I'm starting a regular blog feature, linking up with artists whose work I admire. They are people like me, who are starting businesses from home, selling their work on line and trying to self promote. First up is Amanda Colville of Mangle Prints. Amanda has been kind enough to reciprocate and you can read my responses here.
What is your background?
I live in Norfolk with my husband and 3 children. I originally trained in graphic design when I left school, but when I left college, I had to find alternative work, and worked for years as a support worker in Mental Health and housing. It was about 2 years ago that I was diagnosed with an immune disorder (SCID) that meant I had to rethink my career and work. It was then that I decided to re-kindle my original plans of working in art and design and took a part-time printing course at my local college. Since then I have had gained a passion for printing and have enjoyed being able to concentrate on producing artwork again.
What mediums do you work with?
Primarily lino-cut at the moment, but I do love to mix mediums, and experiment with materials. I often use other mediums such as wax and ink in my prints to get the effect I want. I love using paper too, and have enjoyed producing paper-cuts and collage pieces, often incorporating wax, buttons and old pieces of texts from unwanted and damaged books. I tend to use anything I have to hand to try and achieve an interesting effect to the finished piece.
What other work do you do?
At the moment, this is my main job. It means I can balance work, family and my health much more easily by working for myself, but it still hard work, but it's something I love and enjoy, so I'm very lucky.
How do you market yourself?
I have mainly stuck to on-line resources such as Facebook, Twitter and my blog. I find it difficult to self-promote though, and it's taken a little while to find the confidence to do so. I have a lot of support from a local Art Space too, Greyfriars Art Space in King's Lynn, who have been fantastic in supporting what I do.
Where do you sell and exhibit?
Currently I have two on-line stores on Folksy and Etsy, but also sell at The Hare and The Hen at Burnham Deepdale. The owner Philippa, stocks a really beautiful mix of ceramics and artwork, from national and local artists. In the past, I have exhibited at Greyfriars Art Space and The King's Lynn Art Centre as part of the Eastern Open Art Competition.
How do you see your work developing?
It would be fantastic to be able to keep printing, perhaps looking at fabric and textile printing too. I'm always experimenting with new ideas, so who knows where I'll be in six months' time?
Who are your heroes?
Originally, I was always heavily influenced by the work of the early illustrators of the golden age, such as Arthur Rackham, Beardsley and the elegance of Eric Gill. Also the beautiful work of the Art and Craft movement, from their fabrics, wallpapers, furniture to books and stained glass. I have always had a passion for their beautiful designs drawn directly from nature.
If you could steal one piece from a gallery what would it be?
Oooh, difficult, there are so many!! A lovely original Matisse paper cut would look fantastic hanging in my living room though!!
What books and blogs can't you live without?
Wow, what a question- there are so many fantastic blogs out there at the moment it's difficult to choose. One of my favourite blogs at the moment is the All Things Considered blog by St Judes Gallery, based in the tiny village of Itteringham in North Norfolk. It hosts some fantastic artwork by some of the best of British printmakers at the moment.