As Creative Careers Week is just around the corner, we caught up with WYPW member Lisa Stubbs to chat about how she got started and her top tips for anyone looking to turn their printmaking passion into a full time career.
Hello! Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Lisa Stubbs and I’m an artist.
Printmaking is my main medium which I use to illustrate children’s books, greeting cards, create prints and cards to sell online and through galleries and I teach creativity through process.
Did you study a creative subject? If so, what and where?
I originally studied graphic design for four years at Batley Art College before working as a designer in an innovations studio for a greeting card company.
I found myself loving the illustration side of my job and left to be a freelance illustrator, going on to study a visual communication degree specialising in illustration at Leeds Uni.
But I’d like to add that I’m constantly studying and taking courses to inspire and inform my creative practice as it evolves. There are so many wonderful resources online, especially in these times, many free and you never know what new technique you’ll learn to inspire your work down another creative path.
What printmaking techniques do you work with?
The process of layering colours and textures is usually the starting point to most of my work which screen printing is perfect for. I also love monoprinting using an etching press.
During lockdown times my access to screen printing equipment has been limited so I’ve been experimenting with drypoint etching using Tetrapaks and also learning to translate my images in lino print.
What inspires you?
Playing with the actual process of printing itself is incredibly inspiring. Learning new ways of creating images through happy accidents, mistake making and experimenting can lead me to new creative discoveries. Some of my most rewarding work and best ideas come this way from giving myself permission to play.
Visually I’m inspired by vintage children’s book illustrations, my Yorkshire roots and retro fabrics for interesting colours, an old scarf in an Oxfam shop can have the colour combination I’ve just been looking for!
Name 3 great things about your job.
The ‘Tadaaa’ moments of printmaking, the revealing of the print is still exciting to me. When the hard work and lessons of mistake making all pay off!
The letters from Children and parents who have enjoyed sharing my books and taken the time to get intouch, always fills me up with purpose and pride.
The creative community and wonderful customers which are so amazingly supportive.
Wrapping up prints to post and thinking, Wow, someone has parted with their hard earned cash to buy my work and is now going to display it up on their wall to enjoy it for years to come, just fantastic, what an honour.
Oh that’s more than three, I could go on…!
What top tip would you have for a young creative?
Give yourself time to play, walk towards the edges of your creative comfort zone and step over to take risks every now and then.
Experiment, don’t pigeonhole yourself, be open minded to new ways of realising your ideas. Don’t take criticism personally, it’s all subjective, if you believe in your work someone else will too, the trick is to find them. See setbacks as opportunities, connect and put the work in.
Creative Careers Week is a UK initiative designed to educate and inspire young people to pursue a career in the creative industries. Find out more here: https://discovercreative.careers/#/