Today we’d like to introduce you to Kandace Green.
Kandace, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It was never my intention to be a printmaker. Like most artists, I grew up drawing, coloring and taking art electives in school. It was in high school art class that I was first introduced to printmaking, specifically linocut relief carving. I found the linocut process fascinating because it was different from paint on canvas or pencil on paper; it required carving the artwork out of a block, then inking the block, then transferring the ink to paper to create the finished piece.
After our printmaking lesson was over, however, I didn’t pursue learning more about the process. I went to college at Texas Christian University and graduated with honors, a B.F.A in graphic design, and a Spanish minor. While in college, I wanted to take a class to learn about the different types of printmaking, but it wasn’t a priority and I couldn’t fit the classes in with my already full schedule.
After graduating, I started my own graphic design company and have worked with a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations to create logos, branding, marketing collateral, and websites. I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands, however, and I found myself wanting to take a step back from the computer and make something handmade. Around the same time, I came across a graphic designer, Derrick Castle from Nashville, Tennessee, who was also creating linocut reliefs on the side. That’s when it clicked.
I tried to remember the linocut process from high school and scoured photos Derrick had shared online to see what materials and tools he was using. I ordered all of the materials I needed and made my first linocut print since high school – a handprinted Christmas card. I was hooked on printmaking.
Since then, I’ve been on a journey of experimenting, googling, and learning about making linocuts. A couple years ago, I started Good Cheer Paper Co as an outlet for sharing my newfound hobby and artwork. I still run my own graphic design business, but printmaking has become a passion of mine.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Certainly not. There have been a variety of challenges, but most significantly the fact that I am self-taught. It’s difficult to teach yourself a new skill without guidance, especially when it’s relatively obscure compared to other art mediums. I’ve spent hours searching the internet for blogs and looking through printmaking books to teach myself the linocut process and learn about the materials and tools.
I’m still early in my printmaking journey and I know there is much more to discover; I learn something almost every time I create a new piece. On top of being self-taught, most people are only familiar with printmaking in the form of screen printing t-shirts. So, not only do I have to teach myself the process, I have to educate my audience as well, which can be just as challenging.
Good Cheer Paper Co – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Good Cheer Paper Co is my outlet for sharing my artwork. I make hand-carved, hand-printed artwork using the technique of relief printing, which dates back to 220 A.D. The material I use is a modern linoleum made for carving. Each piece is signed and numbered, making it a limited edition.
The process involves several steps. First, I sketch out my artwork and transfer it to the face of the linoleum. Then, I carve into the linoleum block, leaving a relief, or raised surface, creating the printing block. Typically, multiple blocks have to be carved for multiple colors. Once the linoleum is carved, ink is then rolled on to the raised surface with a brayer. A sheet of paper is placed on top of the inked surface and hand burnished to transfer the ink from the printing block to the paper. The paper is then pulled back, revealing the final hand-printed artwork.
What I love about this process is not just the handmade aspect but the imperfections. Despite the fact that an edition of twenty, fifty, or even a thousand prints can be pulled from the same block, each print pulls with a different texture making it truly unique and one-of-a-kind.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I’m really proud of the progression of my artwork over the past couple of years. I can see the improvements in my carving and printing techniques since I first began. I’ve also challenged myself to expand beyond the greeting cards and typography that got me started and am working to create larger artwork featuring more complex subjects and multiple colors.
- Artwork ranges from $20 to $100
- Website: goodcheerpaperco.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goodcheerpaper/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goodcheerpaper
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GoodCheerStudio