This month we spoke to Mareike Besch of Studio MB for our next Meet The Forgers’ story, designed to showcase the community of creative businesses taking part in our Forge programme.

Leaning on her skills and knowledge of traditional Japanese woodblock printing, Studio MB is an art and design studio that works with self initiated and commissioned pieces. Read on to find out what inspires Mareike and how she came to apply to join the Forge programme. 

Tell us about your business 

Mareike Besch is an art & design studio, leaning on her skills and knowledge of traditional Japanese woodblock printing, founded in 2018. 

Studio MB began with the inspiration to move the art of printing beyond its borders and incorporate its elements into the space of decorative design. Through experimentation with the traditional printing technique, and digitalisation of the unique, handmade print, a design can be transferred onto numerous surfaces and into a different scale. 

With a background in drawing and multimedia design, I offer a wide range of skills and abilities. 

When did you set it up and why? 

in 2018. In my mind, the step had to be done so that I start to commit fully. Even though I still have my part-time job to make a living. 

 Why Forge? what urged you to apply? 

My friend sent me the link and made me aware. Getting help with the business side of it is much needed. Plus I find the fact to be connected to the local community very comforting. Walthamstow is very particular and I feel the possibility to find likeminded people is high. 

What are the challenges and opportunities that your business are currently facing during the pandemic? 

Nothing much changed, as I currently print from home. 

The 2 shops that I sell my prints are closed. With more time on my hand (without my part-time job), I felt lucky to think a lot about the business and get more organised. However, I have to admit that I did not do as much artwork as I wanted to.  

How important is connecting with other businesses to you? 

It is key to what I want with my art&design business. I would like to collaborate with interior designer, textile designers to adapt my designs/prints to their needs. I would like to create bespoke designs working to commissions. 

What kinds of businesses or individuals would like to connect with through Forge? 

Designers, such as interior and textile designers. Having a background in multimedia-design I feel that I can contribute to various design outputs feeding my unique take on Japanese woodblock-inspired aesthetic.

Tell us something we might not know about you

I am also writing a blog about traditional crafts. Its called Craftsmanship Souland I am very passioned about it. In combination, Japanese woodblock printing and the blog, make very much sense to me and I hope it will be inevitable to others in the near future. 

What inspires you? 

Currently, podcasts and Instagram TV inspire me a lot. People are sharing so much online, it is amazing. 

Studio MB join the Forge community as part of the fourth and final edition, Cohort 4.