A glimps into the world of printmaker and illustrator of Rosanna Morris

A Matona interview
Linocut meets contemporary illustration – with her work Rosanna Morris links two completely different techniques and creates this way unique and striking art. The British illustrator and printmaker discovered the love for relief during her studies in Bristol. In the past 10 years as freelance artist motives such as human connections, farming and nature are reflected continually in her work. Her contribution to the Matona Art Edition is her art piece „Bunch of Blooms“, carved in salvaged lino and printed with blue color. 

1. Who and what have been your influences in developing your style?

I’ve been hugely influenced by Mexican printmakers and artwork from the Mexican peasant revolution. There were large ateliers full of brilliant artists during the early 20th century and I’ve always been fascinated with the use of art as a way to give a voice to ideas and create change.

2. What is a new idea you have been working with recently?

Currently I’m working on creating work that inspires joy, brings hope and also highlights the importance of human connection to their environment and food system.

3. Do you think community is important to creativity? If so, how? 

I feel that community is vital. I set up a community printmaking studio as a vehicle for this five years ago. As artists we often spend long stretches alone with our ideas and creations. It is often necessary to do so, but without other input you can become stagnant and that is not a great place to be. I’m really grateful for the other female printmakers and creatives I have in my circle and for the opportunity to reach out to people if I need to.

4. You’ve been working now for over 10 years as a freelance artist. What has changed over the years in the art industry and in your life?

I think I’ve been lucky to really have come into my own space just as a real revolution in technology has occurred for artists. We are no longer completely reliant on galleries and agents to get our art work out into the world and seen. I think this has been a huge shift in the way artists work and will work in the future, we have the whole world at our fingertips now. It’s just up to us to put it out there.

5. Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?

Oh yes, so often in the early days. I always wanted to quit, never believed I could ever do this full time and still pay the bills. I truly had no faith in it or myself, luckily my partner was truly dedicated to it and refused to let me quit. Without him I’m fairly certain I’d be working in a café somewhere.

6. What is your process when creating an art piece?

Lots and lots of scratchy pencil sketches in my sketchbook, it’s not a beautiful place like some instagram sketchbooks you see, it’s a lucid scrawl of ideas. Then in and out of my scrap books and folders or saved postcards before i start to draw up in ink a final design. Once I’m happy (and this can take many iterations) I transfer the image to a lino or wood block and begin carving.  I love this part of the process, it’s meditative and calming and often changes the image again into something quite different and usually better.

7. What does your art aim to say to your audience?

Hopefully it says something about the beauty of the world and the importance of simplicity and connection. 

8. What would you like people reading this today to take away from our chat?

It may sound cheesy, but i would say not to give up on that dream, no matter how far away it seems. Small steps every day in the right direction and before you know it you’re there, living the ideas that you only dreamed of in the past.

Thank you so much for this amazing and interesting interview!

If you want to see more, go and have a look at Instagram @rosannaprints  or at the website rosannamorris.com.