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Meet the Maker: Bailey Schmidt

Thursday, August 09, 2018

I’m Bailey, the artist behind Young Schmidt Prints. I’m American but living in the UK with my husband and our two dogs, Murph and Eddie. I consider myself an illustrator and printmaker, but most of my days right now are filled with botanical-inspired linocut prints. I absolutely love houseplants and greenery, and my art very much reflects that.


Describe your printmaking process.

I always begin by sketching on my iPad, but from there it can go two different directions. Sometimes I go from sketch to print in a matter of days because the idea comes naturally and I’m able to draw exactly what I pictured. Most of the time my process is a bit more sporadic. I abandon ideas halfway through, and then pick them up weeks later when I’m struggling for new inspiration and hope they come together. The initial sketch is always the hard part for me because I overthink my design and I’m still too intimidated to draw directly onto lino. Once I start carving though, the rest of the process feels effortless.

How and where did you learn to print?

I learned to print a bit by chance. I had been admiring several printmakers on social media for a long time, and briefly mentioned to my mother that I’d be interested in giving it a go. She happened to have a beginners printmaking kit laying around the house somewhere so I was able to jump right into it. I experimented and practiced for a long time, but about a year ago is when I really got into the botanical prints that I’m creating today.


Why printmaking?

There’s something so therapeutic about printmaking that really captured me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so it’s a craft that really forces me to let go. I obsess over the initial sketch of my design and tweak it until I think it’s perfect, but the rest of the process is somewhat out of my hands. I’ve learned to accept the inevitable imperfections that come from printmaking, and I really enjoy how they make a piece look truly handmade.

Where do you work?

I work from home in a little studio space set up in the back of my house. I’m lucky to have an area with loads of natural light so I can work all day and my houseplants around me absolutely thrive.


Describe a typical day in your studio.

Generally I try to drink a coffee and catch up on emails in the morning, then take the afternoon to create and print. It’s a nice routine in theory, but it rarely happens that way. Like every artist knows, creativity happens when it happens and sometimes I feel like I have to run with an idea before I lose momentum, which means all of the admin gets put on the back burner. I’m still learning the balance of making art and selling art because each requires a whole lot of attention. It’s also worth saying that a typical day in my studio involves being interrupted by my dogs constantly, which is both distracting and adorable.

How long have you been printmaking?

I first started experimenting with printmaking about two years ago, but I’ve been working on it seriously for just about a year now. I’m actually coming up on the one year anniversary of opening my online shop in mid-August so that’s a milestone for me!

What inspires you?

I’m very inspired by foliage and flowers. I’ve definitely caught the “urban jungle” bug so my house is full of houseplants, most of which I’ve drawn or printed at some point. I like how leaf patterns look when they’re simplified into a monochromatic print, so I tend to go for plants that already have unusual marks. I’ve also been drawn to regional flowers from around the world. Australia especially seems to have some beautiful flora that is really fun to capture in a print.


What is your favourite printmaking product?

I have a lino press from a company called “Woodzilla” that I’m absolutely in love with. I was doing prints by hand, but was struggling to get the consistent results I wanted. The press has been perfect for me because it prints up to an A3 size, but fits on a tabletop so it’s ideal for my home studio. My prints are much cleaner now and I can get more printed in a session.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

One of my first prints was “Monstera Obliqua” which was really the kickstart for my whole aesthetic. It was the first piece that I knew I finally had a direction I wanted to go, and still inspires me today. It’s still one of my most popular prints with customers and I’m really proud of it. I don’t know if it’s my best artistic work, but it’s a special print to me for those reasons.

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

I sell online on my website www.youngschmidtprints.com. I’m also really active on Instagram so there’s always pictures of new work and process videos showing my printmaking techniques. I plan on getting involved with a lot more markets this holiday season so I’ll hopefully be making some appearances around the UK too.


What will we be seeing from you next?

More colour, definitely. I’ve been very comfortable in my black and white bubble, but I’m starting to branch out and introduce more colour to my collection. As we speak I’m working on a mixed media piece that will involve painting between layers of printing that I’m really excited about.

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

It’s the cliche one, but practice. I spent so much time scrolling through instagram admiring other artists and wishing I had their talent, but didn’t do anything about it. Once I finally got to work, I grew tremendously. I’m amazed at how much I’ve grown in just a year and I’m already at a place where these artists I once admired are now my peers. Another thing I would suggest is to just put your art out there. It’s easy to doubt your own ability when the internet is saturated with talented people, but you have to just go for it. People are really encouraging and involving yourself in a creative community makes it easier to trust your own skills.

Website: www.youngschmidtprints.com

Instagram: @young.schmidt.prints