I work as a freelancer doing a mix of websites, databases, IT support and business services. I’ve worked with IT systems for years and have always liked to do painting and photography as relaxation, often with a local art group. I recently completed the OCA Graphic Design 1 course – the original motivation for this was largely to help me with my work. I like working within this sort of structure – I learned a lot on that course, took my time and went off at tangents. I’m hoping to do the printmaking in the same sort of way, and I’m following the ‘Visual Communications degree pathway’, but not in any sort of hurry. I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty and playing with physical media in pretty much the same way I played with electronic. I’m interested in the process of breaking images down and building them up.
I used to do black and white film photography and do my own developing and printing. I’ve done a little bit of cyanotype and screenprinting, and played a bit with other printing techniques – basically just enough to get a bit of an idea what’s involved.
I’m looking forward to playing around mostly, and exploring a bit. I like black ink on thick white heavy paper. I like flat colours and minimal palettes, and experimenting with textures. I’m interested in old woodblock illustration and fonts and signage, block-printing textiles in India, stencilled lettering on canal lock gates, old printing machinery and so on. I walk a lot in West Yorkshire (where I live) and other high places. I like decaying industrial places where you can see the history, and I also like to keep one foot firmly planted in the city, as a reality check. Some of this I want to bring into my work. My default drawing and painting media are gel pens and inks, acrylic paint with sand to add texture, and different types of pencil.
My aim is to do the course over a year, but I have to fit it in around my work which ebbs and flows, and so there will be periods when I don’t get much done. Unlike the previous course, I’m more interested in doing this one for it’s own sake – but I am aiming to make cards and small stuff that I can sell, by the end of it.