Friday, June 18, 2010

The Interwoven Close Up with Textile Designer & Printer -Steve Woods

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I love to learn and love to do. I’m very interested in new ideas and equally in the expression of them. I am currently a textile printer in Screenhaus which specialises in handprinted yardage for fashion and furnishings. Pophaus is a new avenue off this which is primarily here to deliver handprinted art for home and commercial spaces. This is the first time I’ve really created my own work as opposed to Screenhaus which is primarily on commission work, so I’m really loving it

Who(or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
I love great art that somehow interacts with it’s environment or has something very smart to say either in concept or execution. I love the masters like Loyd-Wright, Bauhaus, DaVinci – you name it. I love life – business – friends – sports – art – learning. I once spent 2 days looking at 2 early Picasso’s in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and I had a similar trip with colour looking at Kandinskys’ work in the Hermitage … I also love Rigby and the great cartoonists ...

Where do you get your inspiration from when you design/paint?
A side interest of mine is production design for film and theatre – I discovered this doing many short courses at Nida, AFTRS and others – while I’ve had some success in these areas I am driven by interpretation. I love interpreting scripts and wrestling with the ideas of how to illustrate these moments and tell a story in line, art, colour, form and movement. Any great brief can give you this – I think the short answer is ‘I like the process’.

ScreenHaus Copyright
What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Motivated, hungry, happy, now, new

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
Apprentice Fitter Machinist – this lasted about 6 months and from there I became a Baker/ Pastrycook – I had my own stores for a few years and got a name for fancy breads and occassion cakes. During this period I was intrigued with advertising and marketing for those businesses which led me to a degree in Visual Communications. After freelancing in Sydney for a few years I eventually ended up in Screenhaus. It was unique and gave me a great new vehicle … now it seems as I’m getting to do some of my own work while still learning everyday in screenprint I am finding new resolution.

Describe a typical day in your studio space?
Walk in and listen to something inspirational – read emails and plan what’s to be prepared and printed … sometimes I finish as 5 or 6pm but I’ve actually been there at 3am Sunday morning too.It really depends on the work and what is coming in – as it comes in from anywhere from designers of all walks of life. My work comes after that.

ScreenHaus CopyrightAs a Solo Artist, what is your biggest frustration?
Time allocation to my own work ….

Tell us about how you prioritise your studio work.
At the time of writing, Pophaus has 6 or so pieces going so I try to co-ordinate things in a practical manner so I shoot screens at the same time – prepare screens at the same time … sometimes as something reaches a certain stage or I need resolution of an idea or method I’ll focus on it until I have a result. Then move on. I may do 20 versions before I find my combinations.

When did you discover that you can make a living out of your artwork?
I always wanted to – I’m not sure if we all have the same idea of ‘a living’ – I enjoy the work and will always make art of some sort …. I think once we have that - we can work on the business side … it’s a work in progress.

ScreenHaus Copyright

Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?
I get a lot of art and designers come into Screenhaus, so that is my first source – also my street is full of artists so it’s fairly happening – when I need more I hit the galleries and bookshops …. I really need to get out more.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
Where I grew up, if you wanted to be the guy that walked around town being ‘the artist’ you really had to make sure you did it well – it is a privileged position to be able to live art everyday – enjoy yourself - but do the work. Also I feel I have benefited greatly from having multiple disciplines ie. Being a cook has many parallels with printing – these cross pollinations give you insight.

How did you get involve with The Interwoven exhibition and why?
I usually print for a few of the other exhibitors.

Bruce Goold
What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
Plenty … just getting warmed up … I want a vegy garden and horses – I’d like to do more travel – I’d love to study fine art, and in particular impressionism – I’d like to paint the outback.

What is your proudest moment so far?
A few minor hits – some great moments of recognition – by industry and peers.

Who do you most want to meet and why?
Gary Larson - Reg Mombassa – David Gulpilil – Martin Sharp – Mick Jagger ….

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
There are no ordinary moments.

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I want to get a new book …. The Power of Now ….

Where do we find you?


Coming soon to
or you will be able to get some at Screenhaus from the 19th June.

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