Taking Hobbies Online to the Next Level: Linocut

Linocut is a beautiful printmaking technique which uses linoleum as the ‘relief surface,’ to print images and designs. Using a variety of tools and techniques; including knives, specialised chisels and rollers, there are no limitations to the range of designs that can be imprinted using linocut.
TechRound recently caught up with Paul Davis, the London based founder of Draw Cut Ink Press (www.drawcutinkpress.com) and Chief Operating Officer of OverThrow Digital to talk about how a fascinating hobby has been brought online, displaying the artwork and craft involved in linocut.

Hi Paul, So what is Draw Cut Ink Press all about?

Draw Cut Ink Press is a blog site I’ve started to act as a resource for anybody interested in Linocut Printing. I started lino-cutting as a hobby a couple of years ago and there wasn’t much information out there, so I thought I’d create the website to share what I had learnt and some of my processes in order to help anybody else out there interested in picking up the art form.

It’s a Really Interesting Art form and looks great. How did you get into it?

I’ve always been creative. Since I was a kid I’ve always had a sketchbook and a pencil with me, but a couple of years ago I found myself so busy running my business that I started to fall out of the habit of drawing and/ or painting and this led me to start feeling a bit down in the dumps.
It was my wife that noticed that my happiness seemed to be tied to the process of image making, so she encouraged me to get back into art making. I’d recently seen some amazing block prints from Europe and Japan, and it was those and their graphic quality that drew me towards trying my hand at Linocut Printmaking.

What was the Inspiration behind starting the Website and how long have you been online?

The idea for the website was two-fold. Firstly I wanted to share tips and tricks on the art form; to start building a community and find out what the interest was like for Linocuts and Lino printmaking. Secondly, I was really interested to experiment with the power of publishing targeted content to see how I could grow the traffic and online visibility of a website. Running a digital agency means that I’m constantly looking at data and planning strategies for our clients’ online growth. I wanted to put this into practice with something that was completely my own, to experiment and play with.

Since starting out online, how are things progressing?

It’s going really well. To start with the traffic was really low, with practically no organic traffic from search engines, a couple of visits from my Instagram feed. Now though, due in large part to the keyword research, unique content and general good SEO practice and Content Marketing I’ve got around 1,300 website visits every week from all around the world.
I regularly get emails from site visitors which is great and my social media following has grown to about 7.5k… so I guess I’m not the only one out there who likes to get ink on their fingers!

Has that created any new opportunities; through being online?

I’ve been asked to write guest blogs, contribute to exhibitions around the world, review books on print making and have even been offered money to publish content for third parties on the site, but I turned them down as it didn’t feel like a good brand match at the time.

Where do you see Draw Cut Ink Press going and how would you like it to progress?

I’m not entirely sure at this stage but I’d like to continue to grow the strength of the website so that I basically own the Linocut space online and become the go to resource for anyone looking to get into it. I’m also hoping that I can use it as a platform to create a regular UK meetup for printmakers in London once a quarter and then see if I can use the face-to-face contact and relationships that creates to put together a group exhibition.
It’s not a get rich scheme, but it definitely enriches the soul a little bit.