I still have the very first print I ever made at RACC. Not because it's particularly good - but because it started me on a fascinating journey.
With a Business Studies degree, my background is in financial consultancy, but I've always been a 'maker'. I could sew, knit and cook from an early age. And draw a bit. But I wanted to learn something new, so I signed up for a Beginners' Printmaking course at Richmond Art School.
I knew nothing at all about the various processes, but I became hooked from day one! That very first print was a drypoint - basically a scratched drawing on a piece of plastic, inked and printed onto dampened paper by putting it through the printing press. The whole process was fascinating and I can still remember the excitement of seeing the print appear as I pulled the paper from the printing plate. Other printmaking processes followed, each with new technicalities to learn and each equally intriguing.
I followed the leisure course with a BTEC in Printmaking. It was during this course that I first met Jera, Head of the Art School, and she suggested I think about taking my studies further. After much research and agonising over whether it was the right thing to do (it was), I applied for and was accepted on the MA Visual Arts (Printmaking) course at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL in 2012.
During my time at RACC I'd become interested in the relationship between the traditional craft-led processes of printmaking, and the use of new digital technology. The MA let me explore this in greater depth and has been the foundation of my art practice. Although my practice is rooted in print and the concept of the multiple, it has now widened to include more sculptural one-off paper pieces, artists' books and handmade gifts made from my own digitally designed and printed fabric.
I absolutely believe that we can all be creative. It might not be obvious at first where your talents lie, but they are in there somewhere, just waiting on the right encouragement. RACC has a vast array of courses to light that spark, so I'd definitely encourage everyone to 'have a go' and sign up to learn something new. You never know where it will take you.
Gill will be selling her prints at our Winter Art & Craft Fair on Saturday 2nd December, 10am - 4pm. You can also follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and via her website. Fancy trying something new in January? Check out our courses.