Craig is one of the two people behind dizzy ink, probably the most prolific artistic enterprise in Nottingham at the moment.
Dizzy ink is a printing and printmaking service. What sets them apart is the use of risographs. A risograph is a machine that looks and superficially works similarly to a photocopier. But instead of toner, real ink that needs to dry is being used. The process has similarities to screenprint and gocco prints.
I first heard about them when in 2016 dizzy ink ran a successful kickstarter for Nottingham school of print.
At the beginning of this year Dizzy Ink founded together with Farida Makki , and Martin Rayment a new artist workspace in Nottingham called “The Carousel”. The official launch took place just last Saturday. – Understandably, Craig is very busy. And so I am especially glad that he found time for this interview.
Hello Craig, thank you for taking the time to talk with me!
You do so many different things. How do you label yourself? What does your business card say where the job title is going?
Ah, straight in with the difficult questions! I couldn’t put just one title on what I do! And, to be honest that’s the way I like it! Every day is different. One day I will be slogging through a huge print run, the next I’ll be researching a topic for an upcoming lecture or specialist workshop. Or I’ll be up a ladder painting.
I love being my own boss but I would never want to step away from the craftsmanship that goes into making prints and books.
You are referring to your work with dizzy ink, right? Maybe we can talk a bit about that. What makes dizzy ink different from a copy shop or one of the big print-on-demand services?
We are not just printers, we are artists and creatives, and we meet a lot of people, and we genuinely care about your print project.
There is a definite skill to Riso printing. We help with the choice of paper, file set ups, ink choice, driver control, print order, registration. It all plays a part!
We have always been interested in teaching, too, like to help people with their projects and run workshops.
And you also still produce your own work…
Yeah I make bits and bobs. I’m really looking forward to having screen printing back in my life once it is set up at The Carousel, as I tend to use a lot of scale. Whenever I’ve had exhibitions I’ve challenged myself to make something bigger! For the 3 Months On exhibition at Derby’s QUAD I lined the entire staircase of the building with a transcript. This was all made on an architectural printer which prints on a roll.
I also started making different things with a lasercutter as well. I tend to get excited by links between process and machinery. I also like learning new things so I would class myself as an experimenter rather than having a particular style.
Do you have a personal website, is your art available to buy or look at online somewhere?
I’m not that much into putting stuff online. My work exists on real walls. But you can see and buy some of my design work on the Dizzy Ink website! – Or commission me directly for something extra special.
And you are also involved with NottsZineLibrary…
Sure am! I’m running the residency at Nottingham Contemporary. Not me alone but I’m leading on it.
Notts Zine Library is a physical collection of self-published material, zines. It is constantly growing, so if you want to add something, you can drop it in the submission box and it will get photographed and then featured on our Instagram account, too.
Notts Zine Library is currently in residence at The Zebrario, a room located in the Nottingham Contemporary where you have access six days a week during exhibition time – without paying admission, of course.
Have you published a Zine yourself?
Working at Dizzy Ink on the METAZINE series with Matt Gill (Raw Print) was good as it went national and got featured in lots of other places. I have three major projects that I’ve been working on over the past couple of years. – Look out for a zine on Grillz 4 U, EVADE, Pilgrimage book & A serious swatch book with GF Smith!
And now you are also involved in the birth of The Carousel, can you explain what it is?
The Carousel is a space, first of all, and also stands for the concept we have for sharing this space. Dizzy Ink took residence at 25 Hockley in February, and we have high hopes for the space! This is our fifth studio in four years so really it’s about time we had a space we were going to be in for longer than a year! We’ve grown rapidly in the past years so this is a space we can grow in.
We like being in a social, busy place, and this is an environment that encourages solid production of work and collaboration!
We offer open access screen printing, Risograph printing, a coworking and workshop space, in addition to artist studios. Really it’s a great place to be able to grow as a creative!
That sounds terrific! – What exactly is your main role at The Carousel so far?
I’ve been doing the identity for The Carousel, which is new for me. A learning curve but certainly interesting! This is a big project, and I like that it gives me the opportunity to design. Having a hand in designing the actual thing is a good part of the fun for me!
I wish you the best of success for it (and I am totally not hoping to benefit fmyself 😉).
Any personal projects in the pipeline at the moment?
Got my eyes on some walls.
Haha! You are keeping it mysterious. Don’t you want to tip us off where we might find some of your work?
Come join the fun at The Carousel! Or do a workshop with Dizzy Ink, all good fun!
Almost all images in this article were provided by Craig. – Thank you! All images are used with permission.