This week is all about Vanda Sim sim
Vanda Sim Sim is a Portuguese artist, working mostly with printmaking, collage and drawing. Her original hand-pulled editions are created on a very limited run, often producing unique prints that cross multiple techniques like screen printing, etching and lithography.
What is your main practice? Did you study at University? (if so what in ?)
I am a visual artist and mostly practice in printmaking and painting at the University of Evora in Portugal. It was there that I graduated in painting and post graduated in visual arts.
How did you get into printmaking?
It was my fourth year at university I remember exploring etching and screen printing so about 15 years ago now and it opened up a whole new world for me so I never stopped there!
You have lots of prints, do you have a favourite?
I am always creating new prints so my favourite one changes all the time so that is impossible to say!
What inspires your designs, do you have a creative process you go through? If so what steps does this include?
There are so many things that inspires me, but I can say that my prints mainly talk about our contemporary life. I like to observe what surrounds me such as all kinds of visual information, graffiti, urban landscapes, people’s routes like a big map that contains all kind of information that I consider relevant about some place. Then I start to mix that informations with hand and digital drawings, manipulated photos and scales, diagrams, etc. Often the results are complex layered personal maps that show a really personal view or understanding of some place.
Do you like any other print method? – if so which ones?
Its hard to choose a print method because they all offer so many different results. I really like linocut and soft ground because you can get these lovely smooth textures. Although the last couple of years I’ve made so many screen prints (sometimes mixed with another technique).
What I love in this method is that you can get results more quickly than with etching, for example I can get really smooth and clean surface combined with all kind of organic textures.
Screen printing gives me a world of technical possibilities, when I’m printing I like to use several screens like 5 or 10 and combine multiple layers with multiple colours. The final prints are often unique proofs because of this experimental process.
Do you have favourite themes you like to focus on?
Usually I work on urban landscapes, the sense of movement and speed in contrast with the loneliness that characterise our society, visual marks as graffitis, logos, outdoors and all kind of contemporary visual resources. Now Im starting a new series of prints that I’ve called “Empathy” that is about reconnecting with nature, with our origins as human beings.
Any advice for anyone that is thinking of starting their own independent brand?
Yes, I would like to say that you have to be honest with yourself about your work. Do what you love to do and what you’re good at and don’t be afraid to show your work!
Also experiment new things! Don’t be afraid to work and share your knowledge with others it’s all a part of the process.
Any big plans for the future? Any cool collaborations lined up that we should watch out for?
For now I am really focused on my new “Empathy” series which I am really enjoying (see image below) Also because I’ve been able to try this new laser woodcut technology that offers me the possibility to work with a much more detailed and precise digital drawing. I’m also doing some commissioned etchings for some exhibitions coming soon. Lastly I think that some collaborations will come soon, but that’s in early stages right now, so let's wait and see!