Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A Goddess Experience- How a print came to be.

I've been planning a blogpost about my highlights of 2010, and one of the things I've noticed is that most of them have come about due to the modern wonder that is Twitter.None more so than an experience so amazing that it still feels somewhat surreal; in fact I'm glad I have photographic evidence otherwise I might not believe it ever happened. I arranged to spend a day screenprinting at The Print Club London where I took the Run Riot team earlier this year to learn how to hand-pull our own screenprints.
But who I was there with is the amazing part. Want to see? Yes, that’s Gisèle Scanlon (aka The Goddess Guide). I know. These pics show her learning the process of screen printing.Her books are my absolute favourites; I've bought them for all my girlfriend's birthdays and re-read them again and again as they are like little works of art.They're jam-packed with tips on everything from where to find the best face cream in New York to the joy of letter writing.She's even featured in my list of inspiration and role models on my website, so meeting her in real life was thrilling. Seriously, even at a screen printing studio she looks cool. In the flesh, she’s tiny; popping around the studio all in black, her sketchbook hardly ever out of her hand. In between printing she spent the day constantly sketching and her notebook is just amazing.
Okay, so let me rewind a little and let you in on how all this happened. It turns out that Gisèle loves to draw and paint. I mean she loves it more than anything. She had thousands of drawings of ideas she had that she wanted to make into prints singled out in her notebooks. (You’ll know if you’re familiar with her bestselling Goddess Guide books- that she sketches and paints the pages herself.) I love her whimsical illustration style-the surprising thing for me is that she’s self taught. I don’t know how she developed her own unique style or where she finds the time … between traveling and writing books and being invited to things!
So, hearing about my experiences screenprinting, she asked me on Twitter if I’d be in London and would I like to help her learn to screen print before Christmas. Of course I jumped at the chance! So that’s how I ended up having a screen printing day with her at the Print Club.
We had such a good time; Gisèle is a like a little doll and her energy, enthusiasm and intelligent ideas are infectious. She's both professional yet incredibly friendly and enthusiastic. It was fascinating to learn about her work as an artist- she knows so much about the tiniest details of paintings-she reads art books,even in bed and in the bath! And says that this is what encouraged her to teach herself to draw.
She drew the 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' sketch for the vintage style pages of her second book, 'The Goddess Experience', the subject of which is Courtney Love wearing one of her signature art- deco headpieces by Kat Swank. Coincidentally, Courtney contacted Gisele on Twitter after buying her book in Manhattan, and since then the two have become art- loving friends. As Olivia the printer was teaching her to pull the ink over the screen, Gisele broke for a moment to take a quick phone call from Love who was inviting her to stay over at Spring Cottage, Cliveden, Berkshire once she’d finished at the studio that evening. Right about here, I’m laughing inside about how surreal this all is. This all came about because of Twitter?
But Gisele is wonderfully down to earth.When I asked her what she’d be doing with Courtney Love that night she said with a smile “The same things I do with everyone Katie. Think I’ll bring her a print. She’ll like that.” We just messed around in the studio, chatted about our favourite artists, made some screen prints, laughed a lot and drank loads of milky tea.
I can’t wait to get together again, and hope this print is the first of many. I love how we all met through Twitter; it reminds me that you can never tell what will happen next or what little adventure a new day will bring. She’s an amazing artist and very cool to be around. Most of all though Gisèle is really lovely and my personal mentor; she encouraged me to keep writing my blog posts, (coming from a bestselling author with millions of readers, that’s really reassuring!). I had the most wonderful time printing and at the end of the day an email from her calling me a 'total goddess' made my day.No, make that my year.
You can buy the print here

Edition of 100, Signed & Numbered
4 colour screen print
300gsm Colorplan paper, 42x59cm
Price £100 + £15 P&P


Angharad said...

Fantastic post. I love Gisele's books - really interesting to read about your day together.

Bonzie said...

What a surreal experience Katie! Gisele's work is so inspiring.

I'm not surprised that Court is a pal of Gisele's she seems to be really supportive of the art/design community in general and have come across Courtney a lot lately in support of Indie designers/writers/crafters etc. She purchased 2 items from us online last year too and we chatted for a while back and forth by email. She's a really lovely passionate person!

Great twitter story! Keep up the great reporting. It's lovely to read about your experiences like this one!

Style Souk said...

Such a wonderful story...

I adore Gisele - having written about her on my blog and gifted each (and every last!) of my female friends with her beautiful works.

It is heartening to learn the lady is as lovely as her books.

Sarah x


Brónagh Kennedy said...

Oh that's so cool! Gisele seems so awesome her books are a constant source of inspiration for me too!

Brónagh Kennedy said...

Oh that's so cool! Gisele seems so awesome her books are a constant
source of inspiration for me too!

B http://glamourandgrungefashion.blogspot.com/

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