need for perfection, to embrace the unexpected, explore, experiment and approach creating with a sense of curiosity. Keep asking… I wonder what would happen if… and let the process do its thing!"
"I’m often asked, ‘how do I find my style?’ and my advice is to draw. We often lose confidence in our drawing ability at an early age, we’re taught that if it doesn’t look like what it is we are drawing, then it isn’t any good. I truly believe we can all draw, we all have our own unique way of mark-making – like our handwriting."
"KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid! I recently was told this and think that it’s a solid piece of advice for everything from buying equipment to planning an image. I’m one for throwing everything into the mix in a single print! To try and give an image more ‘depth’ and ‘meaning’! But I’ve found that the images that work the best are the ones that I’ve kept simple. Plus it’s a good piece of advice for life in general."
"Play, experiment, make time for drawing and development. I still feel I’ve barely touched the surface of all I want to learn about lino printing. I didn’t start selling my lino prints properly until I stopped worrying about selling them and started just really enjoying making them regularly."
"A good tip I was once told, that I absolutely stand by, is to go as far back in time with your references as possible. Everything is copied and further copied from century to century, by artists admiring and responding to the artists before them, so if you make art like the artists of today your work will pale in comparison, as it is a copy of a copy of a copy. Always go to the source for inspiration, and your work will have depth. So if you’re interested in Abstract Expressionism, for example, go to the artists who first started the movement."
"Gosh, I don’t feel qualified to dish out advice! I was once told, “Knowing what you don’t want to do is sometimes more important than knowing what you do want to do.” I get a lot of mileage out of that one."
"Embrace your own style and don’t compare yourself to others. There are no mistakes in your work only the chance to change it for the better and enjoy the process."
"My advice would be to try not to compare your work to others, and devote your time to what you enjoy, what makes you the happiest. Don’t get bogged down by the number of Instagram followers you have. Immerse yourself in the creative community and talk to other creatives as it’s a warm and welcoming place. Also, get a whippet."
"Allow yourself to experiment and play with different subjects, colours and techniques that interest you without being pressurised on focusing on the end result."
"If you’re just starting out as a printmaker, my advice would be to just keep going. Become a linocut sponge! Watch all the videos you can on Instagram and YouTube, read online tutorials and try to follow along and absorb all the information you can. Keep varying your technique, paper type, ink, tools, everything you can until you find what works best for you and allows you to create what you want to."
"Well, I think a good piece of advice would be to follow your curiosity even when it feels like drifting away from your original goal. Exploring new tools, techniques and materials usually leads to new work and even to new styles, so that’s always a good thing to try when you find yourself blocked. Lastly, it is always good to remember what you see on social media is only the best-curated version of ourselves and our work… you rarely see all the failed attempts so it is easy to think you're the only one making mistakes or not producing daily work that is museum ready!"
"Be true to yourself, believe in what you’re making and don’t worry about what others think or social media’s fickle ways. Enjoy the process and keep trying. I have great days when it all goes swimmingly and then terrible days when the print gods refuse to cooperate (black ink I’m talking about you) Oh and always keep your spare hand behind the cutting blade."
"Everyone can draw and paint! Practice will make you better and the rest is just your style, it’s what makes you interesting."
"My advice to other printmakers would be to continue what you truly enjoy. Don’t compare yourself to others and have the confidence to keep trying different techniques and mediums. Truly absorb yourself in the process."