Sunday, November 15, 2009

Printsy Interview - Katherine Fahey


Brief Bio
I'm a Baltimore artist, originally from Virginia, where I grew up making maps with my father. I spend my time making work, doing commissions, and craft shows. When I'm not doing that I'm walking in the woods, hanging with my husband and cats, swimming, singing sacred harp, or playing my guitar.

How did you get started in printmaking?
I was doing some artwork for friends... cd covers and posters... and I realized it would be much easier if I could screen print.

Describe where you work.
My studio is on the top floor of an old row home in the heart of downtown Baltimore. The walls are covered with screen prints, posters, and cd art work of my own and friends who inspire me.

What's your favorite printmaking process?
I do a lot of layered work and combining screen printing with painting and stenciling.

What's your creative process for any given print? (eg. sketch first? Pre-planned or free-form?)
I generally sketch and often take photos. Then I piece it together by hand or, if it's design work, on the computer first.

What do you enjoy most about printmaking?
I like how it makes art more accessible to more people. I like how a poster can be encountered all round town or even around the country and someone can just take it. I enjoy being able to make affordable prints which are available to a wider audience. I love coming up with ideas, and collaboration with clients or other artists/designers.

What's your least favorite part of the process?
Probably the unhealthy products (how I feel after printing for a long time or washing out a bunch of screens) and having to stay inside for long periods of time.

What are your inspirations (other artists, people, places, events, etc.)?
Music, but mostly Baltimore Music, Poetry, Baltimore, of course, the creative energy and down to earth spirit of the place, nature (I walk in the forest a lot), other designers and artists.

How has your work changed and evolved since you started?
I actually studied sculpture originally. Then after school I was doing a lot of small collages since I was traveling around a lot. After I worked as a decorative painter for five years I started doing a lot of stenciling, which lead to teaching myself screen printing and block printing.

How do you get past creative slumps?
Working with other people always gets me excited again, the exchange of ideas... also going for walks always helps.

How do you promote your work?
My web sites, flickr, and a blog. It's important to have and online presence as well as stay involved locally with different events and projects. I feel really fortunate the local art and music scene is pretty close knit since Baltimore is a small city.

Any other comments or advice for others who want to try making hand-pulled prints?
Visit other printmakers' studios. Watch how they do it. You will learn more that way then from any class or book and get inspired watching another creative person at work.

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