Last time I instructed everybody to, “Watch this space!”. I was not kidding. Since mid-summer I have been involved in setting up an art collective (Hope House Prints) with a bunch of other hard working people from Leeds, with the focus being on screen printing. I’ve not had the fortune of hanging out with any artistic types since doing my Art GCSE and I’d forgotten what a positive effect this sort of contact has on your work and sense of creative purpose. When you’re in the thick of it, going crossed-eyed whilst scrutinising your choice of colour palette, you’re on your own. It’s you and the paper baby and the rest of the world is out there partying and having the time of their lives…apparently. Sure, the end piece which you produce validates the process of making art, but once in a while it’s nice to be reminded that there are others who understand the sheer importance of choosing the right colour palette/printing paper/layout/etc.. You can’t underestimate the importance of feedback and constructive criticism from your peers. All those solo artists who audition for X-Factor and turn out to be terrible singers — did they hang around with other half decent singers? Probably not.
The collective came into existence over the summer and ever since we’ve formed, we have been blessed with some great opportunities. Following on from the modest stall at the Melbourne Street Studios Summer Party, we dived head first into a live screen printing stall at Beacons Festival in August. Our website blurb says that the collective bonded over screen printing but I am tempted to say that we bonded over being stuck in a muddy field for four days and being subjected to little sleep, excessive alcohol consumption, and low levels of hygiene. I imagine that that’s what life on tour is like for bands, minus the muddy field. Here are some photos of my most rock ‘n’ roll summer yet:
The next big event the collective is preparing for is the Manchester Print Fair at the end of October. That’s right, they want a piece of live screen printing action over there too. Since Beacons Festival most of our time has been spent getting our website ready and running printing workshops whilst trying to juggle our respective jobs, degree courses, social lives, and personal time to make art. I think we’re meant to fit sleeping in there as well some how…
Being in a collective has its own demands but I am still powering through and producing my own work which includes this sensual flyer for Newcastle promoter Confusion Is Next:
I have a new piece in the pipeline but I can’t unveil it until I’ve put screen to paper. All I can say is that it’s been influenced by The Bronx, sex, and the end of the world. Take that how you will but I’m really excited about this one. It’s real sexy, I promise, even more so than Balloon Boobs over here (see above).