As a print-maker with a bias towards wood engraving, I have a strong admiration for this tradition and the many fine engravers it produced since Bewick’s time in the 1700s.
Not long ago I finished seven years at the Yukon School of Visual Arts (Yukonsova.ca) where I supported our students, faculty and staff under the guise of Studio Technician. Once in a while, I got to give a talk on print-making. Or an instructor will bring a class over to my studio for some show & tell.
Lucky me! I had a resident art instructor living in my house while growing up, my father Ilgvars Steins. He graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1959 winning the Lieutenant General’s Award for excellence in drawing and painting. He enjoyed a very long and productive career. He left our world to take up residency beyond the sun – according to ancient Latvian belief – in November of 2011, on my birthday – ever the joker!
I attended a special 5-year course at a high school in Ottawa that prepared art students for the world of commercial art or college. A very cool program that produced quite a few career artists. I loved lettering class where we learned to draw perfect fonts by hand using French curves, lining tools, quills and India ink.
One instructor had a mantra that stuck with me; “Simplicity, unity and harmony: the elements of good design.”
Unlike my fellow students who went on to various art colleges, I went headlong into the world of commercial art beginning a career with a major ad agency in Toronto at the tender age of 18.