Artist Q&A with Steph Mastoris

"The key things in any creative process are to believe in oneself and keep doing what you know you have to do".

Steph Mastoris is a typographic artist who uses traditional letterpress techniques. His work is concerned with the power and elegance of letter and word forms. He is interested in using letterpress printing to explore the subtleties of language where punctuation, form and layout can change or create ambiguities of meaning. At its simplest the aesthetics and tonal impact of hand-printed wood type can be radically altered by enlarging it several hundred per cent.

More subtly, Steph uses small typographic triptychs to draw attention to the three-dimensional quality of language that arises when similar-sounding words and the different silences between them are exhibited in plain, hand-printed type.


R&J: What are you working on at the moment?


During the pandemic I am fascinated by the new terms and phrases that become widespread almost every week, so I am trying to use some of these in some of my typeworks. I am also thinking about how to crystalise the narratives of old folk-ballads into two or three of the phrases repeatedly found in these texts.

Images L-R: Covid19 Series (No.11) and Music & Dance series. 2021


Are you an artist who prefers solitude or togetherness to thrive? Or do you need a balance of both? Have events over the past year and ongoing situation affected you? How have you remained positive?