Name: Joanne Allen
I live with my little girl and a pet cat called Tigger. I love tea and chocolate. I love being inspired by other creative souls. I'm a single mum who loves to create at night and weekends. During the day I work with computers where I create using code and software.
What printmaking medium do you most often work in?
Linocut and gocco.
How did you get started in printmaking?
I was looking for something new to try and went along to a printing workshop. It was there that I found that I loved carving out lino.
Describe where you work
I am a member of an art space (www.megalo.org) where there are printing presses etc that I can use. It means my home stays sort of clean and tidy :). At home I have a room that has a large old dining table and it is generally covered in paper, inks, chisels, lino and anything else that has sparked my curiosity.
What's your creative process for any given print? (eg. sketch first? Pre-planned or free-form?)
I always sketch first, walk away, come back and sketch some more, make changes, walk away, come back and then start carving. I start printing on different types of paper or materials. I like experimenting to see how the ink will behave. I generally carve some more and then print again. Eventually I get a print and lino plate that I am happy with.
What do you enjoy most about printmaking?
Oh the experimenting and seeing what happens :)
What's your least favorite part of the process?
I'd have to say the cleaning up. Not really great at that :(
What are your inspirations (other artists, people, places, events, etc.)?
My print teacher Gillian Mann has always been a great inspiration. I also love looking at photographers and at the moment really like www.jinkyart.com.au. I find the printers on Etsy are just amazing. Local exhibitions are always great.
How has your work changed and evolved since you started?
I am finding that I challenge myself more and try more techniques. I think I am braver and not so shy to show others what I am working on or have done. I'm open to feedback these days.
How do you get past creative slumps?
I switch mediums, I look to see what others are creating, I take photos, listen to music. I have faith that eventually I will get that spark back and be up at 2am creating something :)
How do you promote your work?
Through Etsy, my blog and word of mouth.
Any other comments or advice for others who want to try making hand-pulled prints? Experiment and try not to be too critical. Often your mistakes turn out to be great inspirational starting points.