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Trailblazers: Ultra-vivid colour & print with Studio Heretic

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Jon, Therese and Luke are an East London-based trio working within illustration, design and experimental screen printing at Studio Heretic. Their ultra-vivid colour plays take our eyes on magical new journeys in print, here’s what this Holy Trinity of printmakers had to say about some very unexpected talents...

Hello Studio Heretic, tell us abit about yourselves.

We are a multidisciplinary studio with a focus on screen printing. We work on a wide variety of projects including record sleeve art, editorial illustration, installation pieces and any other interesting things that float our way. We have an ongoing, never ending, experimental screen printing project called Spectral Nation - pushing all known limits of screen printing. This is an important part of what we do as it informs most of our other work and it’s where we can experiment with printmaking.

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You guys work with illustration, design and screen printing, which came first?

It all came together in an unorthodox unplanned kind of way. A happenstance of chance. We all have different strengths and so anyone can take a lead on a project, though most of what we do tends to be collaborative, so we all have an input at varying levels throughout the process. Screen printing is a big part of what we do and has always been something we try to invest as much time in as possible.

What has been your favourite project of 2016 (so far) to work on?

We really enjoyed working with Tim Burgess on his new album with Peter Gordon. It’s one of our favourite records at the moment and we had a lot of freedom, we were really pleased with the results.

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In these technological times, have your printing methods been affected?

We are interested in analogue - handmade versus digital processes, so we have been affected in a positive futuristic way in terms of our practice.

We love your use of colours, a lot of your projects have a very psychedelic feel to them...

We like the ultra vivid colour spectrum and after years of printing we all still get a massive buzz when a new layer of ink goes down and we see the results of one colour over another. This encourages us to keep trying new colour combinations and techniques which surprise the eyes. This inevitably leads to some work that could be considered a bit eye bending, so the term psychedelic never seems to be too far away! Our imagery and ideas do seem to attract certain sorts of neo-psychedelic people who like this kind of thing, so a few projects have come our way in that area.

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Describe your studio to us. What's in there to inspire you?

Piles of books, piles of ink in Turkish yoghurt pots, piles of paper. A trippy doll house full of dinosaurs, tanks, and random found objects (for Therese and Luke's son Loa). Wall space is minimal and nearly all the gaps are full of visual snacks. We keep works in progress in the forms of piles of prints that we continue to work on. There is also a large photo of R Stevie Moore who looks down on us while we print, like the Holy Saint of productivity and quality.

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What have you got planned project-wise for the rest of the year?

It’s been a little while since we had a show so we are getting a bit itchy to exhibit some new work.

Any unexpected talents amongst you guys?

We like to cook food up for the people yah! Jon’s a mountaineer who can whistle like a bird. Therese once swam from Sweden to the Dordogne, and can smell when it is about to snow. Luke is a pilot, a jazz drummer, and talented at table football. Only some of these things are true.

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If you could only work with one thing for the rest of your life, what would you all choose?

Ah, it’s a bit like Desert Island Discs. Until the end of our days, we would all work with … our hands.

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