Meet the printmaker: Joris Diks on screen printing and self-motivation

Joris Diks

Joris Diks is an Utrecht-based illustrator and printmaker, and founder of Handprinted Stuff.

He designs and screen prints gig and film posters in his own distinct style, bringing together detailed line drawings with blocks of colour and occasional typography.

In this interview, he shares how he became a printmaker, and where he finds inspiration to keep creating so much awesome work.

When did you first start printmaking? 

I got into printmaking at art school (I studied at HKU in Utrecht). I started out studying photography, but changed to printmaking after a year. I did mostly etching, drypoint and linocuts. I loved the workspace (and the smell), with all the big manual machines and the old-school way of working.

Later on, I got a part-time job as workshop manager at the Grafisch Atelier Utrecht (RIP). There I learned the basics of screen printing.  I got the chance to help out some of the studio’s founders with printing. Those guys know so much about the technique (and are super nice people). From there on, it was a bit of trail and error.

Where do you find inspiration?

I basically get inspired by everything around me. I’m a big music lover, I like video games, movies, comics, art, design… But mostly my inspiration comes from working and drawing. As we say in Dutch: oefening baart kunst [literally ‘practice bears art’ or: practice makes perfect].

What does productivity mean to you? Does it necessarily equal success?

Productivity = success, but productivity is not only about making stuff. It’s everything; your bookkeeping, getting inspired, having dinner with friends… If you organise your life and your daily work flow, you can get shit done.

Do you have any routines, or ways you motivate yourself to create?

I try to draw every day. I set my alarm for 45 minutes and start drawing, doesn’t matter what, I just start. Sometimes it’s something new, sometimes I continue on an earlier drawing. Sometimes the drawing sucks, sometimes it’s ok.

I’ve become quicker in making decisions (there’s a clock ticking, tick-tock, tick-tock). I’ve also become better at working a bit longer on things, instead of putting a drawing aside (again, thanks to the clock, and needing to fill up the minutes). These daily drawings create a nice archive of stuff for the times you don’t want to, or can’t draw, or if you have tight deadlines.

You make a lot of prints, what tips do you have for other artists to keep creating?

Just keep on going! Draw, draw, draw. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or fail. Show your stuff to other people, talk about it. Get involved, organise events and shows, make collaborations. Learn new things.

Find out more on the Handprinted Stuff website and follow Joris on Instagram.

All photos © Joris Diks

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