Here’s the new work I’ve just finished for the Gocco Exhibition at the Here Gallery in October. It’s all been bundled up & shipped off now. I made the Favourite Shoes print in an edition of 50 & it will be available in a boxed portfolio with prints from all of the other participating artists too. I get a set myself – can’t wait! I think I might make a second edition of this design in different colours – I’m quite happy with how it turned out!
And here’s the girl from a few posts ago that started as a sketch in my Moleskine. I’ve made two mixed media pieces on 6x12x1.5″ canvas. I printed up a few extras on various types of paper to incorporate into some future pieces I’ll be selling in my Etsy shop.
I was also approached by the fabulous ezine Design This Design That to take part in their Illustration issue, but I was so busy I forgot to send back the interview answers! I’m really disappointed that I missed out, because it really is a great issue, but I’m still featured in the Etsy Treasures section, which is nice. Go take a flick through- it’s loaded with amazingly talented illustrators.
Some of my work is going to be featured in this fabulous exhibition of Gocco artists, Even Dwarves Started Small, being held at the Here Gallery in the UK (& look, one of my pics is on the flyer!). It’s shaping up to be a great show (I wish I could attend!) – here’s the list of artists…
Arctic Circles | Jill Bliss | Simon Dovar | Rob Flowers | Imakethings | Yellena James |Xtina Lamb | Magic Jelly (that’s me!) | Mark Pawson | Nigel Peake | Peskimo | Aaron Sewards | Lucie Sheridan | Julie West | Jazmin Velasco
From the press release:
For over 25 years, the Print Gocco screen-printing system has been used in Japan. The small plastic device is a self-contained screen printing set-up, consisting of an exposure unit, pre-coated screens and inks. Originally marketed for making greeting cards and sold in toy stores, appreciation for the Gocco system has grown amongst artists who cannot afford, or don’t have the space for a traditional screen-printing equipment.
We feel that the accessibility of Print Gocco reflects our own DIY ethos in running a gallery, and so have chosen to celebrate our Fifth anniversary with a group show of Gocco based artwork. To accompany the exhibition, we will be releasing a portfolio of Gocco prints, produced in a signed and numbered edition of 50, collected in a custom made presentation box.
We’ve selected artists who look beyond the limitations of the device, to show that it can also be used to produce fine art works. Those involved are from a range of disciplines; textile design, fine art, illustration, graphic design, and animation.
EDIT: The Paper Chase Project has now closed.
Can you believe it? It was in July that I started the Paper Chase! Some of you may have been wondering if I was ever going to make & send the promised collages, or that maybe I’d skipped town with all that paper. Well, fear not, I’m still here & I’m busily collaging.
I’ve received 36 packages of paper so far, & although I’m still more than happy to accept people’s parcels, I just want to let you all know that it might take me a while before I can post back the collages – I’ve had a much bigger response than I expected.
Thanks to everyone who’s participated so far – I hope you can be patient with me! Hopefully I’ll finish updating everything this afternoon.
I’ve started digitally “inking” the sketch from my last post in Illustrator & thought you might like to take a look at my progress. You can see from the scan of the original sketch (acting as template) that I’ve made a few adjustments…eyebrows lower, eyes smaller, nose narrower, jawline fuller…but basically it’s the same gal! Eventually, she’s going to be gocco printed on vintage paper & become part of a mixed media piece. I’ll show you when it’s done!
Anyway, the painstaking task of vectoring my sketch got me thinking about digital art & its reputation amongst traditional artists.
I hang around the Etsy forums waaay more than I should (when I’m supposed to be working!) & have been frustrated on a number of occasions by peoples’ attitude towards digital art. I’m referring to the viewpoint that digital art is somehow less legitimate than traditional art. What’s particularly frustrating, is when the people who hold this opinion know nothing about digital process whatsoever.
There seems to be this misconception that digital art is just a few mere magical mouse-clicks away! Also that it’s somehow inferior because it’s not “handmade” (the Etsy catch cry) & is “cold” & “soulless”.
Well, I can tell you now, I use the same pair of hands, set of eyes & brain to make digital artwork as I do when using paint, ink or pencil. Furthermore, digital techniques are not as intuitive as putting pencil to paper – it’s not so easy to just pick it up & hit the ground running – it took me a very long time to fully grasp the technical aspect of making pictures digitally & to finally be able to accurately render the ideas in my head. This is all contrary to the commonly held opinion that digital art is somehow easier to make than traditional art, that it takes less time, talent & skill.
And back to the “handmadeness” aspect again… Despite the fact that I’ve just argued that in its own way, digital art is just as “hands on” as traditional art, I just want to add that technique & craftsmanship are only part of the picture when it comes to making art. What about the more cerebral considerations: developing your concept, making your colour choices, composition, subject matter, & all those other decisions you make about how best to render your ideas? I think, especially on Etsy, with its fixation on “handmade”, that some artists get so caught up with the craftsmanship of making art that they forget the conceptual side is equally important. Maybe if they considered this, they’d start to understand that computers are no different to any other tool.
I guess part of the reason digital art still gets a raw deal is because it’s still relatively new, but why not embrace whatever tools & technologies are at hand? Once upon a time, the camera obscura was seen as the devil’s work, & there are techniques & media embraced by the art world these days, that were once considered too “lowbrow” or commercial.
I’m a believer in using whatever it takes to communicate your ideas, whether it be a charred stick on a cave wall or a MacBook Pro.
First page of new Moleskine…
Maybe beauty is too grand a word for accidentally organised clutter, but even so, I thought these little dogs (picked up a few weeks ago from a flea market) I’d put to one side of the hellish mess I call my work table, made a nice little arrangement deserving of a photo! The collage on canvas behind them is a little work in progress – I must get around to finishing it…
The piccie below is another accidental arrangement from a few months ago. I was idly fidgeting while talking on the phone & made this little scene on my desk. The thing the tinsel tree is sticking in is a grubby lump of blue-tack with the word ‘please’ pressed in it from my ‘please do not bend’ stamp. Notice my blog on the screen behind it?
I’ve been flat-out busy lately, but for all those involved in the Paper Chase, I am madly collaging the nights away. Last count, I think I’d received about 30 packages!
What else have I been doing lately? Well, I’ve listed some new things in my Etsy shop. I thought I’d try & justify the extravagant purchase of stamp making equipment by making some to sell as well as for myself. I’d like to expand the selection, but here’s what I’ve got for starters. I’m granting buyers a license to use them commercially, & all the designs will be exclusive to the range. I’m also gradually taking product photos so I can list a whole lot of buttons, magnets, keyrings, etc. The multi-packs that I’ve listed so far seem quite popular!
I’m also making hay while the sun shines (ie. using my gocco before supplies finally run out) by doing some new gocco prints, including some pieces for a gocco exhibition in October that I’ll tell you all about later.
I want to make the Paper Chase a little bit special, so I designed this stamp to print on the back of all the collages I make. I also uploaded a new batch of photos to the gallery – I’ve received 20 packages so far!
I’m pretty busy with work at the moment, but I’m slowly getting through them & still happy for any new people to join in!
I’ve had such an incredible response, I had to devise a little system to keep all the packages in order & make sure I don’t mix any up. I’m not what you’d call naturally organised or efficient.
Thank you so much to everyone who’s participated so far – I’ve been totally blown away by how generous & thoughtful people are!
Trips to the post office are not normally this thrilling… The response to the Paper Chase has been huge – 19 parcels of paper so far, & more to come. Hooray! Here’s what I picked up this morning…it was like Christmas Day opening them all!
I’m obviously going to be very busy making collages for all the participants, so I’d like to ask people to be a little patient. I’m devoting my evenings & some of my weekends to the Paper Chase so I can post back everyone’s collages as soon as possible!
I’m just amazed & really really moved by how great you all are! I hope I can do this project justice by making collages everyone’s happy with! Thank you!