Robin's Nest block print in three colors by Andrea Lauren

Being a self-employed creative professional, it is crucial to stay intrinsically motivated. I have personally found that developing many side projects, learning new artistic skills, and finding creative outlets for my imagination to wander have been extremely beneficial to my happiness in this freelance career.  At the start of each month, or in between large commissions, sitting down to brainstorm some ideas and concepts for personal art making has been a great key to staying organized and motivated.  My Instagram account @inkprintrepeat is the place where I am sharing this journey of making art by hand as well as connecting with traditional techniques for making images--linocut, stamping, block printing. 
Here is a three color, hand carved block print design from a recent birds series. The spot color blocks were small shapes which were registered using the acetate sheet method and a simple jig. The print was hand rubbed onto mulberry washi paper using water-based block printing inks. 

Fall Leaves handcarved stamps by Andrea Lauren

It has been a busy month of freelance design commissions as well as keeping up with my own personal projects.  Continuing to create everyday, setting-aside dedicated time to making art work by hand, and sharing my process on Instagram has been a rewarding endeavor.
Here is a recent stamp project of carving autumn leaves and printing them by hand with a palette of seasonal colors.  Using these blocks for printing on paper is not the final step in their creative use, using the elements for new repeat patterns for my spoonflower shop and exploring the designs digitally is a rewarding creative expansion as well.

Tsuru Blossoms - New Fabric Collection by Andrea Lauren

Just released a new pattern design collection -- Tsuru Blossoms.  These crane blocks were carved earlier for another design project but I reworked them into repeat patterns.  Really enjoyed taking out the blocks again and printing a little scene while I proofed the swatches.   Available here.

Global Talent Search Round Two

I was honored and excited to get to the second round of the Global Talent Search 2014.  The voting round has begun and you can vote with your email address for up to 5 of your favorites here.  The brief was to create a character for a child's t-shirt that could also become a book character.  Here's a look at my entry and some of the process for creating it.

Creating a Repeating Block Print Pattern by Andrea Lauren

Exploring traditional printmaking and pattern design methods is a strong passion of mine.  Particularly inspired by the great work of William Morris, I wanted to step away from the computer and design a repeat pattern which was hand-carved and could be hand-printed.
In its planning, the design would work as a one-color pattern as well as having the ability to be expanded and digitally customizable with more complex color ways.

1.  I apply india ink to the block to give a contrast when I'm carving.  I use carbon paper to transfer my design to the block.
2.  The block is inked (I use water-based block printing ink).  I registered it by hand, taking care to align the overlapping parts of the design.
3.  A close-up of my carved block.

Whales Block Prints by Andrea Lauren

A couple of block prints I worked on last week.  Looking forward to developing a sea life collection with these whales and other elements.

Andrea Lauren - Honey and Hive Fabric and Pattern Design Collection

A few weeks ago I carved some bees and beehive block print stamps after watching Vanishing of the Bees on Netflix.   After playing around with some gold ink I took to the computer to create a collection of prints that I've just released in my Spoonflower shop.