sweden

Linocut, S:t Johannes Kyrka (St. John's Church)

This will be an update with mostly process pictures of my first two-color reduction linocut, S:t Johannes Kyrka (St. John's Church).

Making this print was really challenging but also great fun, so I tried to photo and document everything. If you have any questions about any step or something I used, feel free to comment and I'll be happy to answer.

I've been drawing, carving, proofing and printing non-stop for the past two weeks, and the next week will be the last before the deadline for next year's

Liljevachs

Spring Salon (Liljevachs vårsalong). Background information: Liljevachs public art gallery was opened in 1916 as the first independent, public museum for contemporary art in Sweden. I am planning to apply with a couple of my original linocuts, including two new reduction prints featuring churches and rooftops in Stockholm.

S:t Johannes Kyrka is the first of the two and is the view of

Vasastan

roofs with the church's peaking Gothic tower. I've been going up to the roof park on Sveavägen to look at the amazing geometry; this linocut is my interpretation of it.

I started with a sketch in Photoshop. Here's what I learned: clipping masks work great when sketching for reduction prints. Nothing fancy at this stage - just messy doodle to show myself the overall composition and colors.

I did a quick transfer, tracing the outline (I printed it out to A3, same size with the block) and draw the details right onto the block. Here's me carving for the first layer. 

At this point I'm carving away what I want to leave white. 

First test proof of the lighter-colored layer. I'm making two editions, with this layer being red or yellow. 

I made enough prints of the first layer, in both colors, to give myself some margin for error in registration. Prints would hang to dry for 3 - 4 days before I print the second layer. 

This is the yellow one - a bright, rich color that really reminds one of the sunrise on a beautiful day. 

When the prints were hanging on the wire, I cleaned the block using baby wipes and baby oil, then started carving more from the block to prepare for the second layer. Here I'm carving away what I wanted to leave yellow/red. 

First test print! Apart from the dark color not saturated enough, I also marked with little stickers all the places I wanted to tweak before printing the final edition. Oh, also - you'll notice I signed this test print in Chinese :)

Printing the final edition :) Registration turned out great, and the dark color really made the lighter one pop.

Another angle - 

And the completed print, in yellow and dark gray (Sunrise), or red and dark purple (Sunset).

Can you spot the squirrel?

Some details on the print: 

Well, that's the print :) It's available for purchase in my shop

here

. Limited edition of 10 original linocuts for both colors; the design measures A3 and is printed on Hosho paper. 

Until next time!

/Tian

Two Interviews this Month

Two of my recent interviews are published this month - one in Swedish and one in English.

Happy face :3

For the first one, I was chosen to be

Lidingö

's Start-up of the Month by

Nyföretagarcentrum

.

(Lidingö is the island in Stockholm archipelago where I live and work. The Swedish Jobs and Society Foundation is forcefully supporting entrepreneurship in Sweden through professional start-up advice for people who want to start a business; they do this through 

Nyföretagarcentrum

- Enterprise Agencies that cover most parts of Sweden.)

Lidingö

's

Nyföretagarcentrum

have helped me a lot before and after I started my freelance business as printmaker and graphic designer. It's great to have somewhere one can go with all their business-related questions and get professional help, and it feels totally awesome to be recognized as a member of the community.

Here's

the interview in Swedish

.

If you don't speak Swedish, you could still check out the second interview in the latest issue of 

Nordic Living magazine

. I talk about when I started the business, my work process and exciting stuff happening in the near future.

Maria over at

Nordic Design Collective

is responsible for this well-curated magazine that introduces independent designers in Sweden.

Here'

s the magazine!

I'm still preparing my next two-color reduction print that features Stockholm buildings and a little something extra. Start carving tomorrow - we'll see how long this one takes :)

/Tian

Tunnelgatan - finally, the dinosaur!


If you've been following my work on Facebook or Instagram, you'd know that I started the dinosaur print quite a while ago. I've always been fascinated by the area close to Tunnelgatan, which is the name of the print and it literally translates to Tunnel Street. It's a street in Stockholm names after the Brunkeberg tunnel - the one behind the dinosaur in this design. I love how dramatic the stairs look and how the tunnel is mysterious and inviting.

[source]
Tunnelgatan is also associated with the murder of Olof Palme, Swedish Social Democratic politician, statesman and prime minister, which occurred at the tunnel mouth on Sveavägen street, and the killer fled up the stairs.

I took multiple reference pictures when passing by and started everything with a pencil sketch.


In retrospect it wasn't very smart to use the transfer paper. A lot of the details were gone and I had to re-draw the design directly onto the lino with a brush marker pen.


Here's how I carve with the Pfeil tools - my right hand gives most pressure while my left index finger guides the gouge and keeps it steady. If you keep your tools sharp, the linoleum should be quite nice to carve, especially if you do it in the sun like I did to keep the lino warm. 




The tool handle is flat on the bottom-side; this way they don't roll around on the table and you don't risk destroying the blade. The lino block is half-completed.



Completed! All prints are handmade and this is a limited edition of 9. The print is available in my shop here; I ship worldwide - in poster tubes to protect the delicate mulberry paper. 

Apart from that... my big project this year has been keeping me very busy. I ordered some product samples from different manufactures and will get the first batch of serving trays in the mail this week. This year will witness a dozen new products and I am very eager and nervous to see how they are received :)

/Tian

Bulletjejen, the Cinnamon Roll Girl

I've been secretly working on this illustration for a few days in an attempt to justify the amount of cinnamon rolls I'd consumed - so far - this winter.

The little triangle brush I used for the pearl sugar didn't work.

I had in my head a girl with dark short hair, in a simple sweater and a perfect kanelbulle - cinnamon roll - as a beret hat. Swedish-style, with pearl sugar instead of glaze, and so much cinnamon that you can just smell it.

Meet bulletjejen, the cinnamon roll girl.

I hadn't illustrated anything digitally for so long; I was messing up with the layers and getting disoriented every now and then, but I'm happy with the final result.

Hmm.

You can take her home on a A3 or A4 print