Tuesday, November 11, 2008
My first stamp!
I finally decided to try carving my very own stamp last night. Since Nathan keeps churning out awesome stamp after awesome stamp, how hard could it be? Turns out, it's kind of a pain in the ass at first, but so worth it once you get the hang of it.
As an illustrator who works almost exclusively on the computer, whether using the dreaded pen tool in Adobe Illustrator or drawing on my Wacom tablet in Corel Painter, kickin' it old school and actually making something by hand was a challenge for me. You see, linocutters do not have an "undo" command. So when you carve a chunk out of your line art on a stamp, it stays carved. Ugh! This means I had to work slower and more patiently than usual. Nathan was a big help and showed me some techniques like... carving in narrow, shallow strokes instead of deep gouging ruts (maybe I need a better outlet for my pent-up energy?) Also, in the real world, there's no "zoom" tool. Some of the details are so tiny, I felt like my eyes were going to cross and stay that way.
Gripes aside, working with physical tools and materials that don't always behave how you want them to was actually kind of theraputic for me, like putting Elmer's glue on your hands and slowly peeling it off.
Nate and I both worked on the same stamp design (a little Totoro) so I could compare my shaky job with his rockin' one. It was hard work, but once I saw my finished stamp, it made me want to make more.