Marco Lawrence is a 30-year old print maker based in London and an Ad Hoc Guardian veteran of over five years. He is the Head Printer at the Print Club London. As well as printing commercially for a range of high profile brands and artists he is also a successful artist, designer and screen printer in his own right. Marco speaks to us about the process of printing and the enduring beauty of analogue.
Print Club London is a screen printing studio. We print the work of and provide facilities for some of the UK’s leading artists, illustrators and designers.
What kind of jobs do you tend to work on?
As head printer I produce the studio’s official editions and print commercially on behalf of a wide range clients from big brands to emerging new talent.
How would you describe your personal printing style?
I value accuracy and consistency in my pursuit of the perfect print. The process demands a disciplined approach to achieve the finest results. It’s a beautiful marriage of creative, artistic output and dedicated craftsmanship.
Does your work tend to start off on a computer before ending up on a screen printing bed?
Yes, although I love hand rendered work and have a deep love of drawing most work tends to begin digitally before making it to the printing bed. I’d like to see more prints created from handmade origins but inevitably the vast majority of everything from client interaction to the actual conception of the work is done digitally.
For those who aren’t familiar with screen printing how would you describe it?
Screen printing is an ancient Chinese form of printmaking. Ink is forced through silk mesh to create vivid and crisp stenciled designs often of stunning complexity.
It can be a relatively labour-intensive activity. Why do you think its appeal endures in light of other, faster printing techniques?
Despite the advances of digital printing and its near ubiquity in some areas of our lives there are still many things which screen printing simply does better. The scope for inks is vast; metallics, fluorescents, phosphorescents – in fact nearly any liquid- even molten metal can be screen printed! Equally, the stencil process means the rich, crisply deposited print is unparalleled in its clarity and vitality. In an increasingly digitized world I think people are more and more attracted to lovingly handcrafted objects and analogue beauty; whether its vinyl records, bound hardback books or fine handmade prints.
Do you find printing to be more of a collaborative or a solo art form? Is there a print community to speak of?
The actual process tends to be quite solitary. However, on the rare occasion you get to collaborate or work alongside another skilled printer it can be great fun and the results incredible. There’s a real community of printers here in London with a shared passion for the process and a supportive attitude to one another’s practice.
Where do you get your inspiration?
In my own prints and designs I’m obsessed with pattern and tessellation. I draw a lot of inspiration from Islamic geometry and South American textiles. I like to combine bold colours and strong repeated geometric forms to create large format prints with power and beauty.
What is the work you’ve done that you’re proudest of and why?
Last summer the studio collaborated with Film4 and Somerset House to create a highly acclaimed exhibition. We produced 16 incredible editions designed by some brilliant contemporary illustrators.
How did you come to be an Ad Hoc Guardian?
Years ago a friend of mine wrote an editorial about property guardians for the Metro. Then and there we decided that the next time we moved we should give it a try.
What about the scheme works so well for you?
I have been a guardian for about five or six years now. In that time I’ve lived in four places. All very different; flats, terraced houses, Victorian mansions – quite a range! The affordable rate allowed me to concentrate on my freelance career in an otherwise prohibitively expensive city. Over the years I’ve come to value the freedom to make the buildings I’ve occupied homes in a way you just can’t do as a traditional tenant.
See more of Marco’s work at www.marcolawrence.com