This last project has marked something of a turning point for me and my working method, it has been a turning point that I’d like to think has improved my work, but at the very least has certainly rekindled my excitement for creating images. I’ve returned to ‘print making’.
In my first week of first year I had a go at printmaking and it began an obsession that would go on to define the rest of the year for me. I became fascinated by it, it gave me a confidence that I had never felt with drawing and excited me far more than creating digital work ever had. It really felt like I had found my niche.
On reflection though, I think that this was something of a mixed blessing: on the one hand I was becoming far more out going and experimental with my work (trying everything from ‘linocuts’ to ‘collographs’ to ‘mono prints’ and ‘screen prints’) and was discovering a whole new range of diverse print based artists ( from Fans Masereel, to Helena Bochorakova-Dittrichova to Isabelle Vandenabeele). On the other hand I was becoming far too focused on the process and not enough on the ideas. With every new brief I would immediately start wondering how I could incorporate printmaking and the idea behind the images was coming second. As a result by the end of my first year I had ‘hit a wall’ with print making and now needed to focus far more on my ideas.
So in my second year, I pretty much stopped printmaking and made the majority of my work digitally. This meant that now it was the idea that came first and the working method that came second.
As a result I think that the work that I created in my second year was stronger from a ‘design theory’ perspective.
I was also becoming more interested in ‘style’ and was looking to modernist illustrators like Jim Flora and Charley Harper as well as contemporary practitioners like Jack Teagle, Ben Newman and Stuart Kolakovic.