Thank you, Chantal!
Where in the world are you?
Briefly describe yourself and what you make
I’m at my happiest with the world when I have something to create. At the moment my main focus is designing, carving and hand printing rubber stamps and linocuts. I have 2 young children so working with linocuts and rubberstamps suits me well. I can break the process into short sessions and it’s contained enough to work on whilst I’m at the kitchen table. It’s great to create in a space where the kids can bring their own artwork to the table and we can chat and enjoy time together.
In May last year I undertook an online course with www.Pikaland.com which opened my eyes to how much inspiration can be found in our immediate surroundings. It’s often just a matter of how you look at it.
Also through blogs, facebook, twitter, pinterest and other online sources I’ve met more artists and learnt more things than I ever expected too. Currently my favourite printmaker is Bridget Farmer. Bridget’s etched birds have a wonderful mood about them and her drawing style is very expressive.
When / how did you learn?
I’ve loved drawing and painting since childhood but I’ve taught myself to carve in just the last year . I have purchased books, read blogs, watched tutorials on Youtube and spent many hours getting used to carving rubber and lino. In the next few months I’d like to refine what I’ve learnt as well as learn new printmaking methods at a local print studio.
Why is making things by hand worth the 'effort'?
I get a tremendous amount of joy and contentment from creating things by hand. There’s also that appeal that a handmade item usually has something of character or style unique to the person who made it. When I’m buying a gift for someone (or myself!) it’s those little quirks that make me think about the maker, their story and what drove them to make that particular item.
What is your craft ”philosophy”?
Mix it up. Keep trying new things. Beyond the linocuts and stamps I keep a look out for challenges or projects presented by other blogs. The Creative Collective had a recycling themed project earlier this year. As a result my kids and I had lots of fun designing, building and playing with a cardboard castle. These projects often lead me outside my day to day practices but on completion I usually return to my carving designs refreshed and with new ideas.
How do you deal with crafty mistakes? Are they mistakes?
I don’t often follow patterns to the letter so generally I welcome mistakes as detours requiring some kind of design modifications, sometimes they become the feature! When I was painting canvases I used to look at my almost finished piece and rework mistakes or bits I liked the least until they became the part I was most happy with.
Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
Yes, and it’s become full of happy memories! I started an art journal for all of my printmaking and stamps last year. I sketch out designs in it as well as print into it everytime I test a new stamp or linocut. When I look back over the years work it literally feels like a diary due to the seasonal inspirations and themes.
What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
I’ve met a very supportive set of art friends online in this past year. Their friendship, encouragement and feedback has been invaluable. I love that these friends are spread across the globe. We learn from each other, share our experiences and there’s usually always someone to chat with regardless of what ridiculous time of the night/morning you might be creating!
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