Esther McManus on her work and Lamb’s Conduit Street exhibitions.


Who’ s this?


My name is Esther McManus, and I am a screenprinter who draws comics. I print them and bind them too, sometimes. I’m currently working on a large scale comic called ‘The Elder’ and I produce prints and zines with Adam Ferner, often fairly mystical in nature. I will be bringing a selection of prints, comics and zines to the Alternative Press Fair, and am also exhibiting at the exhibitions on Lambs Conduit Street.


What’s happening on Lamb’s Conduit Street?


Thirteen comics artists are exhibiting work in 11 shops on Lamb’s Conduit Street – a stone’s throw from the fair’s venue Conway Hall. It feels like a lovely way to get people excited in the build-up to the festival, and has been a great way to engage with the various artists and shops, and work together on something exciting. On Thursday 2nd there will be a private view evening, with many of the shops staying open until 9 or so (the pubs are obviously open later!) Each artist is hosting their own private view, so there should be quite a vibrant atmosphere down there. We hope to have some drawing events and activities too – I will be in The Perseverance doing a collaborative drawing activity, which I will then screenprint the results of in time for the Alternative Press Fair on the 4th.


How did you get involved?


I was very kindly approached by Tanya Meditzky, who has organised these exhibitions.  It’s been an amazing feat by here to get us all together, and arrange these collaborations with the various shops, it’s been pretty inspirational.  And I think it’s really great to see this work in non-traditional venues, which start engaging with the local area and generating a feeling that something exciting is happening.  It was a pleasure to print a poster for the event, I really want people to come down and see how much fun it is!


How did you get started in self publishing?


I learnt to screenprint when I was studying, and I loved the freedom it gave me to create finished objects and booklets.  As I’m a printmaker, I really like being self-sufficient in creating the final outcome of my work – I like being in control of the colours, paper stocks and binding.  I enjoy the hands-on, printing and making side of books as well as the drawing side, so self-publishing seemed like an inevitable way for me to get my work out there.


What inspires your work?


My drawings are often inspired by being outside in forests or in vegetable gardens – I love foliage and trees and vegetables. I also often want to draw people and creatures that I like, and create the kinds of characters that I would like to encounter as I walk through the forest. My work is often driven by a desire to tell stories, which is why I like comics and zines so much.


What would you say to anyone thinking about coming to the event?


I would tell them to come along, and bring a pen.  There is going to be so much great work on display, and it’s so rare that this number of different artists come together in this way.    




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