Interview with Rosanna Morris

Linocut meets contemporary illustration - with her works, Rosanna Morris spans an arc between two completely different techniques, creating unique and striking works of art. The British illustrator and printmaker discovered her love of relief during her studies in Bristol. In her 10 years as an independent artist, it is primarily motifs inspired by human contact, agriculture and nature that are repeatedly reflected in her works. Her contribution to Matona Art Edition is her work "Bunch of Blooms", carved from reclaimed linoleum and printed with blue ink.

Insights into the world of graphic printer and illustrator Rosanna Morris

A Matona Interview

1. Who and what were your influences in developing your own style?

Mexican printmakers and artwork from the time of the Mexican Revolution have been a huge influence on me and my work. In the early 20th century there were huge studios full of great artists there and it has always fascinated me to see art as a mouthpiece for ideas and change.

2. What's a new idea you've been working on lately?

Currently I am working on artworks that inspire joy and hope while highlighting the importance of the connection between people, their environment and the food system.

3. Do you think community is important for creativity? If yes, why?

I believe community is essential. Five years ago, I started a community printmaking studio that lends itself to this. As artists, we are often alone with our ideas and creations for a long time. Often we need to be, but without other input we stagnate - an uncomfortable situation for an artist. I am grateful for all the printmakers and creatives around me and for the possibility to turn to others when I want.

4. You have been an independent artist for over 10 years. What has changed over the years - both in the art industry and in your life?

I think I was lucky to have started my own business just at the time when technology entered the art scene. We are no longer dependent on galleries or art brokers to get our art out into the world and be seen. In my opinion, this has led to a change in how artists work and will work. We now have the whole world right in front of us. It's just up to us to take it there.

5. Was there ever a moment when you completely questioned your career?

Oh yeah, just in my early days. Over and over I wanted to quit, never believing that I could do what I do now full time and still pay my bills. I had no faith in my work or myself. Luckily for me, my partner was dedicated to my work and refused to let me quit. Without him, I would most likely just be working in a cafe right now.

6. What is your workflow when you design a piece of art?

Starting things off are a bunch of scribbled sketches in my sketchbook. It's not a pretty sight like many of the Instagram sketchbooks you see. It's a veritable scribble of ideas. The ideas are pulled out and tucked away again and again,from my notes, folders and collected postcards until at some point I ink up a final design.Once I'm happy (and this can take many iterations) I transfer the image to linoleum or wood and start carving. I love this part of the process, it's meditative and calming and often it changes the image again into a completely different piece of art and usually a better one.

7. What do you want your art to say to your audience?

Hopefully it says something about the beauty of the world and the importance of simplicity and connectedness.

8. What do you want people who read this interview to take away?

It may sound a little corny, but I would say don't give up on your dream, no matter how far away it seems. One step at a time, every day in the right direction and before you know it you'll be there, living your ideas that you only dreamed about in the past.
Thank you for this exciting interview!

If you want to see more, check out the Instagram profile @rosannaprints or the homepage