What Colour Means To Me: Uppercase Magazine Feature

If you haven’t discovered the wonderful Uppercase magazine yet then you are missing a treat!

It is a beautifully produced publication that delves into the quirky and and curious side of designing and making. Printed on thick matt paper, each issue is covetable and inspirational.

I was therefore extremely happy and excited to be featured in the most recent issue (no.22) which is all about colour.

Uppercase Magazine No.22

Debbie Kendall in Uppercase Magazine talking about Colour

Those are my “Tubes of Delight” pictured – yes those sticky, crumpled, messy tubes of printmakers ink – and underneath is a short piece about what  colour means to me as a printmaker.

Here are my ‘words of wisdom’:

“My traditional oil based printmakers ink is sticky, thick and highly pigmented. I adore the process of hand mixing colours by eye using palette knives to fold the colours together, like mixing ingredients for a cake. I record my colour mixing adventures on strips of scrap paper which become my recipe cards.

For printmaking, the ink must be rolled out in a thin even layer. During this process the ink hisses and clicks as my heavy roller spreads it out on a glass slab.
Colour, to me, is intense, bold and exciting. I love the audacity and exuberance of the intensely pigmented inks which contrast with the other solid & technical paraphernalia of printmaking – an black iron press, turned wooden handled gouges.
In relief printing, colour is laid down in solid blocks. My job as a printmaker is to strive to tame the sticky, messy globs of ink into a flawless, even sheet of colour on the paper. In between the precise and painstaking process of producing a printing plate and the exacting and mechanical system of printing, the choosing and mixing of colour is a giddy and beguiling interlude.
But the printmaker in me still likes to look behind the free, creative and decorative side of colour to the science and methodology of mixing the perfect shade.”

Now in its 6th year and sold worldwide, Uppercase is designed and produced by the one woman powerhouse, Janine Vangool, in Calgary, Canada. It is playful, imaginative, collectable and eclectic and for me, it succeeds where other design magazines falter because it is accessible yet aspirational & inspirational yet never pretentious.

Go check it out at Uppercase.


Uppercase Magazine Press

I am, as they say, well chuffed, to be included in the wonderful design magazine, Uppercase  this quarter.

Uppercase Magazine Issue 17

In each issue the editors select 3 subscribers to profile based on their work and answers to deep and meaningful questions, specifically:

1. How creative are you in your daily life?

2. What are you most curious about?

3. What is your most prized possession?

4. What is you most favourite letter of the alphabet and why?

5. What is your favourite colour?

6. What is your preferred creative tool?

So here I am in Issue 17 (with Figo, my Portuguese Water Dog)!

Debbie Kendall in Uppercase magazine

Uppercase is a hugely inspirational design magazine which focuses on graphic design, illustration and crafting ~ the magazines’s tagline is “for the creative and curious”. Published quarterly, the magazine is beautifully presented and has an eclectic and imaginative mix of articles that spark the imagination, inspire and inform.

Often nostalgic, in this issue the magazine features scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers ~ what a trip down memory lane ~ and my two teenage boys didn’t even know what they were! Fortunately I could show them with the cherry scratch ‘n’ sniff postcards that came with this issue of Uppercase.

Ideally, go and buy the magazine from one of the worldwide stockists and be totally inspired by the wonderful content… but if you don’t manage to get hold of a copy and want to know my answers to those deep and meaningful questions ~ here they are!

How are you creative in your daily life? I have my best ideas on my morning walks with my dog, Figo. My phone has a voice recorder and I return each day with lots of audio notes. Walking in the countryside frees my mind from (self-induced) creative pressure and helps me think clearly. I spend the rest of my working day sketching up ideas, creating on my Apple Mac, printing in my studio and a surprisingly large amount of my time with my creative marketing hat on, for the business side of being a designer/maker.
What are you most curious about? The myriad of unlimited possibilities of printmaking. The timeless and unshakeable bond between humans and dogs. The stories behind other designer/makers journeys.
What is your most prized possession? Figo, my Portuguese Water Dog (named after Loius Figo – the Portuguese footballer!). He is always there, devoted and loyal, incredibly calming and very difficult to be anything by happy in his company. He is the inspiration for my printmaking.
What is your favourite letter of the alphabet and why? The capital ‘D’. Solid and upright yet vulnerable with its two rounded corners – give it a little push from the left and over it goes… the first letter of my name and for Dog.
What is your favourite colour? Sludge. What an onomatopoeic word! I love how it can’t be defined as green or brown or grey but is fabulous nondescript mixture of them all. It can be subtle and strong and a great foil for other brighter colours.
What is your preferred creative tool? My Swiss mushroom handled woodcarvers tools which I use for carving images on my linoleum printing plates. Deadly sharp & beautifully made.