This Christmas we're delighted to offer 25 visitors to the gallery the opportunity to collect one of these activity packs (completely FREE) designed by artist Victoria Opomu, containing a coloured ink pad, laser-cut wooden print blocks, and a pad of paper for the young artist to explore and create.


You will need:

- Your OUTPUT activity pack
- A damp cloth

1. To cover the wooden blocks in ink, rub them back and forth on the desired colour section in the ink pad - this will have better results than pressing into the ink pad.

2. To transfer the ink to the paper, press the wooden block down hard on the pad for a couple of seconds.

3. Wipe the inky side of the wood block with a damp cloth to prevent colours from mixing into each other.

4. Repeat!

5. Use pens or other art materials to add detail to your wood block prints.

Victoria is a multidisciplinary artist and educator based in Liverpool who frequently hosts workshops and activity sessions for children and adults, produces print-based art works and creative kits.

Website - vatelierstudio.co.uk
Instagram - @v_atelier_studio

These packs can be collected in person from the gallery while stocks last, beginning on December 8th 2022.
When and how did you get into art and exploring your creativity?

At a young age, around 13. I would draw cartoon/comic book characters on repeat. I would hang out with my brother, he had many Marvel comic books. I would read them and create my own characters. One character I remember creating is STAR GIRL who was half-human and half-cat, like the Thundercats. I would draw continuously when I was younger and got praise for my work from family members. It was a way for me to be creative and stress-free. It made me want to continue but I didn't get the family support I wanted to pursue a career in art. I was told “art is not going to pay the bills,” the usual stuff, that I should be a doctor, a solicitor or an engineer.

Did you study art at school/university?

Yes, I studied art at school. It was my favorite subject and English. At Liverpool Community College, I studied Art and Design and 3D Design. Three years worth of learning about different techniques and processes and working on briefs, processing and learning the principles of drawing, painting, printmaking, designing/making 2D/3D products, equipment management, historical research…  In the early stages, it was about bigger-scale 3D projects, theatre-related scenery and fantasy objects.
It was multi-disciplinary for three years and during the last term of the last year, you would specify which sector you would like to focus on. I chose furniture making. I attended the University of Central England, Birmingham to study Furniture Making, very different from art making. It's more practical, solving issues, doing a lot of research, learning about manufacturing, technical drawing, tool management, etc...

I didn't do furniture making in the end, as discovered I was allergic to dust and the majority of the work is London based.  I went back again to Birmingham to learn about jewellery making and use these skills for making and teaching new techniques in my workshops.

How would you describe your art practice - which seems very based in education/workshops, but also experimenting with different kinds of tools and equipment?

In my art practice, I like to challenge myself and then produce a creative workshop from the final outcome or produce a print/product collection.  I like to learn about new creative ways to produce art, especially non-traditional ways. I have painted in the past but was just not happy with just painting on paper/canvas, just got boring after a while. That is why I admire creatives who just paint and don’t do 3D.

At the moment, I am working on block printing using a laser cutter; creating abstract organic shapes hand-drawn or created in Adobe Illustrator. Then laser cut out of acrylic, plywood, or MDF. This is a mixture of drawing/painting, IT configuration, and hands-on with the laser-cut plate when pulling a print. These are the skills I put to use creating the children’s activity pack for OUTPUT.
What kind of emotions/experiences do you hope that your artwork can create for people who see it?

Genuine love for abstract textures, shapes, and colour - happiness, wonderment, nostalgia.

What have been some of your best experiences as an artist?

Working with other creatives whose work I admire. Getting to know other creatives and establishing a bond.  Also, working with Granby Workshop when they won the Turner Prize back in 2015 was a great, epic experience. The World Re:imagined project was wonderful. The young adults I worked with were amazing. Very creative, enthusiastic, and just clever with their depictions of the subject matter of black slavery contribution, the black community as a whole, imagining another world where we are equal, treated fairly, etc... It was an eye-opening project and informs me that still today, it is important to know about black history and not just the slavery parts. The parts of black history before slavery that is forgotten... the Kings and Queens before Slavery, the scientists, etc...
What are some of the best experiences you have had in Liverpool as a gallery visitor / any favorite exhibitions or gallery spaces etc?

One of my best experiences was seeing Jackson Pollock's work at The Tate. I got a closer look at his famous splatter paintings and saw other styles of work, like his work on Mulberry paper, which I never knew about. Great work!
What are your favourite artists or artworks?

I have many favourite artists, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Frida Kahlo, Kara Walker, Matisse, and Picasso, to name a few. At the moment, it's Matisse's work that is my favourite. The main reason is because of my creative workshop, 'Monoprint like Matisse' - using mono print to create Matisse-inspired botanical collages.
What do you see as more important: the experience of creating art or the final product?

Definitely the experience of creating art. You grow, learn, and make mistakes during the creation process. That is what makes you a better artist. The final outcome is important too. Being able to achieve and produce by hand, an idea from your head and then making it into a 3D object, is a wonderful and beautiful thing. Not to be taken for granted.
What are your hopes/ambitions as an artist?

My ambition is to secure more tools and teach more workshops through an online learning platform this time. I prefer teaching in person but it's very expensive over time. At least I will be stationary in my studio space. With easy access to my tools and equipment.

Even though I have been avoiding creating videos, it seems to be the only way to get views on your work. Playing the social media game can be very tiresome and sometimes a deterrent. On the other hand, it can be great. Working on art content for video consumption takes a lot of planning and a lot of learning too.