Our next instalment of the Department Store vendor interviews is with graphic designer, printmaker, illustrator and author Richard Horne, who goes by the moniker El Horno. Specialising in screen printing for the last 5 years and also exploring gocco printing along the way, Richard takes inspiration for his prints from science, pop culture and everyday scenarios. El Horno is originally from the North East of England and studied Graphic Design in the East Riding of Yorkshire, he went on to live and work in the East End of London for fourteen years before moving to his current location in East Anglia. Working for notable clients including Bloomsbury Publishing, Guardian, Random House, Universal Music, Virgin Books, V&A and Warner Music to name just a few, he has a great portfolio which we believe is well worth perusing.
El Horno’s #PrintVend vending machine project which has been touring the country is a particular favourite with the People of Print team. The vending machine produces individually numbered screen prints which are dispensed randomly from the machine, along with a print care guide, certificate of authenticity and a 1 inch badge, and if that isn’t enough the box that is dispensed can also be adapted and used as a frame for your print. This project is playful, engaging and screams instantaneous print.
I caught up with Richard to find out a bit more about his thought and production process when taking on new prints and challenges, his feelings towards digital printing and discover what has been his most rewarding project to date.
Read the interview in full below…
Can you tell us a little about your background and where your passion for print stemmed from?
I’m originally a graphic designer and after a number of years working within the music industry and publishing, I became self employed and began writing, designing and illustrating my own books. These projects took the best part of a year, sometimes longer, and the need to escape my daily desk life drove me to swap the computer screen for silk screens and try my hand at printmaking.
What are the main influences on your work?
My work reflects my love for pop culture, architecture and a love of science and all things space, as well as the odd things I see around me day-to-day.
How do you approach new projects? What is your thought and production process?
I struggle to turn my mind off work. The ideas that come to me are jotted down in notebooks and scrawled on post-it notes. The hardest part is finding the time to print them up. Some ideas work as prints, some don’t, but if I feel I’ve got to give them a go and try them as prints, I just cross my fingers that they’ll be liked enough to hang on other people’s walls.
What has been your favourite or most rewarding print based project you have worked on so far?
The most rewarding project has been the Random Print Vend Machine. I’d long thought about a vending machine to dispense random prints and last year I managed to make it happen. It’s been great to see the various reactions of the buyers, from appreciation to sheer bemusement. It’s added interactivity and surprise to print purchasing.
What was it about the Department Store that made you want to be a part of it and sell your lovely prints/products?
I’ve known about People of Print since my early days of printing and after seeing them at Pick Me Up a few years back, I hoped to be involved with them in some way, and here we are 🙂
As you know the latest issue of Print Isn’t Dead (Element 003) is focused around the themes of customisation and instantaneous print processes, how do you think your work links to this? And if it doesn’t would you consider adding these elements to your work?
My ‘For All occasions’ greetings card actively invites vandalism and my books, including the Modern Day Spotter’s Guide and the 101 Things To Do Before You Die book series, are interactive and customisable. In them I encourage the readers to add their own personal experiences to the pages of their copy, so I’m no stranger to customisation. You can even add your name to the front of the books. I’d originally planned for the 101 series to be completely anonymous, the idea being that they were actually your own books from the outset.
What are your general thoughts and feeling towards digital printing currently?
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of digital printing but it has its place. All my prints so far have been Screen, Gocco or Risograph prints. I’m not ready to make the leap into digital prints just yet, as for me it’d take out the fun, the risks and sense of achievement of the current print techniques I’m using.
If you could only pick one word to go on the front cover of our Element 003 magazine, what would it be and why?
I think my word is something that all creatives can relate to. I’ve seen far too many big BUTS in my time. So ‘BUT …’ is my word, as in the sentence ‘I really love your work BUT … we have no budget/it’ll be good for your portfolio/we’ll pay you with social networking mentions. Even though we love our jobs we can’t pay the bills with compliments or retweets. I wish we could!