Will Clarke -Meet the Maker NOVEMBER November 05 2014

An interview with Will Clarke

This month we've been getting to know Will, who's explained how he combines intricate hand drawn illustrations with screen printing to produce his striking graphic works.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

Well, apart from studying in Bath I have always lived and worked in London and have recently moved my practice into a studio in Brixton (just round the corner from the Turpentine!). To be honest, I never really intended to become a maker as such – when I was at university I was much more interested in becoming an illustrator, or even a graphic designer. It wasn't until the third year of studying that I saw the potential of using print in my work and since then I have pretty much been printing non-stop.

What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

I really enjoy fine art that is inspired by craft, or has elements of illustration or print in it. Artists such as Julie Mehretu, Grayson Perry and Eduardo Paolozzi really inspire me. I plan to work on some unique large-scale pieces that combine different techniques and draw inspiration from artists such as these.

What is the process?

I often get asked how my work is created and whether I ever sell my originals, but in many ways my prints are my originals because I use both illustration and print to achieve the final composition. To break it down, all of my artwork is initially hand drawn, then I use silk screen printing to add the splash of colour. Silk screen is a hand printing technique which can be used to re-produce artwork but also to add new layers of colour into it. I really enjoy both stages and in many ways they are art-forms within themselves. The drawing can look quite different having been printed because it completely flattens any tone it once had and it becomes a very even and graphic image.

What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I used to love to draw and the printing always stressed me out somewhat! With screen printing you need to be very careful as it has multiple stages of preparation. But now I love to do both. The drawing represents a kind of unknown – I never really plan the composition out too accurately before I start because I like to see where it takes me. Whereas printing is all about careful planning and accuracy – although you never quite know how it will turn out with screen printing until the ink is on the page. 

Check out Will's creations in our online shop here.