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Rachel Sim Pattern Pleasure

May 25, 2020

I was delighted to discover the work of Rachel Sim which brims over with wonderful busy patterns and graphic shapes. I got in touch during lockdown to find out a little more about her style and ideas.

Hi Rachel, many thanks for joining us today, can I start by asking what’s your earliest memory of spending time doing artistic pursuits ?
Hi Craig, nice to be here on Fishinkblog. My parents are both illustrators and worked from home when I was growing up so it seemed quite natural for me to join in and be creative. My main memories of being artistic as a child was pinching my parents art materials and sitting drawing under their desks while they worked.

Look at these fab prints and colour combinations. Below Rachel’s sketches around the theme of the Greenhouse.

When did you first realise you had developed a definite style to your work ?
I recently found my old sketchbooks and projects from secondary school, I spent some time looking back through them and it surprised me to see that my teenage work had many similarities to my current work. The outcomes for my work has changed through time but I have always loved colour, textures and printmaking techniques.

Some great seaside senarios.

Which other artists presently inspire you ?
There are lots! I have always loved the work of printmakers like Edward Bawden, John Piper and Helena Markson. I work at The Hepworth Gallery running workshops for families and schools and never tire of Barbara Hepworth’s incredible sculptures and drawings alongside many of the St Ives artists such as Ben Nicholson and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. I was given a lovely book of Paul Klee’s work recently and i have been enjoying the beautiful colours of his paintings

These textural animals are beautiful.

Your love of pattern and shape is clearly an important part of your work and all that you create. Where do you see your work going in the next few years ?
I have been working on wall panels that are sculptural pieces made using printmaking techniques on laser cut wood, i hope to explore these further and try out different sizes and shapes. During the current Lockdown I have been experimenting with linocuts and I’m excited to see where this will lead.

I rarely have an exact plan for my work, I try to always follow my inspiration and curiosities and see what processes and ideas are bringing me joy.

I don’t know about you readers, but Rachel’s panels bring me so much joy !

Do you have a particular colour palette that you work to or just a feel for colours that work in any particular line or collected product range ?

Naturally I am always drawn to blues and greys, I grew up beside the sea and I am sure that has played a part in inspiring my colour palette. I love colour and I spend a lot of time taking photos of all sorts of colour combinations as well as collecting different shades of paper that I can use for reference when making new work. I recently watched a short bbc programme on the designer  Paul Smith where he discusses how he chooses and selects colour combinations that I found really inspiring.

Look at these plants, how wonderful, you can have your own permanent indoor garden !

Which is your most favourite item ?

Thats a difficult one! I have a couple of print trays that I have had for many years. I am always collecting little objects or finding stones, shells and natural bits and bobs to add to these.  I am constantly curating these little collections and changing bits. It’s a lovely ongoing process.

Do you have any plans to expand into other ranges, such as cards, gift wrap etc ? I think some of your prints would work really well in these areas.

Yes I have been working on a little collection of harbour and garden linocuts recently and I hope to turn some of these into a range of cards, I just need to design a few more prints first !

How about that for a cheery start to your week everyone ?

Thanks again Rachel for taking part and telling us more about your background and how you work.

More fab images on Rachel’s Instagram here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2020 3:14 pm

    Thank you Craig for this site and for discovering Rachel’s work. I wrote about it on my blog today.
    https://gycouture.blogspot.com/2020/06/lunivers-de-rachel-sim.html

    • June 8, 2020 4:35 pm

      Thank you for giving Rachel and Fishinkblog an introduction to your readers.

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