Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hoppscotch - The Prints of Jessica Hopper

Link to Jessica's Etsy site is at the bottom of this page.

Hoppscotch is a team of creative sisters, Jessica and Casey Hopper, from New Orleans, Louisiana. We come from a very artistic and musical family and are both very much influenced by New Orleans culture and traditions. We both work in creative fields (Graphic Design and Industrial Design, respectively) but in our free time we enjoy making and sharing handmade things. My primary focus is printmaking, while Casey works mostly on the art of jewelry making and the occasional painting.

How did you get started in printmaking?

As a graphic design major at Auburn University, I was required to take a certain number of fine arts classes. Every day I would walk by the printmaking studio and see all these beautiful prints hanging in the hallway. They intrigued me enough to sign up for a class, and I was hooked from day one. I even incorporated printmaking into my Graphic Design senior project, and still incorporate prints into my professional design work (if the client lets me!)

Describe where you work.

Anywhere and everywhere! That's the beautiful thing about linocuts, they are portable and relatively mess-free. I usually carry a block around with me in my purse in case I find inspiration. As for the printing process, I usually spread my materials out across my kitchen floor and work in an assembly line- cut paper, roll ink, roll block, print, smash, dry, repeat.

What's your favorite printmaking process?

My experience in different types of printmaking is pretty limited. I've only worked with linocuts and etching, but fell in love with linocut printing because of the primitive and fickle work that usually emerges from the process. However, I would love to experiment with screen printing.

What's your creative process for any given print?

I almost always sketch first. Linocuts require you to draw an image backwards, so that when it's printed it will be correct. That's way too hard for me to think about freehandedly!

What do you enjoy most about printmaking?

Everything really, but if I had to pick one thing it would probably be the process of carving. Digging the printmaking tool into the linoleum helps me to relieve a lot of stress :)

What's your least favorite part of the process?

I have a hard time getting around to printing my linoleum blocks, because I know I'm gonna have to clean up the mess when completed. But once I get started, I remember how much I love the process of printing and being surprised by the different outcomes from the same printing block.

What are your inspirations (other artists, people, places, events, etc.)?

I am influenced by everything New Orleans, but lately the main focus of my linocuts has been New Orleans architecture. I am fascinated by the colors, shapes, and character of old New Orleans homes. I am also influenced by typography, but that's probably the graphic designer coming out in me.

How do you get past creative slumps?

This may sound corny, but I have a journal of motivational "creative" quotes. Whenever I come across one I write it down, and whenever I need a pick-me-up I go to the journal. Not all of them apply to every situation, but after flipping through a few pages I usually find the motivation I need. I also enjoy viewing the work of other printmakers on Etsy, as well as keeping up with their blogs. It's comforting to know that everybody goes through creative slumps, and we can all help each other out by creating awesome work to motivate each other.

How do you promote your work?

It's hard for me to get around to promoting my work, because I primarily print for my own enjoyment. I feel like social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook can be so impersonal...I want people to be able to see the texture of the paper, smell the ink, and have a tangible experience with my work. BUT I know that I am fighting a losing battle so that is something I am working on :)

Any other comments or advice for others who want to try making hand-pulled prints?

Printmaking is a simple and relatively inexpensive form of artwork. All you need is paper, a block, and some ink. Simple as that! What's the harm in giving it a try?

Jessica’s Etsy Site

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