I’m from a small town in West Tennessee. When I was little, I would love to make stories and draw characters from my favorite cartoons. Sometimes in the summer I would take art lessons in the upstairs of the local craft store. I moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University in 2003. I studied Design Communications and Religion in the Arts. I was really lucky to have a great design professor who encouraged me to incorporate my hand-lettering and illustrations into my design work.
How did you get started in printmaking?
I took a class in college about different printing methods and really enjoyed learning about linocuts. I preferred it to etching and monoprinting. I really liked being able to stylize my prints with different carving techniques.
Describe where you work.
I have a corner of my house that I’ve dedicated to crafting. I have a desk, a bookshelf and a table for my printing press and supplies. Sometimes the corner tends to grow throughout the rest of my house, though.
What's your favourite printmaking process?
I love letterpress printing. I just purchased a Kelsey 6x10 tabletop press and I’m working on getting it up and running. I interned at Hatch Show Print here in Nashville. That’s when my ‘like’ for printmaking turned into a full-on love. I loved the smell of the ink, the sound of the press rollers, and the skill involved in type-setting. It was an amazing experience to be involved with a working letterpress poster shop. If you’re ever in Nashville, you should definitely visit.
What's your creative process for any given print? (eg. sketch first? Pre-planned or free-form?)
I usually do a rough sketch first and then transfer it to linoleum. I make adjustments while I’m carving. I find that the process is most enjoyable for me when I don’t try to over-think it or perfect it.
What do you enjoy most about printmaking?
I love working with my hands. It’s so rewarding to see your ideas take shape. I love the simplicity of hand-printing and how it requires only a few tools.
What's your least favorite part of the process?
Having to quit for the day to go to work!
What are your inspirations (other artists, people, places, events, etc.)?
Sister Corita Kent and Hatch Show Print. I think being from the South influences my work, too.
How has your work changed and evolved since you started?
In college, I carved a few blocks directly from photographs. Some of the other design students told me they liked my drawings and that gave me the confidence to start carving my own illustrations. So, I guess I’ve simplified since I started.
How do you get past creative slumps?
Some days I have to walk away for a while. I’ll read a book or run a few errands and then come back. If you’re feeling stuck, it’s usually a good time to take a break.
How do you promote your work?
This is something I’m not great about doing. I’m trying to get better. I recently started selling my cards at a local bookstore. I’m just beginning to brand my shop. I hope to get involved with local craft fairs, too. I would love some suggestions!
Any other comments or advice for others who want to try making hand-pulled prints?
Try not to poke yourself! Printing tools can be sharp! As far as promoting and selling your prints, Etsy is a great way to get started. It requires very little start-up and you have an instant community of creative people who are willing to give you feedback and answer questions you may have.