We caught up with Nick Booton, a.k.a, b r u ï this week to find out a little more about himself and his exciting risograph project. These stunning prints are also available to purchase from Department Store. Shop here!
People of Print: So Nick, why don’t you tell us a little more about yourself for us?
Sure, my name is Nick Booton but I work under the moniker b r u ï [to make noise]. I always say I’m a designer and maker as I think this covers me pretty well. As well as developing my own artistic practice through risograph and silkscreen printing I keep myself busy working on freelance projects with as many interesting people as I can. I’m involved with several fashion related projects bringing textile design and art direction to the table and I’ve built some brilliant collaborative relationships with musicians so I’m always cooking up artwork for them.
P: What is your design background?
My core background is in illustration and printmaking. I studied illustration down south at the University of Westminster then moved back up North to my home turf of Liverpool and self-built a large screenprint studio with a group of friends. This was a really fast learning curve as I helped manage the studio, hosting live events, open studios and building festival partnerships, which became my real entry point into the creative community up here, allowing me to build a solid local client base over the years.
P: What are you opinions on the current contemporary debates in printing and design?
I think for me personally I’ve seen a big shift in design towards solely digital platforms, which I think is just natural for the progression of technology and the way we communicate ideas to each other. I’m happy to adapt my freelance practice towards this direction but at the same time I feel this gives printed medium a unique value, as the noise of the online world becomes louder, the value of authenticity becomes heightened. I will always commit to developing my printmaking further because I believe in the value of creating something tactile with your own hands, it simply can’t be replaced. If anything, online platforms should allow us to tell our stories better and bring a wider audience inside the processes of our print studios.
P: We totally agree! So with regards to your print project, what is it based on?
My approach utilises my awareness of the overlooked obscurities within modern life as I reimagine the canvas of graphic ephemera caused by human activity within towns, cities and communities. Through observational wandering, my focus with this project ‘Resurfacing the M62’ has been drawn to the noisy visual landscape that lies out like a worn carpet under our feet as we move around our metropolitan homes. Our meticulously arranged systems of guidance and structure that unconsciously dominate our movements through the city have been overlain with a camouflage of human waste, forming a neglected canvas that may in itself be an influence on our behaviour. This has become an exercise in learning about my community through the surfaces we share.
P: Finally one last question, one that we always ask. What are you striving for? What will your future look like?
I’m just striving to contribute my part to the progression of modern culture, whether it be through fashion, music or other creative ventures I want to be able to help shape the direction of each project I’m involved with and continue building strong relationships. With my personal printmaking practice I’m always interested in testing my own views on contemporary print and pushing myself to progress my processes and find new ways to explore and communicate the tiny elements of modern life that I find interesting.
Answers kindly given by Nick Booton.
You can shop these gorgeous prints below!