January 26, 2009

Etsy Monday - Mizu Designs

This week's featured seller is Kylie Budge of Mizu Designs. Kylie is a talented artist who works with Japanese style woodblock prints, lino cuts and silk screen (to name some of her preferred media). I was struck by her work the moment I saw it and was thrilled when she put aside the time to answer a few questions for my "Etsy Monday" feature.

I think it's great how every one of her designs has a story to tell, and I absolutely love her style and subject matter. Her interview is as interesting as her work itself, and I hope you enjoy reading more about her and her craft. Here's what Kylie had to say...

1. When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist/artisan?

I made a point of prioritising printmaking in my life about 11 years ago but I’ve been printmaking on and off most of my life since I was a teenager. Like a lot of creative people it’s something I have to make space for in my life or I feel like I’m denying something that’s core, part of what makes me whole. It took me a long time to be at peace with the part of me that needs to be practical and responsible and allow myself to make time for my printmaking.

2. How long have you been working with your medium and what first sparked your interest in it?

I’ve been making Japanese style woodblock prints since 1998 but have been printmaking for longer than that in other styles. I moved to Japan that year and lived in Kyoto for 7 years in total. It was being there that sparked my interest in learning more about the traditional Japanese printmaking method. I found myself an artist who as also prepared to teach me and haven’t stopped really.

sento 1 (original woodblock print)

In the last few years I’ve also been producing illustrations in the form of giclee prints. It’s all connected for me. To be a printmaker you need to be able to draw, and sometimes I just enjoy going directly there.

3. What do you find most enjoyable/rewarding about your art/craft?

I love everything about printmaking. Collecting paper and experimenting with printing on different kinds is a lot of fun. In Kyoto I could just go crazy in the paper shops. I felt very lucky to have access to that while I was there. All that gorgeous, hand made washi, It’s a printmaker’s dream! And I love the tools used in Japanese printmaking. Fine wooden brushes with horse hair and wooden handle carving knives. And the baren (a flat disc wrapped in a bamboo leaf used for printing).

Carving the blocks is hard work and requires many hours. Sometimes I’m fine with that if I’m in the right head space. But for me printing is much more enjoyable. It’s when all the hard work pays off and when the print comes to life.

Tools of the Trade

4. Where do you find inspiration for your art/craft?

Much of my design inspiration comes from Japan and all things wild and natural including indigenous Australian plant life. I love insects, especially dragonflies, and I adore seed pods.

5. What message or values do you wish to convey with your art? What does your art say to the world?

Mostly I want to find the means to convey in some small way the fragility and beauty of nature and its ephemeral, transitory state. If I can capture that even in a tiny way in my printmaking then that brings me a lot of joy.

6. Are there any other creative outlets that you use to express yourself? What are they and what do you enjoy about them?

Apart from printmaking and illustration I really like to potter around the garden and watch the way a vegetable garden comes to life over summer. I think it’s connected to that idea of enjoying the ever-changing state of things in nature.

7. Do you have any advice for other artists/artisans

If you know that as a person you need to create and it’s part of who you are as a person, then don’t deny it, don’t push it down inside yourself because there’s not enough time, or you have to do other things in your life. Give yourself permission to be in that creative space and find the time somehow. If it’s integral to who you are and how you are in the world, then unless you do this, you’re not going to be whole or happy or balanced and that will unravel you eventually.

still life blue (original giclee art print)


In closing...

Where else can we find you and your work, either on the internet or in person? (ie blog url, flickr, facebook, etc)


Any other websites or resources you’d like to recommend (not just to other artists)?

I can't live without Illustration Friday:

I get really inspired by artists like Camilla Engman and countless other amazing creative bloggers:

I adore flickr:

To read past interviews with "Etsy Monday" featured artists, click here!

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Anonymous said...

Wow! These prints are gorgeous. Great interview too :)

Waterrose said...

I enjoyed reading this interview. I've always admired to printed by designing their own wood blocks...she had beautiful designs.