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About

Hellooo, I'm Em, I'm a Printmaker and Tattoo Artist based in the Northeast of England.  I go by the pseudonym Lanabagu as it's a mashup of my pets' names; Luna, Basil, & Naga.  They're my raison d'etre, so it seems fitting to have them as a constant reminder of why I do what I do; and how I got to be where I am.

I studied ED Fine Art at The Northern School of Art, completed my BA in Illustration at Leeds Arts University, and I'm currently working towards my MA in Fine Art Printmaking.

The first time I ever used a printing technique was in college, in the form of a monoprint process which involved thinly scraping oil paints onto the back of a piece of printer paper.  It's a technique I still occasionally use to this day.

I dabbled in various print processes, but it wasn't until I discovered screen printing at uni that I knew I'd found the one.

Throughout my time at university I'd consistently struggled with being punctual to my classes.  Not for lack of care or want, I think my mental health was pretty out of shape.  But less about that; during my second year at LAU, I discovered screen printing.  One of the vacuum beds had less issues than the others :') which meant in order for me to get my favourite vacuum bed every single day, I had to be up at the crack of dawn to get in first.

And just like that I knew what my passion was, I knew I was a printmaker.

Once I graduated I no longer had access to these facilities; I tried various creative ventures; a brief stint in sign writing, I thought I'd be a makeup artist at one point, I even started a small business making vegan cheesecakes.

It dawned on me that I was productively procrastinating.  As much as I enjoyed all of these little side quests, I was veering too far from my main storyline, which had always been to become a tattoo artist.  I began drawing and painting bits and bobs,
and then the pandemic hit.

My dad had built me a press from a car jack and some plywood and I found myself with a load of free time on my hands.  So I started making lino prints.  It was far more accessible than other forms of printing I'd tried in the past, and I could treat it in the clean shapely way I'd treated screen prints before.

A couple people asked me if I was going to sell them, and the rest is history!  I've tried to make my designs increasingly more challenging as I've gone along.  I've also gradually improved my tools as I've been able to.  I now work with an antique book press called Guinevere, although my car jack press still lives in my studio and I admire it every day.

I then finally got my apprenticeship in tattooing.  My first love. I've now been tattooing for 2 years and I'm still figuring out the balance between being a tattoo artist and a printmaker whilst *trying* not to overwork myself.

I'll upload more photos to this page when I've figured out how to <3