Saturday 17 August 2013

Meet the Printmaker - Amber Elise

Amber Elise has some really bright and enticing prints in The Print Shop, we were delighted when she found some time to answer our questions. Read on to find out more about her inspirations, how she works and what generally makes her tick...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…
What sort of prints do you make?
My name is Amber Elise. I work as an illustrator, screen printer and visual artist. I use bright colours and bold illustrations to bring my ideas to life. My style changes quite a lot, it can be playful, sometimes quirky or purely focused around design, more shapes than drawings.  

Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
Screen printing is my passion, but I like to keep things interesting and enjoy a good range of creative projects. Painting murals is great fun, especially on a large scale. Commissions seem to be coming in all shapes and forms and I like the randomness of projects people ask me to do, screen printing on tights was tricky! 

What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you
want to do more?
Cutting shapes with potatoes and using them to print, my bedroom walls got some too. My first taste of screen printing was at the RWA in Bristol about 8 years ago. I was fascinated by the process, that’s where it all started.

What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work? Time spent traveling has given me endless inspirations, from trekking through a jungle to the tiles on a bathroom floor, you’re visually soaking all these things up and then they pop out somewhere along the way. My inspirations change all the time. I was really into birds at one point, then printing my underwear, now its all gone tropical and I can’t get enough pineapples.

Bra Orgy

Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace
and where you print?
I have a home studio where I do most of my drawing and designing, then a print studio on Stokes Croft where I bring them to life.

The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?
Terry Frost, Matisse and Picasso are truly inspiring. I recently discovered Atelier Bingo, a French duo called Max and Adele. I’m completely in love with their work, a mixture of collage, gouche, ink, screen print and digital, just beautiful. Closer to home I’ve admired the work of Lucy Sheridan, Studio Amour and Yaka Head.

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes,
which aspect do you enjoy the most?
Pulling ink through the screen, applying the right pressure and ta da….you’ve made your print.

Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?
My homemade Snap, also called the snap-off, which refers to the small distance between the bottom of the screen and whatever your printing on. My set up is very home made, so my snap is a piece of cardboard taped together. I place one either end of my printing table where the frame of the screen will land, and it gives the screen a nice bounce when it comes down, so the paper doesn’t stick. Music is also invaluable when printing, it gets me in the flow.

Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us ?
I use tipex to block out any pin holes in my screen, its much cheaper than screen block and works just the same.

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I’d like to explore different printing methods, maybe do an MA in Printmaking at some point.  

Which printed publication do you most look forward to thumbing through?
I always look forward to my Vogue fix. The photo shoots can be quite elaborate, and I find inspiration in the patterns and textures of fabrics. I also enjoy Crap Hound, purely images and lots of them.

Monochrome or multi-coloured?
Colours all the way!

That's great, thanks Amber for talking to us, I'm sure I won't be the only one who's day has been brightened!

Amber's work is currently available to see and to buy in Volume 1 of The Print Shop which will be running until August 25th - so don't delay in popping along!

The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus

Open Daily
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm

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