With the launch of her artwork on our website this week we thought we'd give you insight into Kira's studio life and practice straight off the bat! We welcome Kira into the Florence + Blank community with great pleasure, not least because she's a lovely person, but also because we can't keep our eyes off of her beautiful prints and artwork. Come and get to know Kira through this weeks Sunday Maker's Session...
Hello Kira, thank you for getting involved in our Sunday Maker's Sessions! As one of our newest artists we're really excited to get to know you and your work a little better, firstly could you tell us a bit about your practice and style of artwork?
Of course! My work mostly consists of linocut prints, I use other printing techniques such as mono/ relief printing techniques to create abstract artwork mostly inspired by nature and form. I also create hand painted tote bags from charcoal and ink drawings, I love line work which is something I learnt during my life drawing classes at college/university. I would say my style right now is traditional linocut designs with a contemporary twist however, I am constantly finding inspiration everywhere so I’m sure my style will evolve and change with
We've seen a couple of pictures of your studio, and it looks so idyllic! Where are you based, and what is the importance of the space you work in for your creativity?
Thank you! I love it, I’m based in North Wales and my studio used to be an old tack room for horses on our small holding. Since the space wasn’t needed as a tack room anymore, I thought it would be the perfect place for my studio. It’s very old and has a lot of character, my family and boyfriend helped me spruce it up and get some work surfaces put in (never enough) and I could happily spend hours in there printmaking.
Do you have any go to art supplies in your studio?
My go to supplies are probably my inks that sit on a shelf above where work, it was important for me to create work ‘’stations’’ that flow nicely. For my printing station I have a pane of glass for inking up, then next to that is my small press, next is my drying rack. it’s kind of like a production line, this helps me get my work done a lot quicker. I always keep charcoal on my desk and a sketchbook, I’ve found it to be the quickest way of getting ideas down onto paper.
What do you enjoy most about working with traditional printing techniques?
I think the reason why I love printmaking is the uncertainty of each print and how playful it can be. I often start off with a design in mind and end up with something completely different through trial and error, the process is something that I really enjoy.
When and where did you first learn about printmaking as a technique? And what would you suggest that those who are interested in learning more about it should do to pursue it as a craft?
I did a foundation year after sixth form where I was first introduced to relief printing and screen printing as a way of creating different marks, lines and textures. It quickly became my preferred way of creating artwork. During my degree in Art and Design, my University had amazing facilities for printmaking, along with experienced tutors/technicians who taught me a lot. I attended print club in my first year and also had a module dedicated to understanding and creating work using various print techniques.
I would suggest signing up to a workshop, attending classes or even to do a foundation diploma if you’re just starting out. You can of course learn a lot online nowadays but there’s no substitute for being in a studio/print room, around like-minded creatives and technicians who can share their skills and tricks that you may not have picked up on your own.
We noticed your artwork initially because of your Giclée print, Eve which is stunning! Can you share a little background information about this design?
Thank you so much! It was initially a side piece for a packaging project I did during my second year at University. My brief was to create an eco-friendly soap brand inspired by the Garden of Eden; ‘Eve’ was meant to be one half of the promotional posters inspired by the packaging on the soap. I also did an ‘Adam’ painting/print that was the other half, I’m thinking of releasing him as a print too.
Your newer series of October prints are looking great, and very seasonal, are you able to give us a hint as to what's coming next?
Thank you! I was only supposed to do one print for October as I have been doing a series on my Instagram where I do a mini-print each month however, I couldn’t decide on one design. A friend suggested creating a pack of 3, It worked out really well and I’m super happy with them! I’ve got a lot planned for Christmas, if all goes to plan then hopefully home accessories could be on the cards.
Finally, do you have any advice for other creatives who are considering selling their artwork online but aren't necessarily sure where to start?
I would probably say make sure you have a lot of work to start off with and try to make/create as many products or pieces as possible. Really work on refining your craft and people will start to take notice, take note of what products are in high demand and try to sell those pieces first. Etsy is a really good and straight forward platform for selling art work and is a good place to start. I would also say don’t get disheartened if things don’t sell out straight away and try not to get sucked into the comparison game. Trust your abilities and try to enjoy what you do!