Artist as Entrepreneur: Elizabeth Corkery

March 2018

One of the perks of owning a creative business is that it gives you a wonderful excuse to contact artists out of the blue for studio visits. I had been following Print Club Ltd. for a while, so when a trip to Elizabeth Corkery's area came up I jumped at the chance to see her work in person. In her studio surrounded by the melding of her personal work and the work of Print Club Ltd artists, we talked about contemporary printmaking, marketing strategies, and maintaining a studio practice while running a business. Elizabeth's work combines photography, video, sculpture, print, and installation; a wonderful reminder that the limitations placed on printmaking are more self-imposed then inherent to the medium.

Enjoy this interview with Elizabeth and learn how she maintains her studio practice while running a business.

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Tell us about your business:

I run Print Club Ltd, which is an online source for limited edition silkscreen prints. I produce and market all of the prints myself, so the business model is part online retail and part fine art print publishing. I started the company in 2013 after I finished grad school and two years ago I started working with invited artists to produce collaborative editions - this has really become the direction I’m excited to focus on moving forward. 

Describe your work as an artist

In addition to running the business I have a personal art practice that draws on my technical background in printmaking but expands into sculpture, installation and photography. Without getting too artist statement-y my person work tends to gravitate towards site-specific installations where I can generate relationships between duration, reproduction and sequencing through sculptural ensembles and photographic documentation. My collective body of work has explored the traditional boundaries between prints/architecture, surface/depth, image/matter, while making more explicit the relation between spatial perception, bodily motion and perceived passages of time.

 Elizabeth Corkery -  Pieces from Pictures , instalation at Outside, North Adams, MA

Elizabeth Corkery - Pieces from Pictures, instalation at Outside, North Adams, MA

What are the biggest obstacles you face in maintaining a studio practice? 

Probably the age old catch-22 of needing an income to support studio rental and materials while also needing that source of income to not take up so much of your time that you can’t make use of your studio or materials. I currently have a 9-5 in addition to my personal studio work and Print Club efforts so that I can be save up some resources for when larger opportunities like residencies to exhibitions come up. Over the year I have purposefully kept my employment situations either freelance or contract-based so that I can still carve out the time as needed for more full-time periods of art production. 

What strategies do you use to preserve your studio time?

Right now is a pretty terrible time for this question as I haven’t really been successful at preserving studio time. Firstly I’m kind of in limbo with studio space since moving to a new city (and new coast) last year. I think for me, as someone who always has about seven different irons in the fire - between freelance work, contract work, Print Club commitments and my own art practice - the best way to be sure that studio time is preserved is to have a space that is separate from my apartment. That way I can go to there for specific periods of time and benefit from a spatial shift that then facilitates a mental shift. It is my hope that by the end of the year I’ll be back in that situation, but right now I’m pretty far out of balance.

 Elizabeth Corkery -  The Newest Romantics

Elizabeth Corkery - The Newest Romantics

 Elizabeth Corkery -  Ruin Sequence

Elizabeth Corkery - Ruin Sequence

Is there a new or upcoming project you can share with us? 

I’m in the early stages of working on an exciting new invited artist edition, we will likely be producing it in early summer and it will be with New York-based artist, Amie Cunat who is very talented painter and sculpture. I think it will be the most ambitious and unconventional edition we’ve produced so far. 

Print Club Ltd Editions

 Stephanie Rohlfs -  Untitled 1 , 6-color silkscreen, 15" x 22"

Stephanie Rohlfs - Untitled 1, 6-color silkscreen, 15" x 22"

 Elizabeth Corkery - Two Diamond Gradient, silkscreen, 15" x 22"

Elizabeth Corkery - Two Diamond Gradient, silkscreen, 15" x 22"

 Alyson Fox -  Shape 5 , 1-color silkscreen, 15" x 18.75"

Alyson Fox - Shape 5, 1-color silkscreen, 15" x 18.75"

 Cody Hoyt -  Surface: Oblique Vessel (Projection) , 8-color silkscreen with airbrush, 22" x 28"

Cody Hoyt - Surface: Oblique Vessel (Projection), 8-color silkscreen with airbrush, 22" x 28"