What type of materials are you using?
Blocks: Most of my prints are made with either Speedball unmounted linoleum blocks (they are the gray, hard blocks) or Blick Readycut rubber blocks which are two-toned so they show white underneath as I carve. I would recommend rubber blocks if you are just beginning to learn how to block carve.
Paper: I've been using French Paper Co. recycled papers for years. They are a family-owned and operated business and I just love the feel and earth-friendly quality of their papers and process.
Ink: I use Speedball Printmasters ink mostly in black. If printing on fabrics, I use Speedball Fabric Block Printing ink (which comes in a variety of colors, all in 2oz tubes).
Textiles: All of my fabrics are sourced from Philadelphia or USA made businesses online and sewn by my friends locally in Philadelphia (pillows), or pre-sewn by USA textile manufacturers (zip pouches and table runners).
What is that thing you use to press your prints?
That circular off-white tool you see all the time on my Instagram and in my videos is called a baren, and it's by the brand Speedball. You can get them from online, or any art supply store. These are incredibly helpful when pressing prints by hand. They apply even pressure to the back of a block or paper in order to get an all-around smooth and even print. It's funny because I used to press everything by hand or with a candle lid which is a crazy idea. Just go and buy one, it will change your life and is worth the little extra money.
How long does it take to make a print?
Each block print is different, but typically it takes me a few hours to sketch out my idea on paper. That's where most of the work is done and where the design comes to life. Then, I transfer the drawing onto a rubber block simply by flipping the drawing face down onto the block and pressing the impression onto the block. Next step is carving, which can take either an hour or a full day depending on detail, size and shape. Most blocks take me around 2 hours to carve. After carving, the fun part begins! It's the best feeling and thrill to see how a block prints. Printing takes a few hours because I ink and press each print, pillow and textile by hand. After printing, I wait for the piece to dry which can take up to 2 days. Every piece in this shop is truly a labor of love.
Are you accepting wholesale inquiries?
Yes! If you are a shop interested in carrying Land & She please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send a brief description about your shop, what items you are interested in, as well as any links to a website or Instagram to see if we would be a good fit. To see a list of the shops that carry Land & She, please see our stockist list here. Thank you!
I want to run my own shop. Do you have any advice for me?
There are many people who reach out to me wanting to make work, start a shop, be a full-time artist etc. My first question to anyone who wants to do any of the above is do you know what you want to share with the world? What is your perspective? There is always room for more artists and more unique voices. The most important step is to first write everything in your head down. Step back and take a hard look at it. Can you envision the work you would like to make? What does it evoke? Will this be enjoyable, or is it because you want a lot of followers? Ask yourself those questions.
After getting real with yourself, and grounded in your own unique perspective as an artist, just start! The longer you sit and stew, the more difficult it becomes. It is also helpful to stop looking at other people's work and wishing you were where they are. Everyone starts small, and even tho they might make it look easy - every artist has their days of doubt.
Growing a shop or creative business is always going to be hard, so the best thing to do is jump in with both feet. Learn, make mistakes, grow, learn some more, and you'll be on your way. Just make sure it's doing something you truly love!
Some books I read when starting my business were: "Let My People Go Surfing" by Yvon Chouinard, "Art Inc." by Lisa Congdon and "Daring Greatly" by Brené Brown.
Brené Brown's talk on 99U "Why Your Critics Aren't The Ones Who Count" is beautiful and totally inspiring no matter who you are or what you do.