Hi there. My name is Nicola Torode and I’m a South Londoner, born and bred. I’m mum to an exuberant toddler with a full time, full-on job in the publishing industry where I specialise in the production of children’s books, with a focus on novelty format development and product safety.
More years ago that I care to admit to I studied Film and American studies at UEA in Norwich, where I learnt a lot about drinking on a budget and how to manhandle plasticine – but not a huge amount about illustration, though I sketched and painted throughout that part of my life. I spent a year studying in the US at SUNY Plattsburgh where I took some inspirational classes in photography and print making and my love of screen printing was born. I love the challenge of taking a design and working out how, technically, I can transfer that image into block colours and separate screens to come up with a final repeatable image.
All of my printing is done at home in the kitchen using a hodge podge collection of screens, archival papers and water based inks. I am the proud owner of UV exposure unit purchased off of eBay from the most splendid and helpful gent in Yorkshire – who was retiring and getting rid of his kit. I used money that my grandmother left for me for this purchase and I very much hope that she would approve. Everything in the kitchen gets covered in ink on a printing day and there isn’t enough space to dry stuff – but that just adds to the challenge and makes the end result even more exciting. Screen printing is a constant learning curve. Each print has its own slightly unique appearance – tiny differences that result from the pressure on the squeegee. All entirely intentional – right?
I believe that illustrations can tell stories and my hope is to create characters and worlds that can bring those stories to life. Although I would be satisfied just raising a smile from my son when he looks at my pictures.
I’m open to collaborations and interested in taking commissions and in licensing. Please do get in touch!
I love a good bear…even the hipster ones!
This is a selection of the designs I’ve used to create hand pulled screen prints.
I enjoy illustrating in a number of different mediums. Gouache, watercolour and 0.05mm archival fine liner are particular favourites.
Not quite a jar of sweets…
Just a bunch of owls hanging out on a branch.
I hand carve each lino plate (I like to use a mixture of Essdee Softcut and the more traditional canvas backed lino) using Pfeil tools. I love the process of carving, but the odd plaster is needed when I’m over enthusiastic and manage to slice myself instead of the lino!