Sunday, July 4, 2010

Printsy Interview - Dormain Geyer


Brief Bio:
I was born in San Francisco and grew up in the East Bay. After graduating UCLA, I moved back up to SF and have been there ever since. I work long hours at a boutique investment bank, so I'm happy to be able to do any printmaking at all!

How did you get started in printmaking?
I was fortunate enough to go to a high school that had a press and we had to do a unit on printmaking (monoprint, linocut and etching/aquatint) each year of AP Art. I didn't have access to a press in college, but as soon as I was settled in SF, I signed up for classes at City College.

Describe where you work:
I take classes through City College at Fort Mason, which has had printmaking facilities and classes for over 30 years. The Saturday class has a lot of working professionals like myself, so there's a lot of camaraderie.

What's your favourite printmaking process?
Lately, I've been really embracing linocut work, especially multiple-plate linocuts.

What's your creative process for any given print? (eg. sketch first? Pre-planned or free-form?)
I usually work from photos, tracing out the key shapes and allowing for some abstraction.

What do you enjoy most about printmaking?
I love the iterative process and being allowed to experiment as I "perfect" a piece.

What's your least favorite part of the process?
Needing access to a press will always be a limitation, but at the same time, being forced to go out and find common resources leads to joining a community. Also, taking classes forces me to stay consistent - I've never been productive at home!

What are your inspirations (other artists, people, places, events, etc.)?
I started getting into printing small books, which led me to take some classes in letterpress and bookbinding at the San Francisco Center for the Book. A project I really want to take on is creating a graphic novel- type book.

How has your work changed and evolved since you started?
I used to move from technique to technique and there wasn't a cohesive style and I'm focusing more on developing that signature look. I also used to do more portraits and I'm doing more buildings and scenes now.

How do you get past creative slumps?
If I'm not sure what to create, I focus on how to create. Spending a little time focusing on technique can often jump-start my imagination for a new project.

How do you promote your work?
Most of my sales are at the annual Holiday sale put on by the Fort Mason studios. I'm beginning to list some of my work on Etsy, but I've really only just started that. Almost a year ago, I started a blog to document some of my projects, but I do very limited promoting right now.

Any other comments or advice for others who want to try making hand-pulled prints?
Take a broad-based class and try a bunch of the techniques.

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