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Day in the Life - Kaylene Alder

Day in the LifeKate Marsden

Another day in the life post for you today, and another member of team Just A Card! Introducing illustrator, screen printer and all round lovely person, Kaylene Alder...

The Sea screen print – Photo by Yeshen Venema

The Sea screen print – Photo by Yeshen Venema

It’s a printing day today! 

I wake up at 6:00am to my 8 month old, Nora, gurgling in the next room.  I get us breakfast while my husband, Mark, makes me the first of many coffees. We both have toast, eggs and figs this morning.  I shower, get us both dressed and pass Nora to Mark so I can grab the things I need from my home studio and run out the door.  The studio is a bit sparse at the moment, as we moved recently, but I’m getting it together a little at a time.

Home studio

Home studio

I catch the bus to Peckham – it’s a longish ride – about 45 minutes so I listen to music (Today it’s Everything Everything) while I return emails and do some social media bits. 

Small White Elephant makes a mean flat white so I stop there as I walk from the bus to Sonsoles Print Studio.

  Sonsoles Print Studio

  Sonsoles Print Studio

Once I arrive, I have a quick chat and catch up with the lovely Soni, who runs the studio, and then I get down to business.  Today I’m printing some postcards that I sell in packs at markets and in my Etsy shop – believe it or not, I’m gearing up for Christmas!  I expose my screens and set everything up ready to go.  Then I take a little break for more chats and to check my phone and have some water.  I’ve learned the hard way that screen printing requires my full attention and I’m a little sleep deprived these days so I have to triple check everything.

Getting inky

Getting inky

Once I’m printing, everything moves pretty quickly and I get into a kind of ‘zone’.  It’s a magical process to be able to reproduce your own drawings almost exactly in such a visceral way and I love it!  The printing goes smoothly and I even coerce one of my fellow printmakers to take a few snaps of me in action.  I’ll print the boxes for the packs next week.  I take the cards across the lot to the print finishers with the industrial guillotine – it is super handy having them there and saves me loads of time (and swearing) with a scalpel.

Freshly chopped

Freshly chopped

Back on the bus to Penge – more music / emails, catching up with the news from the Brixton Design Trail where I have some huge illustrations in the street gallery and replying to requests for possible commissions.

I meet Mark and Nora for an afternoon coffee at Alexandra Nurseries – my favourite spot in Penge.  We go for a stroll around Crystal Palace Park, say hello to the dinosaurs and then head home to get Nora bathed and ready for bed.  She’s asleep by 7pm and we have a quick dinner before I retire to my studio to work digitally on a condensed version of the Brixton artwork that I’m planning to print and sell online and in a local gallery, Studio 73, that has some of my other work.

Alexandra Nurseries

Alexandra Nurseries

I add a few things to the ‘to do’ list I keep on my phone – it never seems to get shorter! I check social media once more before bed, making sure I’ve done a daily tweet about the Just a Card campaign as I’m part of their support team.  I finally fall into bed at 11pm, head buzzing with new projects and feeling happy to have ink under my nails.

Stranger screen print – Photo Yeshen Venema

Stranger screen print – Photo Yeshen Venema

Find out more about Kaylene on her Website
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Etsy Shop