This week on Meet the printmaker, we meet Andrew Campe from Andrew Campe Artwork, portrait and animal print extraordinaire! In this interview, he discusses his love of nature and juggling printmaking and working full time. Let's get started!
Have you been printmaking for a long time? What first attracted you to linocut?
I was introduced to linocut by my tutor when I was doing my illustration degree back in 2007. I took it up again a few years ago having seen other printmakers working from home on Instagram and creating amazing stuff. The attraction of linocut for me is the unknown of how the final image will print. When you get it right it's a great feeling.
Do you have a favourite part of the printmaking process? Is it the designing or the carving or the actual printing or?
For me it has to be the printing stage. It's the final part of the process and you get to see the finished article. Sometimes this can be disappointing and not how you imagined it be in your mind's eye. However, when you pull back a print that your proud of it's a real buzz!
You’ve made some incredibly detailed prints of artists and musicians, most of which seem to be in black and white. What attracts you to creating linocuts of faces? Is there a reason you prefer to keep these prints black and white?
I've always been interested in portraiture. I would spend hours as a child drawing people...with a lot of help from my Mum. She was always there to encourage me and guide me when I got stuck, being a good artist herself.
I started taking on commissioned pencil portraits about 8 years ago and was getting pretty good at them. However, I found that I wasn't passionate about the process and my love of linocut took over. It seemed a natural progression to go from pencil portraits to linocut portraits.
I stuck with black and white to keep things simple. I still feel I'm learning my craft, but I have plans to move on to larger colour portraits in lino when I have the confidence and knowledge to do so.
How do you print? Do you have a printing press or do you prefer to print by hand? Do you think this will change in the future?
I started off printing by hand. My partner, Jin, kindly bought me an etching press from a company called the Portable Printing Press Company which has made things much easier. This was a couple of years ago. Down the line I'd like to upgrade to a more robust etching press, but for now it's great and works a treat... especially as I print on my dining room table.
Most of your animal prints seem to be lovely large reduction/multi-coloured prints. Have you always been inspired to make animal prints? Is there a challenge in such tricky coloured prints that attracts you?
I've always had a desire to make animal prints which I started doing a few months ago. I have a fascination with the natural world. Growing up, we had lots of Attenborough books and watched all his documentaries, so it seemed like a no brainer. Again, I'm still learning my craft so I wanted to get to a stage in my printing where I'd do the animals justice! Yes, I enjoy the challenge of colour linocuts. It's like a puzzle which you have to try and solve as you go.
What is your studio like? Do you have a dedicated place you go to print?
I don't have a studio as such, I work on my dining room table. I'd like to get a studio space of some sort down the line for sure. I'm lucky that my family are very supportive of my art....I take over large areas of the dining room/ kitchen! I have a day job working for a company involved in the broadcasting industry. I do my printmaking after work. It's hard work but I love it. You have to love whatever art you do if your doing it around a full time job.
What are you working on at the moment?
I've just designed a logo for my website... So I'm working on that at the moment. I'm crap on computers and using technology so that should be fun! Once I've sorted the website I think I'm going to try a colour linocut portrait. Either Keith Flint or Jamie T.
Where would you like Andrew Campe Artwork to be in five years time? Do you have a five year plan or do you take it print by print?
Because I do this around a full time job, I take it print by print. I think the most important thing is to find something you love doing, hone your craft and see where it takes you. However, in 5 years time I would like a studio space and to be selling my work in greater numbers. Perhaps even getting my work into some galleries.
Quick fire question round!
Black and white or coloured prints?
Favourite printmaking paper?
Animal prints or prints of people?
What is your favourite print (of your own prints)?
Gorilla and Baby
If you could meet any artist (alive or dead), who would it be?