Charlotte Humphries

Hampshire / London

‘Charlotte is a silkscreen printer, working both as a fine artist and designer. With a loose approach to screen printing, Charlotte works on design projects for music and film, with dark, horror and punk visuals, often employing images and concepts which connect to her quiet countryside upbringing.’

What importance does your colour/ink selection have?
Colour is very important in my practice. I have a fixation with particular colours and colour combinations, i.e. red, black and yellow, and I have done for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure where this fixation comes from but I feel these colours often best communicate a feeling that I might be trying to show in my artwork, and for me, personally, they have a certain impact. Screen Printing of course allows me to overlap different colours, and I love how the process can open up so many colour possibilities in this way. I like a limited colour palette and I used to be quite “anti” using colour in my work, but in recent years I love using really zingy colours, including fluro’s.

Could you describe your image making process?
Generally when I’m starting an artwork I have a pretty solid visualisation of what I want to achieve in my minds eye, i.e. the images I will use and what the colours will be like. I become quite obsessed with this vision in my mind for a while before I actually make it. It’s only really when it gets to printing time that I start to experiment with the possibilities how this image could develop. So my image making therefore is very process driven and sort of back-to-front in ways. Experimenting within the printing process is what decides the eventual outcome of my images.

What role does experimentation play in developing ideas?
As mentioned previously, when I’m printing an artwork I tend to experiment as I go along, eventually deciding on a particular direction resulting with an edition. Experimentation really does lead the way in developing my ideas - sometimes I’ll make a mistake which I think adds something to a piece, so then I’ll try to recreate it. I work in an editioning printmaking studio when I’m not doing my own work, and in this environment there’s no room for mistakes in the prints, so with my own work I tend to indulge in this experimental way of printmaking which I love and also originally got me into printmaking.

Is print always your final outcome or do you think of print as a way of developing skills for other design outputs?
One way or another print is always involved in my creative outputs - whether that’s just one section of a design that I put together in photoshop to create a digital final outcome, or a whole screen printed edition. In terms of design based stuff that I assemble digitally, I feel that pasting screen printed or handmade elements into the composition really adds something that just can’t be achieved with digital effects.

What is it that keeps you coming back to print and what specific aspects of screenprinting are you conscious that you are always drawn to?

I’m drawn to the physicality and hands-on approach of printmaking. I love being in a studio with screens, big machines, people working away, inks etc. I always come back to it because I find that there is this instantaneous thing with the act of pulling a print, where you feel like you’ve made a whole new artwork that didn’t exist before, literally in the space of a few seconds. I find printing very addictive in this way. I don’t find it the same as when you do a drawing for some reason, like I love the fact that theres something about print thats so bold, confident and graphic, and that you can make multiples of an image over and over again in a small space of time.