Linocuts - Hannah Forward
Hannah Forward is an artist using linocut and printmaking, she works out of her home studio in Hove, near Brighton UK.
"All projects begin with lots of drawing. Using these as a basis I separate the colours into separate layers then trace them onto lino blocks which I carve out. I print each layer separately using an A1 size press I have in my studio. I like to explore layering colour and try to get across movement and energy in my prints."
F&A: When did you start using linocut?
HF: I started creating prints about 5 years ago after doing a short course in relief printmaking in Brighton at an open access printmaking studio. I never did printmaking in school and at university studied graphic design so apart from a one day introduction in the letterpress room had no real exposure to printmaking. It was through getting a job at Lawrence Art Supplies in Hove (who stock an incredible range of quality printmaking materials) that my interest in printmaking started to develop. I loved the flat, bold aesthetic of relief printmaking. Drawing was something I'd been exploring and developing since leaving uni, so exploring it further through printmaking (with the potential to make multiple editions to then sell) felt like a natural next step. So - I did a two weeks introductory course and invested in a basic press, drying racks, roller, carving tools and inks and I was away. Being able to set myself up at home with the equipment I needed to carry on, rather than rent time at a shared printmaking studio was hugely appealing to me. I could develop, experiment and explore to my hearts content.
F&A: Did you go to university? What did you study?
HF: Yes, I went to Brighton University and studied Graphic Design from 2003-2006. We shared our studio space with the Illustration students, which I got a lot of benefit from - I was always very interested in the work they were producing and the briefs they got set. I think seeing all that enthusiasm for drawing ignited something in me. After university I spent a lot of time developing my drawing style and would post my work on this really basic blog I'd started. From that I got commissioned to do some illustration jobs. Drawing has become integral to every project I do. At the same time my interest in composition, colour and shape is always evident through my background in design.
F&A: Who or what inspires your work the most?
HF: Artists with incredible drive and talent, who follow their own very particular vision. I'm just as inspired by painters, photographers, filmmakers and illustrators as I am other printmakers. Stories hugely inspire me. Anyone who successfully combines narrative and art together. I would love to produce a set of limited edition books one day…
F&A: What does creativity mean to you?
HF: To me it means freedom. To be free to make and express, to pull those ideas out from the back of your mind just to stare at them on the paper in front of you. This is something I've done from an early age and it's always fascinated me. Bringing something into existence that didn't exist before you picked up that pencil.
Alongside that I've always felt such benefit from the meditative state that creating puts your mind in. I remember being about five and noticing how calm and comforted I felt just sitting and drawing at the kitchen table. I still feel that sense of contentment. I absolutely relish time alone in my studio, being free to make whatever I feel like. It feels very important and fundamental to me.
Thank you Hannah!