Artist of the Month October 2017: Alasdair Manson
I'm excited to introduce you to Alasdair Manson, a professional printmaker out of London. His incredible screen prints are truly amazing, and he does incredible work with other artists as well. I had the pleasure of interviewing him recently about his artwork and process. He is our Artist of the Month for October 2017.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your work?
I am a printmaker from Scotland, now based in London. I love art and beautiful things and my aim with Manson's Press is to create a print company that artists could come to that would allow them to produce their artwork in a way that was different and allow it to become a whole new entity. Screen Printing is the medium I use most. The subject matter changes depending on the artist I work with. For my personal work, I mostly do hand lettering and CMYK photographic prints from 35mm and medium format photos I take.
How did you get started with Printmaking?
I started 6 years ago at a t-shirt printers in London. I had been a Quantity Surveyor ( a kind of construction accountant/financial manager) and was made redundant. A friend of a friend offered me a job as a trainee printer. I had never held a squeegee and so it was a baptism of fire.
I started my own company a year ago printing paper and other flat sub-straights. We print for designers, artist, illustrators... and anyone really that wants to make something beautiful.
What do you love most about Printmaking?
Creating something beautiful and tactile from an image on a computer. I think the digital production of art has a place but there is something fantastic about holding a screen print, seeing the texture and being able to feel the different layers of ink. It is made by hand using a method that is 1000 years old... there is something amazing about that.
What do you struggle with the most in Printmaking?
It is probably containing my excitement about projects and not getting ahead of myself. 6 years of printing has taught me that there is a definite sequence of doing things but I still strive to find a more efficient way of doing things.
You're running your own print shop. I assume this is what you do full time? How did you start out? At what point did you realize this was something that could sustain you, and what was that like?
It is, I have been running my own company for a year now, having worked full time at a textile screen printers for the previous 5 years. I started as an apprentice/trainee, learning from another printer. I then moved on to being a studio manager for that studio before leaving to set up on my own... I am not great at working under a boss.
I prefer to set my own schedule and make my own decisions when it comes to work. Having my own studio is great, I get to balance printing for other people as well as creating and printing my own artwork using techniques that other artists have yet to try and develop.
Now, you've shared a few pieces with us today. Can you tell us a bit about those?
1. Ben Whitehouse - Action Bronson: Originally a 2" Square sketch using sharpie markers this was blown up to 210mmx297mm and used 6 colours to create the textures and shades of the marker pens
2. Exit Sign - Manson's Press: A new technique developed to recreate the traditional sign painting and mirror guilding methods. A reverse four colour waterbased screenprint onto glass followed by a solvent mirror ink to create the mirror finish.
3. Exit Sign - Manson's Press: Same as above
4. Tiger - Luke Drodz A three colour process print using Cyan, Magenta and yellow to create a range of colours. The balance of halftones and ink opacities was key to keeping the colour balance.
5. Palmtree Dream - Manson's Press
A 5 colour screen print. I took a photo on 35mm film when traveling in California, I then separated the colours and created this CMYK print. The Floro orange block colour in the back is a mix of three inks and two pigment powders to create a super Floro finish.
Thanks for taking the time to talk today. Can you tell us where to find you online?
Thank you SO MUCH to Alasdair for taking the time to interview with us! I absolutely love thework you do!
Thanks to our readers as well, who have read this far! 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.