Hiya! My name is Rach, I'm a Designer, Printmaker and am embarking on being an Educator!
Within my practice I aim to make no sense! It's all about fun and celebrating the nonsensical.
I use processes such as stamping, letterpress, linocut, ceramics and collage. I am also a big big big fan of Comedy and Podcasts.
Article for People of Print
Based in Shropshire, UK, Rach Lloyd Press explores printmaking techniques including letterpress, linocut, and rubber stamping. Innovatively combining image and text, her work focuses on the importance of play and the value of silliness and creativity. Below, she tells us about how her work is becoming increasingly silly, her ultimate silly recommendations, and why we should all embrace our inner child.
My work is becoming more and more silly; more childish, more fun, and more happy.
Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace by Richard Ayoade was the show that kick-started an interest in being silly and comedy. I enjoyed it so much I would revisit episodes dozens of times on All 4, right down my favourite jokes, and reference the time they were said so I could go back to them with ease. I started to this with other comedies such as The Ricky Gervais Show, Flight of the Conchords, and Children’s sketch show Sorry I’ve Got No Head. It turned into a catalogue of references and patterns of what I found funny.
When I did an Art Foundation at Kingston School of Art, I was taught that my research and referencing could come from anywhere, and began ‘researching’ comedy; making notes, thinking about why things were funny and why this was important to me. I noticed that the influence was going directly into my work. I wanted my visual imagery to entertain people and make them smile. By the time I was doing my degree, comedy was the driving force behind most of my work. This is where I began to think of the importance of silliness and having fun.
When you are laughing and being silly, you are living, rather than just surviving. It’s not hard work; it stops you from being stressed and stops you from overthinking everything. It helps you remember to be childish and keep hold of your inner child. Being silly is good for your physical and mental health, it helps us communicate, cope, learn about things we are afraid of and embrace things we are unfamiliar with.
I began to use comedy as my main point of influence and started to approach my work as a visual gag or punchline. I started really enjoying the process of printing, and now try to cut out the over thinking part – instead focusing on experimenting and running with the silly little notes I was jotting down. Most importantly I have found there is no need to try and justify why I’m making images of happy worms and silly faces – it’s just fun, joyful and playful; that’s more than enough reason to make them. So make sure you keep being silly and listen to your inner child every now and then.
Here’s a little list of my favourite references if you’re looking for more silliness in your life:
Comedians: Diane Morgan, Spencer Jones, Roisin Conaty, Nick Mohammed, Morgana Robinson, Sam Simmons, Harry Hill, David Earl (Brian Gittins), Tim Key, Guz Khan, The Two Marks. Podcasts/Radio: Chatabix, Brian Gittins and Friends, Three Bean Salad, Hamish and Andy, Wolf and Owl, Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry, The Adam Buxton Podcast. Shows: Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, Mister Winner, Flowers, Big Train, Taskmaster, No More Jockeys, Brian and Charles, The Complete and Utter History of Britain, Three Non-Blondes, Flight of the Conchords, Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing, This Country, Gameface, The Detectorists, Hamish and Andy Caravan of Courage, The Big Snit.
Article for People of Print
Rach Lloyd uses linocut, letterpress, and rubber stamps to create fun and light-hearted prints and handmade books. Her work is inspired by her interest in poetry, comedy, and Dadaism, all of which are connected by being non-conforming, playful, and abstract. Rach notes some main inspirations to include comedians Spencer Jones, Tim Key, and artists Corita Kent and Mr Bingo. Writing poems, often inspired by Dadaist techniques, helps to trigger her design and content ideas.
“It’s really important to me to share work that is fun and makes people feel happy, because everyone needs a break from their problems, unhappiness and stresses. I feel having fun and seeing fun things is a hugely underestimated part of life. Laughter and fun helps us to talk, listen to others and be open-minded, because we’re not being so restricted and uptight to block out other’s perspectives. Art is also such a personal and thoughtful way of telling someone you’re thinking of them. I try to make my work as accessible and affordable as possible by using shapes, letters and colour in bright and vibrant combinations.”
The first time Rach realised she could combine comedy and art, was whilst creating experimental poems in College. She wrote and made the poem David Bowie’s Thighs using Tristan Tzara’s technique ‘pour faire un poem dadaiste’, and was incredibly motivated by this new way of creating and thinking.
In terms of her printmaking process, Rach aims to stretch what she is able to do with the equipment that she has; a hand built printing press (made by her Dad), and big hardback books to keep the blocks and paper still.
“This way of working has taught me to be very resourceful and to be inventive with how an outcome can be made,” says the printmaker. Making her Ant Book also allowed her to experiment with combining comedy and art, for which she used rubber stamping and rebus as a way to combine text and symbols. Rach concludes; “My main mission is to keep improving, experimenting, and trying new processes”.