In my mind, I had been planning to start a bird based screen printing project for some time now. Many hours of researching through books, The V & A, The British Musuem and the Museum of Natural History and a million photographs I was driving my self into a right tizz. So many choices and so many avenues to follow but I knew I had to settle on some sort of a vibe.
I knew that I didn’t want it to look too ‘twee’, as that’s not my thing. They had to be bold and quite powerful, but mostly colourful. (Had to get the Pink in there somehow)
I decided to whittle the first 3 down, and started with the mind set of, S, M & L birds…just like when I am printing clothing!
My main focus and inspiration was to ‘mash up’ the old with the new, so draughtmen like John Audubon and Basil Ede were a big inspiration.
The hardest thing I guess “only” working with the screen print medium, for me, is the time consumption and the expense, and obviously spending hours getting the art work right before you make your positive films. In total, just for me to produce these first intitial proofs, I made over 16 screens, went through lots of paper, and never mind the pots of inks that I mixed. My hands and fingers were getting so tired of mixing over 16 pots of ink in various colours that I wanted to try out for these samples, that at some point I couldn’t even clamp my screens in the frame because they were hurting so much.
At the end, the hardest part was the admittance that these wouldn’t actually make the cut and I had to go back to the drawing board. It’s a complicated feeling when you have to reject something that you have created and say that this is not good enough! Oh well, can’t get it right all the time! For me, this was the first time that this had happened and I think I have learned a very valuable lesson- my creativity cannot be rushed!