Sunday, July 24, 2011

Interview with Richard Pendry of Beyond Thrilled Screenprints


I trained originally as an illustrator, but when I left college I found working freelance and the process of selling my work quite dispiriting. Now the internet makes it much easier to get your portfolio of work in front of people. I got sidetracked several times, travelled a lot and ended up in a variety of different jobs. For the past 10 years I’ve mostly been designing games for the web using Adobe Flash. It’s fun but does result in staring at a laptop or PC screen a lot of the time. I’d always wanted to get back to illustration and particularly printmaking, so I splashed out on some basic screenprinting equipment last year with the aim of doing something more hands-on. 

Although the early stage of the process may still involve using a computer, I really enjoy the physical, inky side of the printing process - pulling the squeegee across the screen. I’m learning fast by making mistakes and starting to be happier with the results. I recently returned to live in London, where I print out of my spare bedroom, though I’m hoping to be able to use the great facilities at Print Club London in Dalston over the next few months to produce some larger prints.

Why do you like to print?

I like the physical process of printmaking - it contrasts with my other computer-based work. I also like the way that very often laying down the final colour of a print can make all the difference - an image you were starting to have doubts about can suddenly come together when you add the final colour.

What is your favorite print medium and why?

At the moment I’m very much into screenprinting, which I think has huge scope for experimentation. I’ve done a fair bit of printing from linocuts in the past, which suits my graphic style. And I’m intrigued by stone lithography which I’d love to try at some point in the future.

How long have you been printing and how has your work evolved?

I did some basic printmaking years ago on my degree course but I’ve only really been getting into screenprinting over the last year. I’m naturally most comfortable working in black and white so I’m having to learn a lot about the use of colours and adding transparency to the inks to create new colours in overlay. I’d like my work to loosen up a little now, and I plan to experiment with drawing straight onto the screen and using resists next - I love the way David Weidman used glue and touché to create his painterly screenprints.

What inspires you?

At the moment I’m inspired by the work of David Weidman, Jim Flora, Charley Harper, Little Friends of Printmaking, Sasha Barr, Neither Fish Nor Fowl, 1950s cartoons and their background art (check out the beautiful “Cartoon Modern book by Amid Amidi), Mambo Graphics, Saul Steinberg, Ronald Searle, Tim Biskup, Rex Ray, Bjorn Wiinblad...

How do your promote your work?

I’ve only recently started promoting it really. A couple of shops in London are selling my prints and I’m looking for others, but I’ll be putting some effort into promoting my Etsy store over the next few months, and making more and better use of my blog.

Are you working on any particular projects now?  

I have some ideas for a series of prints - I’ve just produced a print called “Jazz Angel with Saxophone” which I’m quite pleased with and I think there’s definitely scope for a whole series of similar images. We’ll see.

Tell us one random fact about yourself

I just moved back to London after living in Barcelona, Spain for 8 years - I miss the mountains and beaches!

Check out Richard's Etsy Site and Website

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