Studio Visit: Glasgow risograph outfit RISOTTO
Set up in 2012 by Glasgow School of Art graduate Gabriella Marcella, RISOTTO have built strong connections across a wide variety of industries locally and internationally, creating bespoke riso prints for bands such as Franz Ferdinand.
A designer in her own right, Gabriella also offers creative services to clients, creating an energetic blend of striking pattern and vibrant spot colours to give her prints a lustrous tactility .
Intrigued about the process of starting up a studio such as RISOTTO, we caught up with Gabriella to find out more about the pitfalls of launching a creative business and her hopes for the future.
Hi Gabriella – to give us an idea of day-to-day life in RISOTTO Studio, can you tell us what you are working on right now?
It’s always a medley of colourful things! Currently we have an illustrators’ comic going to press, planning for the new 2016 product collection and doing some album artwork for a new label release.
How is your time split between designing and printing? Is it difficult to get a balance between the two right?
I would like to say 50/50 but it varies so much! It’s hard to predict how busy the studio will be as most work comes in last minute, and the studio is geared up to work that way.
When were you first introduced to Risograph printing? And how did the idea of starting your own studio come to you?
I had my first shot on a Risograph whilst studying in New York, and fell in love with the process pretty quickly. From here I started obsessing over zines, and publishers like Nieves books. Coming back to Glasgow, I got myself a Riso to work on personal projects, and it all grew from there..printing for friends, then local bands and bars to making it official and setting up shop.
Can you tell us a bit more about what attracts you to this particular printing method?
Risograph printing has been my weapon of choice for a while now, hence having the urge to launch RISOTTO. I found the speed and unpredictability of the printer fascinating.
Riso printers never behave quite how you expect – these happy accidents and experimentating with colour shaped my practice.
You studied at Glasgow School of Art. How did this prepare you for starting your own studio?
Whats great about art school is that you have the freedom to explore any avenue of design that you want. Which is what led me to explore print and publishing so widely in the first place. It doesn’t prepare you to run your own business though, and the last few years have been interesting!
I’m still making mistakes, learning, working ridiculous hours, but slowly paving my way to my dream job.
What were your biggest hurdles in starting up a studio?
Getting my head round the business side of things. Balancing the fun work with no pay, with the work that pays the rent is a real test.
What inspires you and your practise?
New materials, interesting people, and generally – big colourful things.
What’s next for RISOTTO? Can you tell us about your future plans?
Currently I’m working on an apparel collection that hopes to launch in 2016, with lots of matching, playful components. Hopefully we will continue to print exciting projects here in Glasgow. The dream is to have a second mini print shop that’s public facing, so we can meet more people and run more workshops. So we shall see!