Friday, August 10, 2007

Adventures in Gocco-land

On the left is the lovely lovely artist Christina Lamb. Yesterday I spent a whole long wonderful day learning all the tips and tricks to using the gorgeous little Japanese screenprinting machine/kit known as "Print Gocco".

I came across Gocco about a year ago whilst looking up home screenprinting kits. I'd done a whole year of screenprinting classes and absolutely loved them, but after moving to our current place couldn't get to the classes easily anymore. So I started looking for something I could set up at home. In my search I came across this site and completely fell in love with the kit. After lusting after a set for a LONG time (they're not easy to get hold of), I finally treated myself to a second hand one I found on Ebay as a present to myself for getting on the UWE illustration course. It took two months to arrive, but I finally got it in July.

As the consumables for the kit are quite pricey, I didn't want to start experimenting without knowing what I was doing first. I started reading through the Gocco Flickr group, and the Gocco Yahoo forum - there I found Christina (or Xtina as she is otherwise known). She seemed like quite an active Gocco-er, AND she was based in London - so I e-mailed her to see if she'd show me how to use the kit; and she agreed!

So thats how I spent my Thursday, playing with Xtina's Gocco sets, learning LOTS, and also getting to know a really lovely person at the same time. I took LOADS of photos as reference, and now have to sit down and type up my notes. As it turns out, Xtina is as anal about boxing, labeling, and organising things as I am - so nice to come across an artist after my own heart :) I wish though I had taken a better photo of her doing her stuff, but you'll just have to be happy with this one.

My Gocco set is in amongst the packing boxes that are piling up in anticipation of our move to Bristol - so I don't think I'm going to end up using it just yet - but in the meantime have a look at the lovely stuff people are doing with this kit on flickr, and Xtina's beautiful Gocco prints.

* In other news, its 3 weeks till Sunshine and I move to Bristol; and this is my 100th post! HappyMithi :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

The business of illustration

So, yes, I haven't updated in a while - mostly because I haven't been doing much (OK, any) art of late ... But I have been busy getting to grips with this industry that is "illustration". I have, amongst other things, been:

1. Working for Sunshine's sister (who is lovely and a designer/illustrator), doing random odd jobs including a LOT of packing. Apart from doing commissions, she also has a range of stationary that she's designed and built up a good business from. Its the kind of thing I'd like to get into, and its been a real eye-opener to see how the business side of things is done. I've been making copious notes on how to run an freelance illustration and design business :)

2. Volunteering at the AOI Images 31 show. I did some invigilating, and also helped pack up the exhibition at the end - unscrewing frames from the wall, bubble wrapping, and peeling vinyl lettering from the walls is a lot harder work than you would imagine! Its been interesting meeting illustrators and the AOI staff, and reading all the AOI publications (there's not much to do when you're invigilating...)

3. Going to AOI talks - one about starting out as an illustrator after you first graduate (I know I'm a bit early, but you can never get enough of this info), and two by illustrators themselves about their work (it was fascinating as each was VERY different to the other).

4. Reading lots of books on illustration ...

Also in the last week Sunshine and I made a house-hunting trip to Bristol, and put in a deposit for a place :) (moving 1st September), and I've finally received my copy of my Foundation diploma certificate, and heard from UWE that my place is now unconditional! Hooray!

All systems go now ...