It’s that time of year when i need to make my Christmas cards. Normally i like to do something different every year, but this year might be a repeat of last. You see, last year i did some lino print cards and it was a really interesting experience, so this year, i will do it again, but with a difference.
The thing about lino or wood block printing is that you work in the negative: you have to be constantly thinking about what you are drawing or carving and trying to reverse it, to understand what will be ink and what will be clear space. You also need to think about how it will be reversed when it’s printed, just like when you look in a mirror (obvious when you think about it, but several times i’ve accidentally written things on the card ‘correctly’, so they print out backwards…).
This year, i’m going to do two colour printing, which means doing two lino blocks that each produce a different colour in the final print. It will be an interesting challenge, requiring both images to line up.
The reason i like lino printing is because it forces you to change your perspective, to switch to a different mindset, and i like the things we can learn from this. When painting or drawing, you are laying down colours and lines where you want them. With lino printing, you are laying down the fill in the spaces, you’re defining the lines by their absence.
You have to change your view, to adopt a different viewpoint. It’s not dissimilar to the process of changing perspective that we adopt when we take a different tone of voice to produce a piece of learning. Writing in different styles for different projects teaches you how important tone of voice is, how far you need to flex your style and approach for different contexts.