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Illustrator and Printmaker Alexandra Snowdon

Alexandra Snowdon is an illustrator and printmaker based just outside Manchester. She discovered her love for printmaking while studying at Manchester Metropolitan Uni.

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‘I worked for a long time as a studio based graphic designer, but always loved illustration. After taking a year off to travel I decided it was time for a change. I went back to my old graphics job to pay the bills but enrolled on a part time degree course to concentrate on developing my illustration skills.

After graduating with a first class degree I started work on my own range of hand printed cards and fine art prints. Later that year I opened my first online shop on Etsy and developed my business in my spare time. A couple of years later I was ready to take the leap and left my graphic design job. I’m now lucky enough to be doing the work I love every day. My time spent as a graphic designer was invaluable though, during those years I learned everything I now know about typography and meeting tight deadlines. Nowadays I use the time I used to spend commuting checking out Pinterest and my favourite design blogs.’

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‘The lettering and illustrations in my prints are all created by hand, starting off as tiny pencil doodles in my sketchbook. I complete the finished pieces using ink (if I want the design to be bold and striking) or pencil (for a softer look). The designs are then either transferred to a silkscreen for hand printing or output on my giclée printer using fade resistant, archival inks. I try to keep computer usage to a minimum, using it mainly as a tool to clean up and rescale my artwork. I try not to make it look too ‘perfect’ though, I love seeing evidence of the human touch and all it’s quirks and imperfections.’

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‘I’ve just finished a commission for some card designs for a gift and stationery company in California. Next up is some new print designs for my online shops. I love having a mix of commissioned work and personal projects. It’s great having the challenge of a brief and that often sparks ideas for my own work. I still love travelling and most of the inspiration for my work comes from vintage typography and all kinds of hand painted signage from around the world.’

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