Sunday, March 13, 2011

Interview with Emily Lynn Rapp of LynnRappPrints

Visit Emily Lynn's Etsy site and Flickr site


I am currently an art student in Charlotte, NC and work in a variety of mediums, but am always a printmaker first. An interesting detail about me is that I am a fraternal triplet (this doesn’t mean there are three of me running around at all times). Soon, I will be moving to Boone, NC to attend school there in the fall.

Why printing?  

I am in love with the challenge. The linoleum almost teases on my work bench, “Ha! You think you can make me into something beautiful? I am what kitchen floors are made of!” The constant struggle when making the plate is a wonderful game to me, and I really get into the rhythm of cutting. Plus, printing takes commitment: once you make a cut, you cannot go back. With painting, on the other hand, it is easy to fix an area if you mess up. This engagement makes me incredibly aware of my body language, and how I interact with the material.

What is your favorite print medium and why?

My favorite print medium is linocuts, because I feel it is the most approachable one. Etchings and lithography requires a large variety of very particular equipment, but linoleum can be found at a hardware store and the cutting tool is very simple, and cheap. It also presents even more challenges for me. I really love achieving fine details in my work, which can be quite difficult with linoleum.

How long have you been printing and how has your work evolved?

I have been printing for only three years, and in that short period my work has grown incredibly. My first year, I was learning the most basic processes and creating really small plates with even smaller editions. In my third year, though, I have really developed a personal voice, as well as confidence with my medium. I am working larger, more details, and am creating high quality editions. Lately, my work has revolved around relationships between humans and other living organisms. This interaction really fascinates me, particularly because of the various relationships we hold with different types of animal.

What or Who influences your work? 

One artist that has heavily influenced me is Kiki Smith. Both her sculptures and prints have a certain clarity to them that I really respect. She achieves beautiful textures and really understands how to compose effective images.
How do your promote your work?

I sell my work locally, when the opportunity presents itself, and just set up an Etsy shop. I also promote my work through my Flickr website.

Any good printing tips or funny printing stories (or both??)

Well, I am a pretty small person (barely 5’2”) and so I often struggle with the physically demanding aspects of printmaking. About a year ago, I was printing etchings and set the press on such a high pressure that my own body weight could not force the crank to move. And so, when I tried to run my plate through the press, I ended up struggling to crank it one inch! I was suspended above the ground, trying to weight the crank down, when finally my friend (who is over 6’) came over and pulled it down without effort. Ever since then, my friends have considered me the little printmaking elf.

Some printing advice it to make a test plate! If you want to save incredible amounts of time and money, working out all the issues ahead of time is indescribably valuable. With a test plate, you can figure out the right way to make the plate, ink, and the correct pressure to use. Even figuring out the right paper requires a test plate! By preventing these mistakes on a small, less time-consuming plate, you can then make the best possible image later!

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