Brian Giles (aka Sonofafox) is a printmaker from Dublin and works out of his studio in Damn Fine Print. Brian experiments with colour and texture in his printing process producing unique silkscreen prints, risographs and more.

‘Self Portrait’, Brian Giles, 2019

Where did you spend lockdown?

I spent lockdown at home working on my laptop. Like everyone, a lot of things that had been planned for the year went up in smoke, but overall, thankfully, I was pretty busy working on new ideas and getting involved with different projects. Online sales went up too, which I was so grateful for.

Did you have access to a studio during this time? If not, how did you continue to create work?

I do all my printing in Damn Fine Print. That was closed during the lockdown and, unfortunately, I’ve no home setup – plus the studio space I work out off was too far for me to travel to from where I live so I just worked from home. I had my good days and bad, but I kept busy; I had only done a photoshoot with a new group of models in my studio before the lockdown hit, so I had plenty of time to work on a new set of ideas, but I was missing having access to a print bed!

Brian Giles at Damn Fine Print

Can you take me through your art making process?

Unless I’m painting through the screen for a series of one-off Mono Prints, most of my designs are made and completed before I get to the bed. I use a lot of photography and collage based imagery to start.  When it comes to colour, I would usually use 4/5 inks that I know will work well with each other when combined or overlaid on top of each other.  I enjoy marbling and having fun with the inks too, very much at the moment, throwing in a splash of colour here and there and experimenting, not knowing how they will turn out. Hence, a lot of it is very in the moment when it comes to colour. I use SEPA water-based inks. Ultra Marine Blue, Golden Yellow, and especially Neon Pink. I love inks that work well on overlaps without the use of a massive amount of extender. The vibrancy of the neon colours works best for me.

Did you experiment with any new materials or methodologies?

I did. I’ve been experimenting a lot with a four colour CMYK commercial print set up. I love how you can get as many colours as you want in 3/4 layers. This set up works great with the designs I’m working with at the moment. 

Given the limitations and restrictions of the last few months, did your art-making process change at all? If so, do you think this will continue to change how you will make art going forward? 

No, not really. Like I said, I was mainly working on my computer, working on a set of photos taken just before all this hit. Thankfully this kept me busy throughout lockdown, and this is usually how I would go about things before I get to the print bed. Most of my designs are prepped and worked on with Photoshop. 

Do you have any upcoming projects?

I do. I’m delighted to say I’ll be having a new solo exhibition with Damn Fine Print. Opening on September 18th for two weeks. With this new body of work, I want to explore themes of positivity. I think it’s important we all continue to move forward in this age of lockdown and isolation, that we keep our body and minds active. I thought the best way to convey this was through the movement of dance. I love how the motion of dancing carries a positive individual energy. 

I also took part in the Creatives Against COVID-19 poster campaign, and they’ll be having an exhibition of posters produced from the campaign in the Guinness Storehouse from July 11th -August 31st.

‘Echoes’, 3 Layered Hand-Pulled Screen Print, 2020. Photo Credit: Hang Tough Gallery

I’m also really excited with a new collaboration between myself and Hang Tough, it’s being released on Friday 24th though their website.

Also hoping to carry on with Bazaar this Christmas. A few friends and I set that up last year, running markets  that offer goods and workshops. We’re just in the middle of doing an online Show and Tell, but we’d like to do something in the real world come Christmas time hopefully. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how that will play out.

All photographs were provided by Brian Giles unless otherwise stated. To see more of Brian’s work visit his website and Instagram.