Friday, August 12, 2011
excuse me while I rant...
Hello friends, usually our blog is reserved for beautiful things, lovely letterpress images and sweet stationery. But today I really feel the need to rant.. please don't hold it against me.
I have such a deep love and respect for letterpress. It was this huge love which lead me on a path of many years of hard work, sweat, plenty of bloody knuckles to become the very best possible letterpress designer and printer as possible. This journey was never for money, it was never for fame or successes, it was to fulfill a deep burning yearn that this is what I should do. There was never any question, I believed in my heart that this was my calling.
This journey has been a bloody hard one, there is no doubt that this life is not an easy one. Day in, day out, I work from 10am to 1am, every single day. My arms are usually bruised, my knuckles caked in ink and grime and my body aches, every single day.
Every waking moment I am striving to become better and better, I am aiming for perfectionism. I do not take weekends, I do not take days off, I must admit, I don't even take Ruby out for a walk. Every moment is consumed in this land of letterpress. However I don't feel that I am missing out on things, as I am filling my days with what I absolutely love and adore. I could not imagine any other path for my life, but lately things have really been getting me down.
It pains my heart over and over again to see my designs being copied by other letterpresss studios. Myself and my lovely little team work so hard to ensure that we are not influenced by other letterpress trends, and that we are always paving our own path. We design and print with so much love and heart felt emotion, to have this then stolen and replicated is like breaking off a little piece of my heart one at a time.
But even more so lately it has pained me when people pretend to be friends to suck up as much information as they can, to run away and wham without any experience suddenly they have set themselves up as a fully operating letterpress studio. It makes me feel so exploited.
I feel that the only way in which I could have become the best possible letterpress printer was to embrace this choice, start from the very beginning and over the course of many years build in my knowledge and experience. I believed in the journey and followed it with all my heart and soul, it took many years before I could call myself a letterpress printer and offer my services. To master this craft I had to follow the right learning process.
But these people pop in and out of my life and before you know it they have bought a beast of a press and are advertising themselves as a letterpress printer. This hurts me more then anything, it is a total disrespect for this craft, and in my opinion has only been done to fulfill a current trend or financial gain. I don't know what hurts more, the fact that I have been used, or the fact that they will sending substandard letterpress work out into the world.
I think my problem is that I love this too much. My heart and my soul is injected into every little bit of cotton paper that I print, all my emotions, all my love, all my happiness is surrounded into this land of letterpress. I work so hard to be perfect at this, I try to stand with broad shoulders and wear all the burdens, I try to juggle it all and not let things get me down. I strive to be the very best that I can be. I want to be able to look back and see that I have done good things for the preservation of letterpress, I want this all to be worthwhile.
If only Charlie, Herbie and Helga could talk, I wish they could tell me that it is all okay, that I am doing a good job and that everything will be alright.