International feature: Erin Dollar

FK chats to US designer & artist Erin Dollar, now based in Los Angeles, California.

Tell us a bit about your design label and what we can expect to discover.
My name is Erin Dollar, and I am a fine artist working primarily in traditional printmaking, drawing, and collage. I love creating two-dimensional works of art, but I’ve recently started printing original patterns on fabrics, and creating one of a kind home goods. I’m trying to make fine art accessible to all, selling art for your walls, or your kitchen or couch. My most recent work is reflective of my new-found obsession with pattern, I can’t get enough of repeat patterns! While the connection is obvious with my hand printed home goods, I think the element of pattern has seeped into my works on paper as well.

How long have you been creating for, and what inspired you to start your label?
As I suspect is the case with many artists, I just HAVE to make things. I am constantly planning new prints or other artworks, and I just feel better when I spend time in the studio. I believe strongly in the DIY movement, and try to use a critical eye when creating things for my shop. I try to only sell things that I would want in my own home, and hopefully my taste will resonate with others.

What is your background and what lead you to where you are today?
I studied printmaking in collage, which was one of my first intensive experiences in a studio environment. There is nothing like spending hours in a studio with artists you admire and respect, it pushed me to work as hard as I could to make the best prints I could. I think that work ethic is something I’ve tried to maintain as I work in my home studio. While I have often had “day jobs,” having the experience of making art full time is something that is hard to forget, and something I am always striving to work towards.

What materials do you like working with and what are your ‘tools of the trade’?
I love the smell of printmaking ink, and the clinking sound of my small hand-operated proofing press, which I use to print woodcuts and linoleum prints. Nothing like technology from 100 years ago to get the creative juices flowing.

What inspires your work, and where do you like to head for constant inspiration?
I am lucky to have met an incredible number of talented artists and illustrators since I moved to LA, and the varied art scene in Southern California is a huge inspiration to me. I have been spending a lot of time browsing the art section at the public library (where I work part time), and I never fail to find inspiration there. The Art Center College of Design has an amazing art-centric library as well, where I just picked up half a dozen books on traditional and contemporary repeat pattens from around the world… heavenly! I could browse the stacks for hours.

Lastly, what do you love most about what you do and where do you hope to take your work in the future?
To be honest, I would be happiest if I just had more time to make new work! When I think about what would make me most content, art-wise at least, all I can picture is just more time working in a spacious studio environment, with my tools and inks spread out all over. If I can have opportunities to share my work, or to teach others about traditional printmaking techniques, all the better.

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