7 Reasons Why You Should Start Block Printing
People often ask me how I got into block printing and how it ended up as my medium of choice.
It's not something I ever learned in 8 years of art school, but when I did finally learn to block print, I was hooked.
The color, texture, and simplicity of the entire process was such a treat after having to work with such meticulous detail throughout both my illustration and interior design programs.
It also allowed me to combine my love of illustration and interior design in a super unique way.
Those are just a few personal reasons why I think block printing is rad...but there are a lot of other reasons why you might want to give it a try too.
If you're not totally convinced (or if you already are!), then check out my list of 7 reasons why you should add block printing to your extra curricular activities!
1. Impress your friends
At the end of every block printing class I’ve ever taught, I see the faces of students who are thoroughly impressed with themselves. They come in, nervous and unsure of what to expect, and then 2-3 hours later have created a masterpiece and in turn, boosted their art confidence.
Now think about how awesome it would be to have a friend stop by your place and see your hand printed pillows on your couch, or your framed prints on your wall.
When they ask where you bought them, or give you a compliment, and you say, “Oh, those. I made those actually”. Cue head explosion.
Prepare to feel like a badass :)
2. You don’t need to be an amazing artist
Block printing is an interesting medium. It does require a little drawing, but the cool thing is that it doesn’t need to be complicated.
In fact, the more simple your designs are, the better.
Why is that? Well, because you’re designing a stamp. It’s hard to get super defined details to come out perfectly when you’re stamping something.
The process and designs are also not supposed to be perfect. The paint will be darker in some areas and lighter in others. This is part of the beauty of learning to block print, and because of these variations, it’s easier to hide mistakes :)
3. You can turn it into a party!
Remember when you didn’t have to work all day and you would actually see your friends?
It’s hard to keep up with work, social life, hobbies, family, etc, but block printing can be a great way to combine these areas of your life and also help you have a lot of fun in the process!
Learning to block print is a great activity to do in groups. Call up a friend or two, grab a bottle of wine, and you’re all set for the perfect craft-ernoon.
Work together on a project, or work side by side to design, carve, and print your new stamps while catching up. Multi-tasking at its best!
4. The tools are inexpensive
When it comes to art supplies, it’s easy to ring up a large bill pretty quickly (guilty)…but block printing tools are actually relatively inexpensive.
The most important things you’ll need to pick up are a roller (aka a rubber brayer), a set of block printing carving tools, a rubber block, and some block printing ink. Everything else you might actually have around the house.
Check out my free shopping list if you want to know what exactly to buy at the art store to get started!
5. You can finish a project in just a few hours
Say ‘peace out’ to messy art projects like paper mache and oil paintings that take hours to dry and many hours to create.
Block printing projects can be done quickly and easily, and without much table space (depending what you’re working on, of course).
I’ve been known to park it at a coffee shop with my rubber block and carve away. Then once my block is carved, the printing is a breeze.
Once you do the prep work, you can easily start and finish a project in 1-3 hours depending how crazy you want to get.
So what are you waiting for??
6. You get to use your hands and that ‘other’ side of your brain
Screens dominate our life these days. If you’re not on a computer all day, you’re probably looking at your phone a lot, watching tv, or a movie after work. It’s a lot.
Incorporating something like block printing into your week is a great opportunity for you to get back into the real world by using your hands to create.
Studies have shown that crafting and creating is similar to meditation which can help with stress relief, anxiety, and just overall mental relaxation.
Learning to block print is a great way to set aside some screen free time during the week and use a different part of your brain!
7. Personalize your gifts
Gift giving can be difficult. Especially for the person who has everything. Why not make them something personal that’s one of a kind?
Even something as simple as a hand printed birthday card, or a baby onesie with a custom design that you made yourself would be so much more personal than just buying something at the store.
People appreciate handmade gifts because they show you put in thought and effort. Now that you know you can finish a simple project in just an hour or two, why wouldn’t you want to learn to block print?