Last week I came back from a spectacular week-long residency at Spark Box Studio, run by Chrissy Poitras and Kyle Topping in Picton, ON. I was a lucky recipient of one of their Emerging Artist Residency Awards and I was so excited to see what the week would have in store for me. I documented my process of making a four colour reduction linocut, so this post is pretty image heavy. I’ll keep the commentary light and let the pictures tell most of the story:
Here’s my little work space. Each artist at Spark Box gets a private studio space and bedroom, but Chrissy and Kyle are open to artists claiming their own work space in the print shop or house. I picked this sunny corner in the print shop. The counters were too low to sit with a stool and too high for a chair so I improvised.
The shadow puppet show put on by Small Pond Arts was so impressive and inspiring. I would love to work on one of these some day. It featured shadow puppets and shadow actors and was narrated by a very engaging storyteller (standing on the left).
I ended up with an edition of ten, plus about 15 artist proofs. I kept a few of the bad prints and ripped up the really bad ones. It felt kind of crazy but also very cathartic! I think it’s really easy for artists to have a tendency to hoard and lately I’ve been trying hard to resist the impulse to hold on to everything.
Many thanks to Chrissy and Kyle for providing me with this amazing opportunity to relax, create and learn!
I’ve been thinking a lot about the future… thinking about what and how I’ll make in the next few months, what I’ll be up to a year from now and also, beyond, beyond. I have mixed feelings about planning my life. I realize that planning too much is pointless: we can’t predict how the world around us will shift, how we will change and along with us our desires and dreams. At the same time, I like to dream big and know I won’t get anywhere near my goals unless I figure out how I’m going to reach them. Planning can also be scary! What if that thing you’ve worked so hard towards doesn’t work? Or, perhaps worse, what if it succeeds and you HATE it? When your plans fall outside of anything mainstream, dependable or financially stable, you can almost hear the concerned mothers and fathers of the world tense up (however old and independent you may be); not the most reassuring sound.
Still, at this point, I’m excited about the new possibilities I am working towards, whether or not they turn out how they now appear in my mind’s eye!
To conclude this vague little post, here’s a few process shots from one of my most recently completed projects: a papercut comic about my late Grandmother. It will be published in the next issue of Broken Pencil!
My biggest lesson from this project? Nothing beats a sharp blade! Forget about size, shape, ergonomics… it’s all about the sharp!