Top

Printmaker

Designs and makes prints using techniques such as woodcuts or silkscreens to create images that are transposed onto surfaces, generally using a printing press.

Job description

A printmaker designs and makes prints using techniques such as woodcuts or silkscreens to create images that are transposed onto surfaces, generally using a printing press. They are increasingly making use of computerised or digital printing processes alongside more traditional craft-based methods.

Printmakers are based in studios and workshops and create their own designs, although the majority of their income generally comes from producing prints for clients according to their specifications. They may work for another artist in the production of prints, or can work on a freelance basis from their own workshop. The role usually combines artistic and teaching elements: it is not uncommon for printmakers to run evening classes or provide tuition in schools and colleges alongside their client services to ensure a sustainable income.

Work activities

  • Creating original print designs.
  • Implementing a variety of techniques such as etching, woodcuts, lithography and screen printing.
  • Using a wide range of materials in the production of prints, such as paper, wood, glass, textiles and metal.
  • Meeting with clients to discuss their specific requirements, costs and provide technical advice.
  • Ensuring products meet the client’s requirements.
  • Performing administrative tasks involved in running a business (if self-employed).
  • Running print workshops and classes.
  • Using digital or electronic processes to produce digital or computer generated prints; collaborating with computer artists.
  • Establishing and maintaining a network of contacts.

Work conditions

Travel: may be required occasionally.
Working hours: can be long and involve evenings and weekends when working to meet deadlines or teaching.
Location: most studios are located in Dublin and Belfast.

Entry requirements

A degree in art and/or textile design is necessary. If printmaking had not been covered in a primary degree, a postgraduate art degree may be helpful in mastering the relevant knowledge and techniques.