Let's meet... John Dilnot

Posted: Oct 30 2014

We have a chat with one of our favourite printmakers, John Dilnot, based in Sussex, John creates detailed hand screen prints which show his keen interest in the minutiae of bird, plant and insect life. We ask him about his creative background and find out how his grandparents garden has remained a key influence in his work.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background
I have always liked screen printing, because it is bold and direct. I set up screen printing, letterpress and developing and printing black and white photography at home when I was a teenager. I taught myself all these things from books as I didn’t have art at school. They were not always successful, I think it must have been net curtains I used for screen printing mesh so the results were a bit rough!
I studied both graphic design and fine art enjoying a lot of drawing and printmaking on both courses and then going on to study postgraduate printmaking.
What's the 'philosophy' behind the product?
I’m just making something that means something to me and hoping that the work will mean something to others.
Where do you find inspiration?
Ideas come from childhood experiences and inspiration comes from seeing something that triggers off childhood memories.I spent much of my childhood exploring nature in my grandparent's large garden, getting down in the soil and observing in detail!
Where are your products made?
I make all of my own work in my studio. Apart from a few commercially printed cards I make everything myself, boxes, prints, paintings, cards and books.
What is your studio like? 
I dream of a spacious airy studio with plenty of room to move things around. However I do make a lot of different things, I have a lot of printing equipment, a lot of paper stock and stored prints, boxes that I’m working on, and a lot of materials and tools for box making, reference books and lots of things that might come in useful one day. My studio is therefore crammed with stuff!
Describe a typical day in the life of you…
I follow my nose.