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.



  1. Oh dear, I'm so sorry! Don't let it get you down. Good things happen to good people, and I'm sure your clients know and appreciate your expertise and skill. This is what matters. It will be alright!

  2. It'll all be worth it, and it'll all be alright. ♥


  3. It is all okay, you are doing a good job, and everything will be alright. Those long years of hard slog and experience and talent will win over those people trying to profit off your hard work. People with low ethics, who steal off others, will not profit in the long run, they won't keep their clients; you will prevail.

  4. your work and passion will prevail....your fan's know u are unique and know your style and people with a real passion for letterpress will stick by you, because if we see your work done by others we will know its not their own and karma will kick their ass!

  5. I think the love and passion you have shines through in your beautiful work. Copies are hollow and lifeless and anyone with an ounce of insight should be able to see the difference.
    You certainly deserve to rant on this one. I abhor mediocre people stealing from the truly creative.
    We love you!

  6. The authentic path you're on will be the one that survives. Have faith!

  7. Alischa, you are amazing at what you do, and I am not trying to flatter you when I say this, but you are honestly inspirational in the way that you tirelessly operate. And you can see how hard you work, by the original, beautiful work you produce. I think it takes true passion to continue on, working as hard as you do. To me, that is a rare quality that has always made you (and your studio) stand out in my eyes.

    I have to say, I am aware of at least one recent "pop-up" letterpress studio around, and I can only imagine how absolutely mad that must drive you. Makes me feel the same about home job graphic designers!

    You are doing an amazing job. At the end of the day, you cant control thieves who steal your work and your ideas, and still live with themselves. And the world is a lovelier place because of what you do.

  8. Love love love your work Alischa! Keep up the beautiful work and don't let these 'wannabes' get you down. All the best xx

  9. Hi Alischa,

    Your work has always been amazing and beautiful because you're not afraid to let your passion shine through. Your blog posts are always genuine, and you are a determined person so don't let any of these things take that away from you because you have so much to offer and it makes your work different from others. Aesthetically and intrinsically. inside out. Truly!!

    And i'm sure many will agree!!!

  10. I am such a fan of your work and I always look forward to your new blog posts - don't let people like this get you down. As a graphic designer I know how this world of design can be and there will always be someone looking to make quick work out of the craft that other put their time and hearts into. Great work will speak for itself and yours will always stand head and shoulders above the rest!

  11. Oh Alischa, rest assured that your passion and love of letterpress shines through in all you create. You can hold your head high and really be proud of your work. B. xx

  12. Alischa we have never meet but as a fellow graphic designer and print maker I want to say you are amazing at what you do. Your designs speak of your own sensibility as a designer and as you invest so much it is understandably disappointing when someone misappropriates your work. It feels like a violation and it is. That being said don't stop with the amazing work. People recognise your talent and want to see more

  13. Hello Alischa

    I am sorry to hear your sadness - I know what happened to you a few months ago and we never stopped tweeting about it!

    I know your craft is the best - maybe the new tagline of your marketing campaigns has to say "often copied never the same"

    Imagine how versace, YSL, calvin klein etc etc etc feel with the asian market and ebay copies

    anyway - keep on keeping on - remember there is always one captain and many servants - I know which one you are



    (PS remember I said I went through this for years - it never stopped occurring - but I never stopped designing and producing)

  14. It is your love, dedication and artistry that shines through in every little detail of your beautiful letterpress treasures.

    That is what truly sets your work apart and nothing can replicate this...holding a piece of your work, feeling the textures and soft cottony paper, is holding a piece of this amazing creative spirit.

    Thank you for your inspiration...keep smiling.

    Ingrid x

  15. I'm sorry Alischa - that's so awful.

    Just know, that when I'm (and certainly, it seems, many others) looking for a letterpress-artiste I will be choosing the original (and the best) :)

  16. La Tovah and DemetreusAugust 15, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Hi Alischa, We are so sorry to hear this has happened to you, it makes us feel so sad and disgusted. We absolutely love your work-so much we chose someone the opposite end of the country to do our invites because, put simply nothing else even came close. We saw that heart & soul you talk about shine through in evey piece of your work and we couldn't go past it! We understand its heartbreaking and try as they might, no one can copy your passion, dedication and talent, least of all your heart. La Tovah & Demetreus x

  17. Oh! I see this happening a bit... I think that it is very sad. You have to look after YOURSELF and do what you love, despite these buggers. Sadly this often means you have to filter out a lot of people and be a bit wary of others, which is a shame.

    Remember that even though it feels so deeply personal, these people are not trying to hurt you. They are too blinded by their own ambition to even CONSIDER you... you are merely a tool to lead them to their ultimate business goal. There's nothing nice or crafty about that, is there?!

    I reckon this is where the lust for CRAFT FAME and the commercialization of craft have a lot to answer for. Smooches to you, petal. xx

  18. We may be on the other side of the world, but I wanted to let you know that there are other letterpress printers out there going through the same battles with the same sense of frustration. It's impossible not to take it personally when others try to steal what you have worked so hard to accomplish or in some way diminish the dedication it takes to perfect your craft.

    Just remember that you are a talented and unique individual that deserves to take pride in your work and showcase it to the world, no one can ever take that away from you. Best wishes for an uplifting Spring!

  19. That is just so awful - and dreadfully unfair. I hope you are feeling better about things now - sometimes it really does make you feel better to have a good old rant! Oh - and maybe a glass of wine! Your work is just beautiful - and people with a good eye will always be able to tell the difference.


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