Meet The Maker: Izzy Williamson

Posted by Louisa Canham on

6th March 2020

Tell us a little bit about you and how your creative story began.
I am a printmaker living in York and specialising in linocut. I think my creative story has grown with me since childhood- my sister, brother and I were all endlessly encouraged to look closely at what was around us and to make things. We grew up in the Whitby area on the Yorkshire coast which is drenched in folklore and beautiful spots. My mum, who  would make displays in the house of fresh flowers, animal skulls, moss, twigs, pumpkins...we couldn't be bored as there was always too much drawing/ walking/ gathering to be done! I would also visit my Grandpa regularly, he was a practicing artist and we would sit together and draw from his collection of art books while my Grandma made her famous egg and chips. These feelings of nostalgia and closeness to nature still remain a driving force behind my work and help to keep me grounded.
I graduated from Leeds College of Art in 2015 with a BA in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design where I developed my love for printmaking and print design (and made some really great friends). Since graduating, I have been making and selling original, limited edition prints and cards and have worked on some wonderful commissions, including making four designs for fabric and wallpaper for interiors company 'Cocoon Home' and of course working for LA-EVA.
How would you describe your work in three words?
Intricate. Playful. Curious.
What or who inspires/influences you and your work most?

have a love of rich colours and imagery, taking inspiration from folk stories and myths I have heard, beautiful objects, other cultures, nature and increasingly music. The narratives are often made up from an amalgamation of my sketches or based on what has happened in my day-to-day ponderings. I try to approach my work with both a sense of humous and a sense of darkness which I think has stemmed from my love of Medieval art (and probably reveals a bit about my character!). 

What is your creative process?
At the moment I am working almost exclusively making original linocuts- a printmaking technique that involves carving into sheets of lino with a gouge, rolling a layer of ink over it's surface and applying pressure to paper to get a reverse image. It is such a gorgeous process as it is accessible to just about everybody and can be as simple or complex as you like.
Personally, I find the process gives me a really lovely balance of playfulness and precision. It can take me weeks to plan, carve and print an image but there still often remains an element of surprise amongst the periods of concentration. I find it to be the perfect way to exercise mindfulness, particularly during the carving stage.
What does the next year look like for you and what are you most excited about?
This year I am hoping to begin working directly onto fabric again and expand my knowledge on Natural dyeing.  I'm also planning on keeping on producing prints, visiting some print/ craft fairs and I am taking part in a big art show, Art & York, in October which I'm very excited about!
To find out more Izzy or to contact her directly visit her IG page @izzywilliamsonprints

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