Mitsa of Cuts and Sketches fame

Hey there! I’m Mitsa, the maker hidden behind Cuts and Sketches. I’m based in France, near Paris.

I’ve drawn all my life and discovered linocut less than two years ago. It was a revelation! I’m self-taught, but thanks to the amazing printmaking community on Instagram, I’ve learned a lot these past months and I’m ever so grateful. I still feel like a true beginner, so when Sunbul asked if I was interested in writing an essay, a huge imposter syndrome kicked in. But I decided to fight it, and here we are!

Printmaking

Carving blocks has some kind of meditative effect on me. Linocut has been very therapeutic this past year and helped me make it through the lockdowns, curfew and some other personal issues (including three knee surgeries).

I’m still at the beginning of my linocut journey. The world outside my home is complicated enough, so I mainly draw and print subjects that make me feel good and that are safe enough to be in a home with kids.

These are my most personal prints, the ones I’m the most proud of.

I have this thing with clouds, I believe they all do have a silver lining…

…and a lot of characters, sometimes it’s easier to get literal:

Liban

And finally (or to begin with!), I was born in Lebanon and my family moved to France when I was two. Although I grew up in France, I’m still very attached to Lebanon. I started working on this print last July, while Lebanon was already stuck in a never-ending economic and social crisis. Then there was the blast, on August 4th, which was truly heartbreaking. I still hope this magical country will some day be as peaceful and beautiful as it once was.

Mon Liban

I’ve carved two versions, one bigger block on floor lino and a smaller with less details on softcut. In the centre there’s the majestic Lebanese cedar, standing tall and proud against raging waves. The patterns in the corner and in the background are inspired by mosaics of the Beiteddine Palace, a 19th century Lebanese palace I had the chance to visit 20 years ago.

Beiteddine palace fountain, which inspired the background and corner patterns

Preparatory sketching for the background pattern

Mon Liban, printed on one of Khalil Gibran’s poem

Tiny Mon Liban linoblock

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