Remember that food or drink you always thought you didn’t like? Maybe it was quiche, kiwi or wine. But one day someone encouraged you to try it again… You loved it. It opened up a whole new world of taste and flavor! How could you have been missing this?
That’s how coffee was for me — but more importantly, that’s how printmaking was for me. When I first took a class I hated it. The instructor, prompts and work I produced left a bad taste in my mouth. Two years later I had to take it again to finish my degree; this time, however, I had a new professor, new inspiration and a new series of editions that left me begging for more.
For me and countless others, printmaking is the medium that clicks. The vision, the process, the plate and the ink all come together to perfectly convey the idea.
That printmaking class re-formed me as an artist — I was reinvented.
Now, to my elation, the Arts Council is offering a series of workshops on different forms of printmaking — the perfect opportunity for you to reinvent yourself as an artist.
Maybe you’ve been working with the same medium for years, and the idea of stepping out at this point is intimidating. But the truth is that learning something new will expand the skills you have in your own medium and expand your creativity. One printmaker in Seattle encourages artists to “learn every process you can and learn how to combine those processes.”
Or maybe you’re like me. You’ve tried watercolor, oil, charcoal and pastel, but none of them have worked to express the idea or image or story you’re trying to convey. Bring your skills in painting, drawing and photography to this new medium. Experimenting with it will give you new layer of expression, and it just might click for you too.
Art is about exploration and experimentation. Printmaking is one way to explore. It is a hands-on craft that values the creative process — a real way to sink your fingers into art. You’ll find surprises happen — call them happy accidents. The contrast of the clean finished print and the messiness it took to make it will reward and satisfy.
The beauty of art is the endless possibilities. The beauty of being an artist is that you can change, adapt and grow your whole life. So why are you waiting? Reinvent yourself.
Holland Area Arts Council, Communications and Operations Manager