This Is It! speaks to Kusheda a budding Printmaker about the path that led her to Printmaking , the process and much, much more.
There’s a method to the madness, but I also love when I make mistakes
How did you get into printmaking?
After making the choice not to study Fashion Design I found myself in a bit of a creative hole. I was unsure of the next step to take – all I knew at the time was I loved to draw and I was bursting for a creative outlet to use my skills in- something tangible. During that time I attended a lot of exhibitions which got my creative juices flowing again, which’s when I decided to study at Kingston College on a short course to keep the creative momentum going.
Whilst working in retail I made a friend who was extremely excited about the course she was studying at LCC called Surface Design. She told me if drawing was what I loved to do, then a course in Surface Design would be right up my street. It was a course that offered a range of transferrable skills – the printing method could be utilised in many mediums such as ceramics, wallpaper, textiles, etc. She also mentioned that you can print onto pretty much any surface which sparked some excitement for me. I liked the fact that I could print onto textiles as it was still within my fashion background. After a few conversations with her I decided print design was the way to go.
Can you give us a run through of the process of textiles print?
I do experimental screen printing. On occasions I come up with a hand drawn pattern and expose it onto a screen to print, or sometimes I expose random torn bits of paper, shapes or textures onto the screen and start playing around, it’s a varied process. There’s a method to the madness, but I also love when I make mistakes – some of the prints are finished pieces and sometimes I feel as though I could take them further. When I feel the urge to take a print further I scan my fabrics onto my computer and adapt the colour, shapes and composition to create a different outcome. It’s all very experimental.
What’s your favourite part of the design process?
It’s how free I can be, I can be as expressive as I want to be with colour and shape. Patterns can come about from anything, a water mark, a stain, a squibble, you just have to be loose and play around with your screen or digital skills and a whole other 50 prints can be made from one small thing. I’m an experimental screen printer so I try and go with the flow as much as possible. A print’s outcome has a lot to do with how I feel on the day a piece is created, my work’s heavily influenced by emotion and mood. It’s a very abstract method.
It’s all very experimental.
What or whom inspires you?
Colours inspire me. I love colours in paintings, what they symbolise and the mood they can put you in. Sometimes looking at a painting or an image can take you away, I try to create that same feeling in my print. I like to create mini abstracts, a form of escapism. I try to mainly focus on colour and a feeling and it all seems to come together. Texture is always a main focus in my work; textures have the ability to inspire a print straight away.
A while ago I realised there was another constant theme that reoccurred in my work, I called it the Diamond Life. The Diamond Life was a kind of escapism I used to create my print. The theme originated from dreaming about a life of no worries, a life of no worries equaled a life of luxury. As a girl who grew up on a council estate in Peckham with big dreams, I always let those dreams drive my work. Looking at images of a life I aspired to, as materialistic and frivolous as it may sound, helped me formulate colours and conjure a mood that I transferred into my work.
no one else can produce the work that comes from you, so stick to it.
Give 5 words that sum up your aesthetic style
Abstract, painterly, boisterous, experimental and current.
What are the current hot trends in the world of textiles design?
I honestly don’t know, I don’t look at what anyone is doing currently. There are a few brands I like that do print design like e.g. Takanaka, Loewe Dries Van Noten but I don’t look at trends. I make what I like, and often look to design inspiration from artists. I’ve recently been looking at Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly or Richard Diebenkorn works for inspiration.
Where would you like to be in the next five years?
Working freelance ideally, producing my own work as well as doing collaborative work with designers who need prints for fashion or interiors. I would love my own studio or showroom of classic design work. I want to be kept constantly busy creating new work and projects and putting on exhibitions. I would also like to talk with young kids with dreams as big as mine to reassure and reaffirm to them that their dreams are possible. I’m also into interiors so maybe one day making my own furniture would be nice, but one step at a time.
I called it the Diamond Life
What advice would you give to someone thinking of getting in to textile printing?
Have an open mind when it comes to designing. Have patience when it comes to print practices because it doesn’t always come easy and last but not least practice makes perfect. Don’t try to produce things like you’ve seen before, no one else can produce the work that comes from you, so stick to it.