In April 2020, Artsy launched the #ArtKeepsGoing campaign with the goal of creating content with artists that highlights how they are enduring the unique situation of the global pandemic – COVID-19. This campaign has brought artists’ voices directly to the community through a series of questions about inspiration, artistic practice and their art. We posed these same questions to Jillian Ross, Master Printer at the David Krut Workshop (DKW), who answered on behalf of her whole team.
How does art keep you going during difficult times?
DKW: Art isn’t just a challenge of making something with your hands; art requires thinking about how you are going to make it before you get the chance to do so. Right now, we have more time to brainstorm. That is a challenge.
How has your art practice been affected by self-isolation?
DKW: We are a collaborative print studio. We are a group of people who spend our days in a print workshop surrounded by our equipment and each other. Most people would think we had to stop working, but the opposite is true. Working in a print workshop teaches you to be agile – adapting to new situations all the time, and being well-prepared for many possible outcomes. So in order for the whole team to keep working, some of us took parts of the studio home – for example, a small etching press to do demos and teach, a book press to make hand-made books for housing complicated instructions manuals, one of us has a silkscreen unit set up at home already. Amazingly simple.
How are you staying creative?
DKW: By continuing to work on a whole set of different tasks collaboratively. By challenging each other everyday for new ways of looking at printmaking, by adapting it to DIY activities for adults and children, by teaching others about the work we do in demonstrations and on Podcasts.
Are you creating new work while social distancing?
DKW: We are making test plates, conceiving next projects with artists, writing lesson plans, using our hands in different ways all the while finishing things we never normally get to.
How are you staying in touch with your community or supporting other artists?
DKW: WhatsApp, group video calls, regular check ins – with artists and friends and collaborators to keep us all inspired and moving together by providing the same community gathering point we normally have in the physical print studio, but now from a distance via technology.
What work of art in your home means the most to you?
DKW: Each one of us has a little piece of the workshop at home with us. It might be an artwork that was made in the studio a decade ago, it might be a gift of a work recently made by one of the artists we represent, it might be a matrix – a linoleum plate that we get to carve – or it might be the work we took home of one of our artists to keep working on while in isolation.
Most of all, we are looking forward to opening the doors of our workshop, galleries and bookstores again to continue production, sales and collaborations with our team and artists.