Sunday, September 26, 2010

Amy Combs

Amy's site links are at the end of this interview.

How did you get started in printmaking?

I took a basic introduction to printmaking in college, which introduced me to many different forms of printmaking.  It wasn’t until a couple years later that I started making linocut Christmas cards to send to friends and family.  I just recently got back into printmaking in 2009 and have been learning more through books, online research, social networking and good old fashioned trial and error

Describe where you work.

I work in a spare bedroom that serves as an office/storage/catch-all in our house. I have an old drafting table and my husband’s old bachelor furniture that I use to print on and store stuff in.

What's your favorite printmaking process?

Linocuts. The material is easy to work with, you don’t need a press to print and you can start and stop when you need to.

What's your creative process for any given print?

I sketch then transfer a basic outline onto the lino then draw in details directly on the lino. I like to use a black marker when drawing on my lino because it gives me more of an idea of what the actual print will look like.

What do you enjoy most about printmaking?

Carving the lino is my favorite part of the process. There is so much potential in that blank piece of lino. It’s also one of the few things that I have complete control over so the whole experience is very zen-like to me. It’s very calming.

What's your least favorite part of the process?

Cleaning up because honestly, who likes to do that? But, I also have such a love/hate relationship with the actual printing process that it becomes extremely frustrating for me to print. I do not have a press so I have improvised with different, although, not necessarily “proper” printing techniques. Right now I’m currently using my trusty wooden spoon and/or a rolling pin to print.

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

Nature, things in my everyday life and all of the wonderful artists that I have seen on Etsy. Also, having my son show me new and exciting things in everyday life that I might easily overlook helps to inspire me.

How has your work changed and evolved since you started?

My work started out as “drawing” on the lino and has now evolved to a more conscious effort to use the positive and negative space better.

How do you get past creative slumps?

Focus on other projects that aren’t printmaking. As long as I keep doing something artsy, I’ll get inspired to start printing again.

How do you promote your work?

Etsy, Facebook and Twitter. I still send out Christmas cards every year that now feature designs that I sell. Since I make mostly cards, the ones that I wouldn’t sell to customers I use to send thank yous or give away to friends and family members for them to use. All of my cards are stamped with my shop web address on the back.

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

Just do it! It’s very easy to learn as you go! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of paper. I really love the look of printing on handmade and specialty papers. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions of other printmakers. I have received wonderful advice from artists that I have emailed with questions about listings on Etsy, blog posts, etc.

Amy’s Etsy Site
Amy’s Blog
Amy’s Flickr Site

1 comment:

Ellen Shipley said...

Love your horse theme. Especially the mare and colt.