A few years ago, I got a lino cutting and printing set for Christmas. I’d asked for it and had so many ideas, but up until tonight it has been packed in the box pretty much untouched. My (pathetic) excuse is I just had far too many ideas to know where to start. This is the year to change that mentality and just get stuck in. Does anything actually work out when it’s overthought anyway?
My usual go to starting point would be Pinterest. I’d spent a night scrolling through all the gorgeous images and drawings other people have put out into the world when I had a flash back to GCSE art and my lovely teacher grading anything down if it wasn’t completely your own work. Surely I’ve spent enough years on design courses to come up with my own ideas. What’s the student debt for otherwise? I then switched to scrolling through my own photos. I need to start taking better photos. Initially, I wanted to try and capture my gorgeous little boys in ink. Then I realised they aren’t all that photogenic, it could be that I’m not that skilled at photography but I’d rather blame them.
Then I came across this little gem.
Still not something to show off any photography skills, but screen shots definitely come in handy. Clearly I don’t like making things that easy for myself so I narrowed the clip down to two stills.
This cheeky guy kept sticking his tongue out but not for long enough for a camera novice to get a good picture. Just to be fussy I wanted the tongue shot but not quite at that head angle. Yes, I need to get out more.
As a rule I hate drawing but every now and again I find myself wanted to give it another go. Tonight was one of those nights where I was pretty happy with the result and didn’t regret starting.
I have never claimed to be an artist but I was pretty chuffed with this.
Next came the fun part, cutting the lino. The only instructions in the box were in German. They were a great help. So with the theme of the new year in mind I just went for it and hoped for the best. No blood was shed so I’m going to take that as a success.
So far so good in my opinion.
If I did have instructions for this next part, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have had a look in anyway. I squeezed a bit of ink in the tray and tried my hardest to remember anything I learnt in college about any kind of printing. My best guess was roll the ink around, pop the lino in the tray and whack it on some paper.
Not bad for a first attempt I don’t think. There was definitely too much ink in the tray and I was thinking I hadn’t made all the detail grooves quite deep enough. Didn’t really know how to make it any better at this point so thought I might as well carry on printing.
Half way through (this is going to be cheesy, sorry) I saw a surprise little nice thing that made me remember why I do love making things. The left over ink made a cute reverse print. I love when you’re making something and even the left overs look nice, surely that means you’re onto a winner?
It only took 5 sheets of paper to realise I was getting the print of the floor boards through the back of the paper. Yes, I’m a genius. After finding an actually flat surface, things went a lot better and the small details started standing out a lot better.
It might not be perfect, but I think for a first attempt it isn’t that bad! All I need to do now is work out what to do with nine sheets of various quality prints. Hopefully another minor brainwave will come soon, otherwise I’m very open to suggestions!