Craft over screen
Back from vacation with plenty of ideas far away from the computer
I am back from vacation and happy to be here again, on Friday morning, writing you this newsletter. I took something like a 2-weeks break, much needed as always and it really helped me disconnect but also to have a kind of retrospective of the last months but also where I want to go.
Few weeks ago, I wrote this article on how I needed to spend more time away from a screen. I also reworked my communication and stopped Twitter. Today I already feel the consequences of these choices and my mental health thanks me everyday.
While travelling in the US, I tried to visit shops and galleries that enhance that need for analog. And everything I saw confirmed that. It does not change much on the paper regarding to what I decided at the beginning of the year, which was focusing on fonts and prints. But the way I approach prints is evolving.
I bought my Canon ImageProGFraf Pro-300, with pigmented ink thinking I would sell mostly prints using it. I started learning screen printing but for special uses. But after a few months, I realised that spending time in my basement or at the atelier developing my skills in Screen printing or with the Risograph was what I was looking for. And everything I saw in the US confirmed that point, taking it even further with making me want to do some linocut again and maybe letterpress. Among all of this, I don’t forget my tests with stamp stencils I did for Enez Fest for example.
On the other side, I slowed down on font design. I wrote a paid post about it. I don’t feel like belonging to any community with my fonts. But again, visiting the US and the core of my inspiration gave me the will to focus on my work, create fonts I like and are in my style and forget the lack of sales or recognition by the type design community.
So coming back home last week, I planned to work on 2 pieces: The Depression Sketch I did some time ago and that I want to make a screen print out of, and try to do a linocut print out of an alphabet I did few years ago.
Screenprinting is hard. You really need a dedicated space for it. I insolate the screens at home where I can turn a room into a black room. But humidity is too high. So before working, I need to dehumidify the room. So on Tuesday I worked on my Depression piece but between doing the screen, preparing ink, printing and cleaning, it took me a whole day. BUT, the good news is that it meant no time procrastinating. No time on my phone. And it feels so good to be away from the online noise.
But I would lie saying that I did not use my phone at all. I decided to link my paid subscribers to that process. I talked to them about the project, sent them sketches with different colours and some of them proposed me to try gradients for my print. That was a good idea I did not think about!
So I printed different colour palettes and sent them the results. It feels good to have a community and friends you can chat with about your process and have their ideas. It really helped me here. And I plan to do it more and more. That is also why I created that WhatsApp group.
If you are already a paid subscriber and did not join the WhatsApp group yet but would like to join, reply to this post and I will send you the link. If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to join, here is the link.
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Back to my Depression sketch, I am not happy with the results yet. I am going to do another session with other colors and see if I get better results.
This week I also took the time to test print my linocut. Just a plain cooler for now but I plan here again another session with a gradient.
For those who missed it, I also publish a new post on Instagram. My break confirmed I want to focus my voice on the Outdoors, related or not to mental health. And with my collective, we have a deal with the local electricity company to create murals on their electric blocks in the streets of local streets.
For the next block, I offered to do the design and paint it. The block is located in a really urban area and wanted to propose something fresh with one of my favourite messages: Go out and explore! Here is my proposal for the project:
I don’t know yet if it will be accepted but this is the kind of work I would like to do: share messages showing that spending time outside and away from screens if beneficial for our mental health.
While waiting for a reply, I decided to create a version, in English for my Instagram account, using the moto of the Appalachian Trail. Here it is:
Between printing and painting, I really feel like gaining some positive vibes.
But as I said above, I want to explore more ways to print and spread my messages. And Letterpress is something I would really like to explore further. I already have a few wood type at the atelier. And what is really interesting in my process, is that at the time I was looking for Letterpress inspiration, I found out 2 accounts that could help me go further with Letterpress. And these are the 2 links I would like to share with you today.
This small studio creates a wood typographic press and the prints you can do with it seem fantastic. I don’t have a huge budget right now for a press so that could be a good opportunity as their kit costs only $150. They create only a few presses a month, so they limit the orders each month. I am really looking for the end of the month and be one of whose can preorder the press :P
To go with a fresh new press, you need new fresh type, right? That is where I discovered the work of Type High Design who creates wood type out of different alphabets. I think you can also ask them to create type with your own alphabets. So when I get my press, be sure I will buy some stuff from THD ;-)
Having different ways of printing gives me even more ideas of lettering to create. It really gives me motivation to continue in that direction, spread my messages and try to make a living out it.
(After 4 months of full passive income, it is getting better and better. I can count on some fonts sales and something really interesting, you are more and more supporting my work with becoming paid subscribers here on Substack and allowed me to make around $1300 with it since the beginning of the year. A big thank you.)
I think this is it for today :) I really look forward to show you new experiments with type and prints. I am really excited about where it is going. So stay tuned and again thank you for your support.
Have a nice weekend, and why not let your phone at home and go for a nice walk outside and explore your local environment?