Laser Cut Woodblock Print / by Brittany Winans

SKETCHES AND CONCEPT I originally stumbled across my concept while listening to a podcast and I could not get the idea of mixed tapes and being ethnically ambiguous out of my head. It was the perfect analogy, so I ran with it from the beginning. In my work lately I have been working a lot with identity and what it means to me to be a biracial, bisexual woman. Just looking at the prefix bi it means two (and sometimes more) of something. Taking that idea of being many things and giving it an umbrella label I think takes away what is special about what makes you, you. People try to guess who I am, the try to guess my special mix of ethnicities that make me a little more olive than other "white" people, you can compare it to why someone would put a certain collection songs together on a mixed tape. Yes the songs are special and amazing on their own but when you are putting them together to make a playlist you are changing the meaning of from what the songs says when it stands alone versus when it stands together in a group of songs. I think if we can apply this logic to how we think about race and ethnicity we would be doing the world a lot of good. My Mixtape: Dutch, Native American (Blackfoot), British, German, Irish, Scottish.

CREATING THE WOODBLOCK After I did some initial planning I moved over to photoshop to create my image template to take to the laser cutter. I deconstructed an image of a cassette tape so I could build it back up using ink later. When I had everything mapped out I moved over to the laser.

PRINTING This was kind of a nightmare, but through lots of exaggerated sighs and some minor bouts of crying I FINALLY figured it out. Registering my image was what caused most of the frustration, I was thinking as if my image was flush to the edge of my block but in fact it was quite the opposite and that caused me lots of problems and cost me lots of proof paper. As soon as I figured that out I needed to figure out how the hell I was going to do two different gradients on the same block (which is something I have never done before). I AM SO PROUD OF THOSE GRADIENTS, they where some of the best I have ever done and I love them each time I look at them. Following up with the last layer with the details which I decided to do in black to keep with the retro vibe the cassettes give. This project took a lot of reverse engineering on a lot of it and I needed to a lot myself time to wrap my head around everything to fully understand it which was honestly the hardest part. Overall I was super happy with how my prints turned out, there are some minor details I would like to change in the future but a lot of that I think is just me being a super nit picky artist. I had to learn to let go a little and get comfortable with the fact that things might not always turn out the way they look in my head but I can roll with the punches and still make an amazing print.