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Foundation Degree Digital Media Production

Interview Report with Micheal Pritchard


Micheal Pritchard is a local Staffordshire artist who combines his photography skills with other artistic mediums, such as inks and pen, to create montage images. His style of working is unique and has created him a niche market for his products. Micheal studied at Rycotewood College, Oxford, Bishop Longdale College, Derby and Birmingham School of Art Education. His foundation studies at college in drawing and painting developed into a particular interest towards surface pattern and design, graphics and various methods of printmaking (Appendix A). Over the years, Micheals work has developed and evolved due to an enthusiasm to experiment and by exploring different approaches to his tasks. Within his work he embraces techniques and methods of sampling, mixing and montage. His themes and inspiration have come from the industrial heritage of the Potteries that are expressed in bold and vibrant colours, to closer studies of natural forms and surface patterns and textures. He regularly exhibits his contemporary portfolio of paintings and prints in local museums, open art shows and exhibitions and art galleries such as Glaston Pottery Museum in Longton, The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Webberleys Book Shop in Hanley and The Radford Gallery. While I was at his latest exhibition (Appendix B), I started to break down his prints mentally in an attempt to find out how and what Micheal has done to create the image. After breaking three of his prints down as much as I could, I then started chatting to him about his prints as to how he really has created the prints. This was of particular interest to me because I have done some Acrylic on Canvas work in the past working from a photo that was first projected onto the canvas before I started. Micheal, however, has done the opposite. He has created pieces of work in acrylic and ink and then used the finished pieces to produce his prints. He says that my work is like the law of improbability my work is a fusion of the accidental and the intended as the intent is to put the ink on whereas it is accidental is that the inks collide with each other and mix. When I started chatting to Micheal and what advice he would give to a new photographer just starting out, he answer it with Find a unique method that works well and dont tell anyone how your method works and this will provide you with a niche market. He also gave me some advice for when I print my images. He said to invest in

Ultrachrome inks for my printer as the quality of the ink allows me to exhibit my photographs year after year whereas standard print inks fade over time resulting in either reprinting the image or replacing it. On one particular piece of Micheals that he pointed out that was later on used to produce a print, he went through a brief stage-by-stage process of how the piece was created. I used inks and a craft knife to create patterns and designs on the canvas. The knife was used to produce an indent so that the inks would flow around the desired pattern. The smaller details were done with pen. While Micheal may have basic knowledge in the lines of photography, generally snapping at items and places of interest, he does have an eye for composition and the know-how with Photoshop that makes his prints appealing to me. Three of Micheals prints that I looked at were Bridgewater PH002 2009, which is print edition collection consisting of 50 prints, Gladston Workshop PH003 2008 and Middleport 2008 (Appendix C). Theres a clear theme running throughout the three prints; theyre all abstract pieces inspired by the Potteries and produced by using Adobe Photoshop. His Bridgewater piece isnt as complex as his Middleport piece in the sense that theres more overlapping of buildings creating more abstract colours.

Middleport 2008

Gladstone Workshop PH003 2008

Bridgewater PH002 2009 For his Bridgewater piece, Micheal has used simple overlaying effects that produce negative and abstract colours. Effects like Colour Burn, Difference and Lighten have all been used at some point within this piece. The two chimneys in the top right corner is a perfect example of a simple overlay. The roof and the smaller chimney are one image while the

bigger chimney is a separate photo and it placed over the top in the space between them. The smaller bottle oven has probably had the Colour Burn effect applied to it which would explain the dark blue tones. The bigger bottle oven has more than likely had a Negative Filter applied as the colour tones are now reversed, i.e. dark becomes light and light becomes dark. However, when a colour is introduced to the Negative Filter, the colour inverts to its complimentary colour so with this bottle oven, the lighter areas have turned a dark green colour whereas the originally dark areas have turned red. To advertise his products and his upcoming exhibitions, Micheal prints off small postcards that show off one or more examples of his work that will be on show (Appendix D). Again, I am particularly interested in this because I have thought about making postcards out of photos that I have taken around my local area. However, Michael makes his postcards to advertise his products whereas my photos will advertise my local area but I can use his postcards as a starting point for what and how much content they should contain. After the interview with Micheal, I do feel as though I have learnt a fair bit from him about presentation and how to get a head-start commercially if I choose to produce and sell my photos whether it is to a newspaper or as prints on a canvas. Despite him, what seems to be, to have only basic photographic and Photoshop skills, Micheal has demonstrated that to create professional prints that people like you do not necessarily need to know how to use your tools and equipment to their full potential.