In the Bulletproof London studio, we regularly host creative workshops after hours. It’s a great opportunity to step out of our comfort zone, learn new skills and get inspired. And it’s not just limited to the design team either. We have lots of creative people across the business and we celebrate this by coming together and trying our hand at something new! With lots of people keen to learn the art of lino print, we invited the very best in the business to come and teach us the intricacies of this craft.
Artist Nick Morely, otherwise known as, Linocutboy, is renowned for his print design as well as being a published author and featured artist on the BBC, The Guardian and The Telegraph. His work has been exhibited world wide and he now runs his own print studio, Hello Print Studio. It was an honour when he agreed to host a workshop in our London studio.
Once we’d wrapped up our work for the day, we all came together in the breakout area with all the equipment laid out on the work benches. With Nick’s watchful guidance, we quickly got to grips with the various scraping tools on a practice block.
The team loved experimenting with the different mark making techniques and as we worked, we managed to ask Nick a few questions to find out a little bit more about his business and how he got into printing…
What’s your average day like?
If I’m working on a lino, I usually do around 4 hours a day, as it’s quite intense work. Beyond that, and you start to make more mistakes when you’re tired. Then, I also run a print workshop and teach external classes just like this one.
Do you plan each print that you do?
I plan most of the design and usually try and leave around 30% up to chance so that there’s few happy mistakes in there.
Do you ever make mistakes, and if so, how to you ‘cmd z’ (undo)?
Yes, I frequently make little mistakes that maybe only I can see. Only once have I made a mistake that’s meant that I’ve had to start the print all over again.
What’s the largest scale that you’ve worked on?
A 6ft print that I did of a giant whale that was to go on display in a gallery. I had to spread the ink using a mop and we actually used a steam roller to print the final piece!
Where did the name LinoCutBoy come from?
It actually used to be my online dating name and just kind of stuck…
Where do you get your inspiration for prints?
I see inspiration everywhere, for example, in textures that I see, patterns etc. I’m working on a project series at the moment where I’ve been photographing the food that my two year old son drops on the floor and the accidental patterns that it makes.
As we progressed from the practice blocks, we started our final designs. We’d each gathered some inspiration for our own unique print to create and take home with us.
Next we had to ink up, and began rolling out the oil-based inks onto the mats. You have to ensure you apply the right amount so that the print comes out with bold crisp edges to your design.
Nick brought with him a die cut machine to roll the paper and the printing block through, applying pressure to produce the final print.
The results were overall really pleasantly surprising and in just a few short hours we’d created designs that we were proud to bring home. It was great for the team to bring it back to the basics of print and test our handy skills. A massive thank you to Nick, aka LinoCutBoy for inspiring us!
You can check out more of his work on his website.
Blog written by Holly.