Meet the Maker - Faisal Khouja

Thursday, May 23, 2013
We are delighted to have Faisal as part of the Made in Britain team.  Faisal creates detailed lino prints, which are proving a hit in our shop.  Here is a little interview with him:

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
My name is Faisal Khouja and I work as a Linocut Printmaker, Painter, Illustrator and Photographer. My Linocuts are cut from multiple blocks which are then inked up and printed by hand using a traditional Letterpress. My oil paintings are done from memory using syringes for a more fluid feel. My Illustrations share the same solid black line of the oil paintings but incorporate watercolour, pen and ink and anything else I feel like using. I am also a trained photographer and use a range of different equipment to produce fine art prints. 

Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
I work part time helping my partner, Laura Mirjami, who is also an artist and has her own business, Mirjami Design. Also I am somewhat of a philosopher and can spend hours contemplating the nature of reality and other concepts. I don't think I can separate anything I do from being an artist as it is a way of like for me. 

When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I became an artist after getting "burnt out" whilst working as a commercial photographer in London. I have even changed my name to make sure I can have a clean break from my old life. 

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
The freedom to use different media to respond creatively to anything that I choose. 

Where does your inspiration come from? 
Initially after my illness i spent a lot of time in nature, in the wild places, so flora and fauna featured heavily in my work. Now I am becoming more and more interested in urban places and cityscapes as well as more abstract concepts regarding the human condition. My next projects will feature these themes more heavily. 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
I have a room in my house where the light is good and I can spend time drawing, painting, thinking and reading. I have taken up the carpet and painted the floorboards so that I can throw a lot of paint about if the urge takes me. Also I share printmaking facilities with others at the Gloucestershire Printmaking Co-operative in Stroud. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be? 
It would probably be the great photographer Irving Penn or even Leonardo da Vinci. I might even be tempted to pick up one of Leo's palettes and sell it on Ebay to secure my financial future! 
How would you describe your creative process? 
It involves making a trip to a place, then coming home to contemplate my subject and the work (hopefully) forms in my mind's eye. 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
I have a pair of Moroccan slippers which are very simple yet demonstrate great craftsmanship. 
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
I usually mope about feeling sorry for myself for several days, lamenting the creativity leaving me, before rousing myself and making a trip to muster inspiration. 

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
In a place of greater clarity.

Thank you Faisal, a really great interview.  You can find Faisal's intricate lino printed work in our Made in Britain shop.

Made in Britain
(Next to Carluccio's)
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm

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