At Imaginate we like to encourage the studio expand their creative boundaries by having ‘Imagi Days’. These are a day each month that a member of staff can ask to do something creative that isn’t what they do day to day but could benefit their professional life.
This month Sush swapped the challenges and stresses of his role as Digital Director for a day of screen printing down at Birmingham Printmakers. Sush takes over the story…
I must say at the outset that printmaking is not something entirely new to me. I did my degree in Illustration and had a Foundation year before that with a real focus on the print room. When I heard from a friend about Birmingham Printmakers it re ignited the fire in my belly and I did a refresher workshop to remind me what was involved. There is nothing quite like getting covered in paint and mucking about in a dark room, and an added bonus of you walk out of the studio with some half decent looking prints at the end of it.
The print studio is small, only 2 beds and a dark room for screen work and is Members only meaning that you can access it at nearly any hour of the day.
I used my 'Imagi' Day to take my Workshop induction, so took along a few illustrations hastily printed onto transparencies and an open mind.
The process all came flooding back;
First you need to coat your frame in order to expose your design onto it. Exposure takes about 55 seconds for a transparency on a big huge light box. The Screen is then washed to leave the design etched in place.
Next you need to prepare your screen bed whilst the screen dries, choose some inks, grab a squeegee etc. Time for the fun part, seeing how the design lays onto the paper and setting them to dry before getting the next layer of screen design ready.
There is a lot of cleaning, although as you are usually waiting for a screen to dry it fits together nicely meaning you can achieve quite a lot during a day.
What is great about doing this is it is a real antidote to the day to day programming and project managing I do, but while it is destressing and fun as an employee it also starts to add extra skills to the studio that the company could call upon further down the line.
So who needs a Tote bag or a poster printing?!