In 2003 Mark embarked on a journey to go out on his own & start a business. His business is screen printing and Boy! does he know his business! His passion for the craft is estimable.
It’s something he’s been working on ever since he left high school in the early 90s. He’s worked for companies such as Billabong & Signature Prints and currently not only does he screen print & design for but also runs Publisher Textiles & Papers out of their Leichhardt (Sydney) warehouse & showroom.
And if you can’t tell, I’m a little bit in awe! As a screen printer, textile designer & new business owner myself the longevity of Marks’ hand screen printing operation is inspiring. It’s a testament not only to his business savvy but also says something about the man himself.
So I rocked up for the interview earlier this week with my 4 year old in tow … feeling a little nervous (as most mothers would be mixing work with a toddler). Turns out I needn’t have worried. This is a family orientated operation with his partner Stephanie & their 11 month old son Eric helping out in the showroom. Kids are welcome in the showroom & the whole place is chilled & down-to-earth. So why wouldn’t anyone want to do business with him?
My interview with Mark was more of a conversation … one that I could have indulged in for a few more hours … talking technical, talking about the print industry, design, kids & everything in between. However there’s something to be said for restraint. Here it is in compact …
Why is hand screen printing in demand these days?
Screen printing is an artisan skill and those hand skills are sort after because of the potential for innovation. Machine printed textiles although they are efficient are limited in what the can do.
How did you come to textiles and printing?
At school I was really into photography but after leaving school I got a job at Signature Prints & it all started from there.
What were you doing directly before you Publisher Textiles?
I was working at Signature Prints as a screen printer again after a stint at Billabong in QLD.
What inspires your aesthetic?
Everyday life. I’ve worked with photos of building facades, the idea that babies swaddling looks like rope, even my nana’s old wallpaper from the 60s as inspiration for my designs.
Who inspires you? Why?
Escher! He was a nut bag of the repeat! William Morris, Florence Broadhurst ... not only because of her work but also her business sense. Alexander McQueen for his innovative way of using sculptural elements & methods of applying paint to his garments.
Also the indigenous mobs up north such as Modern Murri www.modernmurri.com & Gaawaa Miyay www.gaawaamiyay.com
What is your proudest career achievement?
We’re still here! After all this time we’re still here.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever had to do? In life, work, anywhere?
People often think that to be brave is to do as much as possible, to go for it and keep on top of everything but for me, especially in this last week, I’ve been challenged by doing nothing. Slowing things down & letting go a little has been extremely hard but the bravest thing I’ve had to do.
What’s your expert opinion on decorating with prints? What 1 tip would you give readers?
Don’t be scared of prints! Try new things! Do what you’re comfortable with & keep on changing. Change is good!
A big thank you to Mark & Steph for giving their time for this interview ... it was a big & challenging week for their family, so their generosity is very much appreciated!
Publisher Textiles & Papers is based in Leichhardt, Sydney providing a hand screen printing service, hand printed textiles by the meter, hand printed wallpaper, clothing & furnishings. Contact them via the links below or head over to their very cool showroom.
* Images supplied by Publisher Textiles