As an artist I am always on the look out for new inspiration.

Art, sometimes, bores me.  And I think I can’t do it.  It’s not unusual.

Then looking for a way of designing my website, I started asking what my art was like…not who, but trying to find a similar style on which to base my site.  And I stumbled across woodblock cutting and printing.

At the same time, a few friends said I should really try and work out a way to use my art to finance ministry ideas.  Problem is, ministry is full time, and art can get the same.  I wanted to be able to do art part time, and yet produce a number of copies to sell in different places.  But i want to give people original art…photocopy or exact digital copy, like giclee, isn’t something i want to do.

Woodblock is the answer.  Because the art is in the design, the cutting and the printing.  I love the way the wood splits and slithers it’s way from the blade, and the way I have to control my breathing to get the cut right.  There is an ancientness about it, japanese or woodblock cutting from early print times of the bible.

Small single or two colour prints are quite reasonable to produce.  Its about a £15 outlay to be honest (inks, tools, wood)…though the cutting can take many hours even on a small size, so at just £10 an hour it can run to around £300 even for a small image – 30 hours, see?.  Who’d want to pay that?

But my solution with the woodcutting solves it.  Many of my pictures are worth three hundred, but if divide that cost down, say by 20 prints, thats only £15 a print.  Not too much for people who like the work.

So where does that leave me, and I hope your interest in what I am doing?

I am wanting to print to larger sizes.  A4 and A3.  That requires more money, and I don’t really want to invest money and time I can barely afford into something that people don’t want to buy.  So heres the plan.

I upload a few designs I can pull out on my ipad.  You take a look and say if you like them or not.  Or what you would change.

Once I get a few people who say they would be interested in purchasing, then I can work out a price with them for the picture.  I would hope to keep it no more than £20-£30 at the moment, even for a larger A3 print

I would need some sort of confirmation that they would carry through and pay for it.  This is where comes in.  I can create a project with around 50 spaces at the value of whatever we agree.  And people pledge that amount.  I’ve done it myself for games.

It uses the Amazon system, and basically you are paying for a product at the point of the design but not yet made stage.

And for me, even if only 10 people say they want to buy the print, because its public other people hop on board.

The money generated will, for now, keep going back into the printing business to widen my resources and on advertising, just like any other business.  This is the investment for the future.

Then at some point, I hope, I will be able to start bringing in some money enough to supply the more expensive ministerial needs.  One of which, at the moment, is developing church for children on the autistic spectrum.

So in a way, your buying my prints brings pleasure to you, I hope; and your money will be an investment in the lives of others.

dragonfly design print


Thanks for reading!
Andy Gray

march, 2015