Now you too can learn how to silkscreen

Lisette gives everybody a briefing at the start of the workshop. — Pictures by Choo Choy May
Lisette gives everybody a briefing at the start of the workshop. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Usually I would just entertain something like this silk-screening workshop for all of five minutes — yes, I still harbour fantasies of doing something artistic — before dismissing even the mere thought of attending it.

But this time I did it. Just like that. Signed up for something that required drawing.

A big deal for someone who cannot draw. Or as I like to call it: drawing challenged.

So you begin by drawing what you want to silkscreen later.
So you begin by drawing what you want to silkscreen later.

Silkscreening is not something alien to me though. I remember art classes in school back in Ipoh decades ago where we were taught the rudimentaries of silkscreen printing.

Even then, I could not draw and made some ugly brown and yellow patterns on some white fabric. I can still see them in my mind.

But Lisette Scheers, the founder of Nala Designs and head of design agency L.Inc, who is famed for the many, many lovely silkscreened items in her Nala Concept Shop, said the ability to draw was not essential for this workshop.

Next thing you do is trace your drawing directly onto the silkscreen.. (left). Lisette is hands-on helping everybody along (right).
Next thing you do is trace your drawing directly onto the silkscreen.. (left). Lisette is hands-on helping everybody along (right).

In fact, she introduced the series of workshops under W.Inc this year just for that purpose: to allow non-artistic sorts like me to rediscover the fun of drawing and painting.

And she was right... I had an amazing time after a wobbly start. I didn't know what to draw and in the end, I drew what was in front of me: a cup of coffee and my phone.

Later, I added a curry puff because I was thinking of my friend in Singapore who is a bit of a curry puff monster.

Everyone hard at work at the workshop.
Everyone hard at work at the workshop.

Some people came ready with drawings while others drew things that were dear to them.

I won't bore you with a step-by-step recounting of the day but it was so much fun. Lisette showed us what to do, then she let us do it while walking around to help out.

Aided by her team (and daughter Nala... yes, the design business and shop is named after her) we kept good time and finished more or less about the same time.

Lisette's daughter, Nala, helping out at the workshop... the hairdryer is used to help the drying along.
Lisette's daughter, Nala, helping out at the workshop... the hairdryer is used to help the drying along.

In-between we were watered (cool icy drinks) and fed (we had cookies) so it was like a big art party up there.

You silkscreen the cover of a notebook and a small tote bag so you have instant gratification. How cool is that, right?

Instantly all those horrible memories of art classes in school vanished... I felt so accomplished.

The whole thing ends with everyone having a nasi lemak lunch and chatting about what we learned.

The finished tote bags being hung up to dry... that's mine with the curry puff!
The finished tote bags being hung up to dry... that's mine with the curry puff!

Since then, I have also done W.Inc's watercolour workshop... I can paint, who knew?

"Amazing... overwhelming... It is so nice to know that there is a market for such workshops," said Lisette on the response to the workshops so far.

There is a second round of silkscreen workshops this weekend: four sessions over two days. For enquiries or general information, feel free to contact +03 2293 4698 or email [email protected]

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