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Interview

Amber Albrecht p5

Print-maker Amber Albrecht talks about what makes a good print...

READERSVOICE.COM: I really liked the leafy silhouettes you did on your friend Laura’s wall. What did you make the stencil out of, and what did you use to print it? What were the steps?

AMBER ALBRECHT: For the leafy wall drawing, I just drew it right onto the wall using black acrylic paint. I didn’t use a stencil. It took a really long time!

RV: What was the 100E Show featuring illustrators in Stuttgart, Germany, like?

AA: This was a show curated by the former Artistic Director for the Walrus (a Canadian magazine) in which he asked illustrators from around the world to mail in drawings that they had to spare. The idea was that all of the drawings were upon the wall in a grid and once one drawing by an artist was sold another by that artist was put up in its place. Each drawing cost 100E.
I think there are going to be other incarnations of the show in other
cities.

RV: How did your residencies come about in Belgium, and what did you
do during the three week print residency you did at the Frans Masereel
Centre?

AA: The residency program at the Frans Masereel Centre in Belgium is quite unique in that it has such a large number of artists-in-residence, up to nine at any one time over the course of most of the year (as opposed to other programs that often will have only a handful of artists-in-residence per year and therefore are much more competitive).
They have a full staff of very amiable technicians and the setting is amazing and everything about it is quite wonderful.
I’ve applied twice and both times been accepted, so it’s just been a matter of getting over there. The first time I went alone and also
did some solo traveling and it was pretty great. Three years later I did it
again, but this time applied to go at the same time as one of my best
friends, fellow artist Katie Dutton.
We traveled up through the Western Balkans on the way this time which was very interesting and intensely beautiful.
I made four prints during the three week residency, some of
which were a bit more experimental than usual. We also spent quite a bit of time riding bikes around the countryside and meeting horses and getting acquainted with baby deer and spooky forest paths and the like.

RV: What are the most important qualities in a good silkscreen print illustration to you?

AA: I especially like prints that are based on good drawing, and that play with the transparencies of the ink. A lot of silkscreen printmaking that’s out there is quite purposefully sloppy and has the same aesthetic going for it and I get kind of tired of looking at it. Sometimes I think that mine goes too far in the other direction though.

RV: What are some of your plans?

AA: I’m getting a book of my work published by Drawn & Quarterly sometime in the foggy future, when I have enough work to fill a book that I’m actually satisfied with. I’m still trying to think of an appropriate title but finding this to be rather difficult.
I’m also going to go live on a farm for the first time for a little while this spring and learn about organic farming and how to keep bees and grow mushrooms and other skills.

-Copyright Simon Sandall.

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