Christopher Alday is a letterpress printer, screenprinter, and MCBA’s Summer 2017 Artist-in-Residence. He has created work for Posters and Pints, Artcrank, Northern Spark, and the Art Shanty Projects. We sat down with Christopher to find out more about his creative process.
Interview conducted in December 2017 by Leslie Bonnabelle Dogood.
What drew you to study the book arts?
I am drawn to printmaking’s ability to reproduce something. I enjoy the labor of it, the tactile process.
What are the main mediums you use and what makes them so satisfying?
Screenprinting and letterpress are my “go-tos”. I use them both as inspiration for my personal sculptural work. With letterpress, I enjoy locking the block in. I take a long time to do it, but it is a very enjoyable process. With screenprinting, I really enjoy the big, flat, filled screens.
If someone wanted to get started in those mediums, what suggestions would you give?
Just do it! Your first three creations are going to be really bad. Just do it a couple times, and see if you respond to it or not. And remember, each technique offers something different.
What inspires your work?
Textured pieces. I don’t use them myself, but they inspire me. Horror movies give me something for my brain to do while I work with my hands. Art History. Ellsworth Kelly. Patterns.
How does MCBA influence you as an artist?
My residency at MCBA allowed me the opportunity to be less critical of myself. Not having to work towards an exhibition significantly reduced my stress. It allowed me the freedom to delve back into color.
What was your favorite thing about the Artist-in-Residence program?
It was the most fun I’ve had making in a long time. I enjoyed exploring the type collection and finding eccentric pieces to complement the creation. I end up learning a lot and weaving my way into the community as well.