Karl Morgan lives in Llanelli, south Wales and prints under the moniker of Facing West Prints. By day he’s an Exhibitions Officer at Swansea Museum, by night he escapes to his summer house studio at the bottom of his garden and immerses himself in his passion for print. Self-taught, he traded his years of graphic design experience for something a bit more ‘hands on’. His images are influenced by his passion for pop culture, music & literary heroes and Welsh language & culture.
One of his loves is collaborating with musicians on album artwork.
My first taste of printmaking came in secondary school art class with some etchings I did, then nothing for 25 odd years. It stayed with me though - I guess life got in the way. My passion for linocut really got underway for sure during the Covid 19 pandemic. I guess it was a real time of reflection and it was like a little world to escape to. I think I was doing a print a day at one point, totally obsessed.
I’m really interested in the combination of image and type. My graphic design background helps a lot with composition. I am inspired by the work of The Poster Workshop 68-71 and the work of fellow Wales-based printmaker Paul Peter Piech.
The print community on Instagram has been a huge source of encouragement and the Pressing Matters magazine has been a huge source of inspiration.
Hands down, Speedball Block Printing Ink (Water Soluble). I experimented with a few inks, but this product has been a game changer. I’m very messy, so oil-based was never an option. This ink is totally reliable, I like to hand burnish my prints to get different levels of coverage – I love the fact this product dries so quickly and I’m not averse to using different levels of dryness on my blocks to get differing effects. It's highly economic and goes a long way. I regularly recommend Speedball products to anyone that asks my advice.