Wow, look at these beautiful prints! We are super excited to bring you the fifth 'Chats with Makers' feature. Every month we showcase a new independent business on our blog and Instagram. Think artists, candle creators, textile makers and jewellery designers to name a few, we hope you will enjoy reading and discovering some fabulous small businesses to support.
Meet Inês Mourato, creator of these stunning handmade prints and original paintings. Inspired by Greek and Egyptian art and influenced by feminist thematics, Ines's work really takes us back in time.
A date for your diary: Thursday 13th May - Inês Mourato x LMM Instagram Takeover and Live at 6pm.
What three words best describe your work?
I would describe my artworks as empowering, intricate and complex. Three words that also describe women!
When did your business first start and what made you do it?
During my BA degree in Fine Art, I came across Future Foundry, a non-profit creative space that helps young creatives develop their small businesses. This project was founded by Lisa Oulton, one of the best and most creative people I have met since coming to England. Within this organisation, students and young makers can participate in markets, alongside workshops, talks with artists, presentations, and more, that explain all of the aspects of running a business. As an art student, this was a great opportunity to start selling work and to develop my networking skills with other artists and customers.
Since then, I have been working on my business part-time; creating a brand and producing consistent and regular content. At the moment, with the extra time, I have had the chance to create an Etsy account, to develop my printmaking techniques, establish a brand and promote myself as a small business owner.
Your prints are brilliant. How is your work created from start to finish?
Most of my prints are inspired by ancient Greek or Egyptian art. I don't believe in mythology, but I usually find the concepts very interesting, easy to work within art. I compare them to contemporary society, their similarities and differences bring a great space for analysis. Thus, I usually start with a concept or an idea. Then, I either use my sketchbook or my iPad to sketch the visual drawing. Finally, I transfer the image to the Lino (or sometimes, just draw on to it directly).
For the base material, I use Japanese printmaking papers. Shiramine Select is, by far my favourite to work with. It gives the print a great finish and it dries very quickly (a positive for impatient people like me). I use Caligo safe wash inks as they are easy to clean and not toxic. After completing my prints, I photograph them in every single way possible; colour correct them on Adobe Photoshop and upload them to my Etsy shop and Instagram.
How do you think your printing style has evolved?
I have discovered over the years that my work stands for feminist thematics. It interests me the most. Besides developing in technique and quality of work, I believe that the concept is what has evolved the most; both in my work and in my personal life.
What is your favourite piece of work and why?
My favourite work is “Women Together”, a print inspired by the “Las tres Gracias” by Botticelli. This artwork reinforces the importance of women supporting other women and it aims to find the female perspective within art history. By drawing the female nude, I am looking to embrace body positivity and acceptance, not seen or created by the “male-gaze”, but accepted by women themselves.
What has been the biggest hurdle you have overcome within your practise?
I believe it might have been after completing my BA degree. The time when students are unsure on what to do. Thus, I decided to study curating as my Master’s course. This was the best way to move on from that problem. I met amazing artists through the exhibition I had to co-curate as the final project (“Once upon a time, and Now!” -https://www.onceuponatimeandnow.com) and it boosted my writing and talking skills.
Which digital platforms and programs have helped shape your business?
To edit my work, I mainly use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. These are the platforms that help me produce better quality pictures and design products for commissioned work. My digital drawings are made on my iPad using an app called Adobe Sketch. I don’t believe it to be the best app for professional designers, but it works for what I need.
To promote my work, I have my main platform on Instagram and also my website, which has further information about my work as an artist and curator. I have recently created an Etsy shop that is slowly progressing and in the future I hope to start sharing my work on Pinterest too.
If someone was looking to start their own creative business, what advice would you give them?
I would advise them to keep producing and reaching out to creative accounts that promote people like us. It is really hard to get your work to be noticed on social media, mainly now that everyone is posting content and opening new online businesses. If specifically wanting to try printmaking, I would advise to start with good quality paper and inks and to work with small dimensions.
Any exciting projects or plans in the pipeline?
I have some exiting markets to come. Besides that, I am planning to just keep myself busy with art and exhibitions.
How can readers contact you and find your work?
Please contact me on my Instagram (@imourato_art) or on my personal email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in doing an collaboration with me or organising an art exhibition. Also, if you have made it to the end, I will be offering a special discount code for the London Makers Market. Use LMM20 for 20% off my Etsy shop.
If you've enjoyed this interview, or have any further questions for Inês, please get in touch. Join us on Thursday 13th May at 6pm to find out more about Imouratoart on Instagram Live.