Say hey to January Blues 👋
In December, 2022 we worked with Hunt The Moon customer and creator, January Blues (aka, Laura!) for a Hunt The Moon social media takeover. The whole team are big fans of what Laura does, so naturally we were so excited to see what she had in store ✨
Who is January Blues? 👀
First off, if you don't know who Laura is; well she is a designer & maker raising twins, screen printing & creating under the brand January Blues. From doodling on her iPad in Procreate 2 years ago, Laura picked up screen printing and hand cut paper stencils, transforming her doodles into artworks to print onto physical objects, such as canvas banners, felt pennants more.
In her words "Once you start, you can't stop" - very accurate!
"I fell in love with screen printing whilst learning the process in the corner of my dining room (I learnt a LOT watching Lauren on the Hunt the Moon Instagram!). Currently I’m designing & making hand lettered banners & pennants which are inspired by lyrics & a love for words. I occasionally print onto other things, t shirts, tea towels, tote bags & make paper prints, but so far most of these items have been one-off gifts." - Laura
Here's a quick overview into Laura's work:
Fun fact: Laura produces all her own custom typefaces (hand lettered!). Starting on paper, scanning them into Procreate and vectorising in Illustrator, she is able to cut them out in Vinyl! So cool.
The Takeover 🎨
For the takeover, Laura showed the process of printing a two colour design onto sand coloured canvas using vinyl stencils. First up was her prepping for printing!
Here Laura is getting the vinyl (cut on a Cricut) weeded & onto the screen ready to be printed! As you'll notice, Laura loves mixing her own colours to get the dusty muted tones she enjoys printing with.
Next up is printing time! Laura almost always prints using a sheet of acetate taped to her desk, especially for banners, pennants & paper prints.
"It’s great for getting my prints in the position I want when I’m doing lining up 2nd 3rd layers etc on multi layer prints. Also, getting clamps for my desk was a game changer, I highly recommend!" - Laura
The final product ✨
Using the Hunt The Moon Super Opaque Ink, Laura printed onto the sand coloured canvas to get a solid coverage.
Most of my designs are inspired by lyrics & a general love for words.
The design above was inspired by ‘Turning Green’ from Courtney Barnett’s 2021 album Things Take Time, Take Time. The style & illustrative elements are usually inspired by the feel the words give me although I definitely have a love for lettering & design from the 60s & 70s. If I have a design block I find it easier to design for a specific person - I love doing commissioned pieces or designing birthday banners etc for friends & family. It’s really hard to say how long the whole process takes - some designs work out almost straight away & some take a lot longer to get just right (for some reason I really struggle with Gs!). I generally print in small batches, around six or eight, although if it’s a more complicated design with multiple layers I find it can be best to start with just one or two to test out the stencils & the colours!
"Full disclosure I’m actually not happy with the design, if I reprint this one in the future I’ll make some changes to the design & possibly the colour of the canvas, but that’s all part of the process!" - Laura
Top Tricks ✨
Don’t give up, please! Believe me, I almost did a few times. It takes practice to get the hang of it & gain confidence but it is so so worth it!
The less sticky & more used your transfer tape is, the easier it is to work with.
Wash out & keep empty up Hunt the Moon ink pots (& any other good pots you come across!) for mixing up new colours.
Blue block out tape - couldn’t be without it! Great for securing the vinyl stencils to the screen & stopping stray ink creeping around the edge of the stencil.
Super Opaque inks - many of my prints would look naff without this ink! It’s an essential for printing onto darker coloured fabrics & it’s great to get solid coverage over other screen printed colours (for me the lettering is often printed using super opaque inks)
Screen wash for Waterbased ink - I like to give my screens a deep clean every now & then with this screen wash so they’re super clean for when I get the urge to print!
What's next? ☀️
Keep on printing!
I do have some projects floating around in my head / notebook / ipad that I’m hoping to work up soon. I really want to print some more t-shirt designs, and experiment more with printing onto cardstock / draw up some card designs.
I’m hoping to attend a makers market or two this year & I’m gradually adding pieces to my etsy shop (I usually put it off because I’m being too much of a perfectionist!)
I’d also love to do a few more branding jobs which will hopefully include printing the logos onto tees, aprons… you get the idea!
Final words ✍️
I absolutely loved doing an Instagram takeover for Hunt the Moon. I really enjoyed creating content that showed the process step by step & creating voice overs for the videos (that really pushed me out of my comfort zone!) It was a great opportunity to chat with other Hunt the Moon customers & share some tips & tricks I’ve learnt over the past couple of years.
If you’ve been thinking about giving screen printing a go, do it! You really don’t need much kit or space to get started. I began printing on my dining table using hand cut Yupo paper stencils, only had one screen & two colours of ink but that was all I needed to catch the printing bug!
- January Blues -