Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka

Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka #linocutartist #etsyartist #uniqueartprints #originalart #printmaking

It is my pleasure to introduce Kat Lendacka, a printmaker from the UK. Please make sure to give her Etsy shop a visit!

l me a little bit about yourself and your journey with printmaking?

I am a printmaker and my favourite technique is lino cutting. I live in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom, with my family and a whippet called Spot. After studying Graphic Communications (Illustration) and working in the graphic design industry for some years, I gradually moved away from sitting at the computer all day to using my hands (although a bit of computer work still remains)!

Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka #linocutartist #etsyartist #uniqueartprints #originalart #printmaking
Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka #linocutartist #etsyartist #uniqueartprints #originalart #printmaking

I was born and grew up in Litomerice, a rather picturesque small town approximately 40 miles north of Prague in the Czech Republic. My first ever try at lino cutting was when I was about 13 years old with a retired art teacher and an academic painter, to whom I used to go for art lessons with several other youngsters. I wish I liked the man more! I might have done a lot more lino cutting! Next time I had a go was while a first year student of Graphic Communications (Illustration) degree at Northampton University. This time, I fell in love! Linocut images appeared in many of my student graphic projects as well as in the final major project.

Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka #linocutartist #etsyartist #uniqueartprints #originalart #printmaking

It still took some years before it became my every day obsession due to a full time job, lack of space and then babies taking over my time and the house! In the last 3 years, lino cutting has taken over the dining room and conservatory which are essentially my make shift studio. It is also where I run very small workshops.

Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka #linocutartist #etsyartist #uniqueartprints #originalart #printmaking

Where do you draw inspiration from? Do you use references for your work?

Inspiration for me is everywhere. While walking our dog, exploring the countryside with the children, day trips to old cities (Oxford being my favourite), visiting my old home town Litomerice which is adorned with the most beautiful old houses! Animals in the British countryside and some fabulous gardens (Coton Manor Gardens being my absolutely favourite place on Earth). There are also a few artists that I find mind blowing  – Angie Lewin, Emily Sutton being a couple of them.

Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka #linocutartist #etsyartist #uniqueartprints #originalart #printmaking

Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka #linocutartist #etsyartist #uniqueartprints #originalart #printmaking

Your work is so detailed. What does the process look like for one of your multicolored animal prints?

In the last 2 years, I have moved away from only black and white (one layer) images to multi block lionocuts. I prefer this technique to reduction linocuts. Using various materials (Japanese Vinyl, soft lino and old flooring vinyls), I like to cut out shapes and play ‘jigsaw’! Usually, I stick to 2 – 3 colours.

Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka #linocutartist #etsyartist #uniqueartprints #originalart #printmaking

How has business been these days? Are you working on any new and exciting projects?

What next? I am happy doing what I am doing, more images as they pop into my head. Grow my Etsy shop. Pluck up courage and try a couple of art fairs! Experiment with some more products. But most importantly, have fun (as my Uni teacher Ian Newsham used to say ‘if you are not enjoying it, you are doing it wrong!’).

Interview with Printmaker Kat Lendacka #linocutartist #etsyartist #uniqueartprints #originalart #printmaking

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Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

I’m so excited to introduce everyone to artist and adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co. – Deanna creates durable gear for adventurers, and you can follow her blog and Instagram for the inside scoop on what’s new!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, your business, and your blog? What does it take to run a handmade business?

I’m a full-time mom and wife from the Midwest with a healthy addiction to mountains and the outdoors in general. I own Dear Summit Supply Co. – a brand with which I’ve made leather journals and sketch books for over eight years, and more recently began adding in vinyl stickers and hand-printed shirts with my designs, all aimed at inspiring and equipping outdoor adventures. I also write the occasional blog post about my National Park shenanigans or sharing tips on creativity and journaling.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Running your own handmade business is not an easy thing to do, but it is incredibly rewarding. It takes a lot of hard work, self discipline, and follow through. I think people imagine me sketching and painting away all the time, but the reality is that the business side of the work (paperwork, emailing, planning, marketing, etc.) takes up a lot more of my time than the creative work.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.
But whenever I start to feel overwhelmed with the business end of my work, I remind myself that those parts of the job are what allow me to pursue the creative work I’m truly passionate about, and that’s totally worth all the struggle along the way.

What are your favorite national parks and why?

I am a huge fan of America’s National Parks system and the amazing natural landscapes they preserve. My favorite national parks right now are Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. My husband and daughter and I spent several days hiking there last summer and it was just magical. The Giant Sequoia trees are so huge and majestic, and will take your breath away. Hiking among them made me feel like I was in on some grand, enchanting secret.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

And of course, that trip was also a goldmine of inspiration for my art!

If I could, I’d love to go on an extended road trip someday, visiting as many national parks as possible and staying a week or two in each one.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Giant Sequoia trees
What are your thoughts on adventuring?

I define adventuring as just about anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you – but ideally outdoors. That could mean a two-week backpacking trip, far removed from civilization, or it could mean a walk around the block in the rain. This is something I’m really passionate about because I believe that getting outside and seeing new landscapes and trying new experiences is one of the best things we can do for ourselves as humans. Study after study continues to confirm the stunning array of ways in which spending time in nature positively affects our minds and bodies.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.
We spend so much time sitting down and staring at screens that I think we forget what it feels like to have dirt between our toes or to listen, really listen, to the music of birds calling to each other. There’s something about walking through a forest or hiking on a mountainside that reminds us that the world is much bigger and more beautiful than our own worries!

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

What is the process like creating one of your stickers versus one of your handmade journals?

The process for creating a journal is quite different from the process to create a sticker. Making a leather journal is very time and labor intensive, requiring hours of precise work for each individual journal, even if I’m making multiples of the same design. I start with blank paper and hand-tear the pages down to the proper size, then fold them and punch the holes for stitching. The leather has to be cut and carefully punched as well before I stitch the two together with waxed linen thread.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co. #handmadejournals
I made journals for over eight years and even developed my own method to screen-print my mountain design onto the leather covers, but I’ve recently decided to retire my journals because of some shifts in my personal and business priorities.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.
With stickers, I draw out the design on paper and then edit it in Illustrator, where I might smooth out edges and play with the arrangement of words or other elements. This process feels really free and fun for me, plus, once a design is done, it’s done. I can send it off to the printers and I don’t have to repeat the process over and over for each sticker I sell, freeing me up to create more new designs (or just spend more time outside with my daughter).

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Can you tell me about your Tiny Pages Project? Do you have any other projects in the making?

A while ago I challenged myself to fill up a teeny tiny sketchbook I had made, whose pages were about 3/4 inch tall and 1/2 inch wide, and I called the series of sketches and paintings that ensued the Tiny Pages Project. It was a great exercise in figuring out which details to focus on in order to make each tree or mountain or bear recognizable in such a tiny size. I learned a lot from it and had a lot of fun with those tiny sketches!

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.
Currently, I’m doing a daily sketching challenge in a Baron Fig planner (inspired by my friend Jonny of @drawntosketching on Instagram). Instead of tiny size, this time I’m challenging myself with all sorts of subject matter I have never attempted before, in addition to my usual landscapes. Each week, I’m alternating between black-and-white and color illustrations, to hopefully improve in both. I’m only a few weeks into this new project, and I’ve already learned quite a bit with both methods.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Watch Deanna’s Thoreau Quote Sketch Timelapse: “We Can Never Have Enough of Nature”

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Skillshare classes for those looking to dabble in journal-making:

Bookbinding: Make a Pocket-Sized Notebook

Click here to take this class

Introduction to Handmade Art Journals

Click here to take this class

 

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Artists’ Books on Etsy

For those of you who may not know what an artist book is, be my guest in explaining them! Each one is unique, sometimes made in editions like prints, sometimes “printed” by a press, other times not, cataloged in the library like books with a call number, often displayed in museums as art objects behind glass – each one may look, feel, or even sound different from the next (queue Keith Smith’s string book).

A few brave and creative souls have started selling their artists’ books on Etsy. I found these recently and thought I’d share!

butterfly

butterfly2

butterfly3

Butterflies from TheMuseumShelves

night

night2

night3

Night from SignOfTheLadybug

n1

n2

n3

Nachtmahr Box from buechertiger

little1

little2

little3

Miniature Black Artist Book from PegandAwl

book1

book2

book3

Book of Nonexistent Animals from HandmadeBook

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Sara Schalliol-Hodge : Designer & Maker of Things

mountains

Welcome back! Our latest feature spotlights artist Sara Schalliol-Hodge from Lakewood, Colorado! Sara is “a designer by day and a printmaker, sawdust producer, and stuff-maker by night.” Read on to get to know Sara a little better, and CLICK HERE to go to her website, and HERE to go to her Etsy shop!

sara

What about the printmaking process do you love the most, and more specifically, why linocuts? 

I love printmaking because I love the ability to make multiples of my art. With so many forms of fine art, you can spend many, many hours creating the finished product, only to sell it just once and never see it again. And, often art can take so many hours to create that it can be very difficult to be able to charge a decent wage for all of the time you spent on it. All of that being said, buying a computer-printed art print doesn’t really appeal to me because it seems so far from being made by hand. With printmaking, each print is still made by hand and there are subtle variations in each print, so there is definitely evidence of the maker. It is hard work printing a woodcut or linocut all my hand, and I like to think that that energy can be somehow felt when viewing these prints. For me, printmaking seems to fit into a sweet spot of being affordable but still very handmade.

mountains2

Many of your designs juxtapose the themes of nature and industry. Where do you get the inspirations for your designs and what about this juxtaposition interests you? 

Nature vs. industry, or nature vs. man are themes I explored even in the art I created very early in my life. There is something so poetic about vines growing up and taking over an old car or building. I studied Industrial Design in college, and Industrial Design tends to involve mass-production, and therefore factories. It can be really strange to think about each thing you own and imagine the factory that produced it. This type of thought process made me think about how natural things are made, which is not quite in a factory…. but what if you think of nature itself as a factory? So this lead me to prints like Factory Whale, Love Factory, Salmon Factories, etc.

whale

cact

Also many of my prints display animals and “the hand of man” in one way or another. Like, quite literally in my print Spark:

spark

But I also like to create prints that show animals having to survive in the world that man has modified, like City Lynx:

lynx

How has business been on Etsy and do you have any advice for blooming Etsian printmakers? 

I was a very early Etsy seller and buyer and it has been interesting seeing Etsy become a website that non-artist-type people have actually heard of and shop from. My Etsy shop has changed a lot since the beginning. I used to sell wooden sculptures, jewelry displays, and chunky wooden jewelery, and now I sell only my printmaking. I have had several great opportunities come along because of my Etsy shop. Half of the brick and mortar galleries I sell at approached me from discovering my shop on Etsy, which is awesome! These days, my sales come mostly from brick and mortar galleries, and not Etsy. For me personally, sometimes it can be hard to sift through all of the shops on Etsy to find that special thing I’m looking for, but walking into a well-curated local shop usually lightens my wallet pretty easily.

sarah1

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