Artist of the Month January 2018: Mindy Schumacher
I'd like to introduce you to Mindy Schumacher, a printmaker based out of Rockford, Il, and our Artist of the Month for January 2018! I had the pleasure of interviewing her for this article.
All of this is Follysome, toil and toil again. What remains are trifles, mere frivolity. But what is folly to some can reveal the depths to the Other. Art can reveal and conceal at once. Truth, meaning, shared experience; those can be found in the process. It’s more than a mode of communication or expression. For me, whatever it is, it’s necessary and I’m drawn to that force in others, no matter how it complicates them.
What is your preferred subject matter and medium?
Hand pulled linoleum block prints. Repeating patterns on textiles are my home base. Trees and historical eras have inspired me lately.
How did you get started with Printmaking?
2003 in college. I’ve never taken any art classes but my roommate was an art major. We hung out in the studios a lot and I dabbled in multi color reductions. I’ve always been a dabbler. About 5 years ago I wanted to teach my niece and nephews how to screen print shirts for their band and ended up dabbling again in lino carving with my niece.
Teaching is my highest passion and in the process I reignited my curiosity for printmaking. Not long after, I became a mother. That experience led me to slough off old hindrances, busyness, the full time job included, and commit to slow, intentional living. I’m based from home now with my daughter, teach piano from my living room, and fill in every gap I can find with reading, sketching, carving, printing and creating in general.
What is the thing that you love most about Printmaking?
One thing I didn’t get at the beginning is the accessibility of printmaking. No press, no problem! After a few years of hand block printing for fabrics I wanted to expand my designs and subjects, work in larger formats, create something to perdure on paper rather than on a consumable product. Research led me to an ink and paper combo for hand pulling prints that gave me good results, and that encouraged me to keep going.
Hand making is a revolution. It allows me to cross pollinate some of my dabbling and serves as a vehicle to incorporate new interests. We’ll all tell you it’s the process but I’ll add that it’s the vehicle. I have a lot inside of me and I’m intentionally clearing certain things out of my way to give precedence to others. Gaining the technical skills to express oneself and open up to the self analysis involved in process; that is the pedagogical imperative and I’m a forever autodidact.
What is the thing that you struggle with most in your Printmaking?
At this stage in life it’s energy and balance that are at a premium. But moreso, it’s the head-getting-in-the-way of the artistic process. I love the line from the film Metropolis, roughly- the mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart. (I’m going to print something with that!) They were making a largely socio-political statement but I also recognize the personal element.
What keeps my head straight is my family and faith. I’m fortunate to have a large family of artists and musicians. They get it; we’re complicated, we cheer each other on, we don’t give up. We inspire each other and share all we have without holding back. Life and beyond is a mystery and we face it together with honesty.
The printmaking community has been amazingly supportive as well, as sharing my work publicly is very new and was daunting for me. Something has to keep us going when print days go all wrong and I’ve had my share. Find your tribe, as the kids say.
Is printmaking/art what you do full-time? If so, how did you start out? At what point did you realize this was something that could sustain you, and what was that like?
I’ll say I’m still in the emergent phase; still a dabbler. It’s been about a year since I left full time employment and started sharing my efforts online. It’s been an unexpected rainbow- like occurrence in my life and I’m open to more of those. I’m grateful for my husband’s support and willingness to live a frugal, artful life.
Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Studied Psychology and Philosophy with an emphasis in Philosophy of Art and Education in grad school
So how can people find you online?
A big thank you again to Mindy for interviewing with us! I'm excited to see the wonderful work she's producing!
Thank you, our readers, for taking time out of your day and sharing in Mindy's art and perspective! Please leave a comment with your thoughts and get a discussion going! This is a wonderful opportunity to bring some minds together!
If you're interested in being a featured artist, contact me at JustPrintmaking@gmail.com
I feature a new artist every month through an interview process similar to this.