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Meet the printmaker - Shelly Brown Illustration

Today is very special day as it's the day I launch my new series 'Meet the printmaker'!

I absolutely love reading about other printmakers and I hope you will enjoy learning more about these artists and their process. So, without further ado, I want to introduce you to my very special first guest... Shelly Brown Illustration.

shelly brown illustration linocut printmaker

How long have you been printmaking? Do you have formal training or are you self-taught?

Hmm this is a tough one.... I was first introduced to it at uni while studying illustration over 10 years ago, But I would say I have only been practicing seriously for a year. I had an introduction to lino printing back then, and actually some of my final pieces were lino prints, but no formal training. In the last year I have learned most things from other printmakers on Instagram.

Have you always been creative? Did you come from a creative home growing up?

Yes! Always. My mum's fondest memory is of me making clothes for my folks out of anything I could find including toilet paper 🤣 my mum is incredibly creative, although she hasn't sought a career through it.

What inspires your prints? Do you have a set creative process, for example, sketching an idea and developing it over time or do ideas usually appear pretty whole when they come to you?

As cheesy and cliche as it sounds pretty much everything. I have quite eclectic interests, ranging from a fascination with nature, to a mild obsession with anything food based. I love creating organically, so often it starts as an idea jotted down in my sketch book, to a sketch which I will then transfer to lino to carve. My ideas nearly always appear whole to me, like an image that flashes in and I have to draw it down or its lost forever. Haha.

shelly brown illustration linocut printmaker

One of your most recent prints is a gorgeously bold f-word delight, is this the start of a series or a one-off?

This one felt risky.... I was testing the waters for sure when I did this. Anyone that knows me, knows the f-word can feature pretty frequently. And this felt right for me to create. I would love to do more, but we'll see!

What part of the printmaking process do you enjoy the most?

If you had asked me this a year ago I would say carving...... But now I actually think it's printing. I've found my groove recently and I love the sweaty buzz of butterflies in my belly as I pull by first print from the press.

How do you feel when you're printing? Is it a silent therapeutic process or more of an energetic outpouring of creativity?

It's a mixture of the both. It starts quite energetic. I almost seem to be vibrating with nervous energy but once I get into a rhythm it all just kind of feels like I go into a quiet place of concentration, while the world keeps going by outside.

Where do you hope to see your business in five years time?

Oh the 5 year plan! Well that's simple, I would love to be doing what I do full time, and able to support my family with it.

shelly brown illustration linocut printmaker

Quick fire question round!

Favourite printing tool?

Eek my Woodzilla press

Favourite paper?

I don't know yet, I still have loads to try.

Favourite colour?

Yellow, green, blue and most recently pink 🤣

Do you prefer mini prints or large and detailed ones?


If you could meet any artist, who would it be?

This is so hard- dead or alive? Frida kahlo for past artist. And alive it has to be Bisa Butler.

A huge thank you for Shelly for telling us all about her printmaking today! If you're interested in following her, her handle on Instagram is @shelly_brown_illustration and you can find her Etsy shop here.

shelly brown illustration linocut printmaker


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