Darren Van der merwe

Print Studio Coordinator and Master Priner

  • LevelMid Level
  • LocationLondon, United Kingdom
  • AvailabilityLocked Pro Plan feature
  • ProfessionsArtist - Studio Manager - Project Manager

About me

Studio coordinator and professional artist with 7+ years experience in print studio management, professional Fine Art production and teaching in the independent charity and tertiary education industry. Detail-oriented and strategic thinker skilled in establishing, maintaining and optimising operational structures and programs while achieving excellence in a multi-faceted creative service- and product delivery environment My current research as a Fine Artist and Master Printer is in early photographic printing techniques and curatorial practice. I am particularly interested in dustgrain copperplate gravure (circa 1860) and its contemporary counterpart photopolymer for intaglio as well as other lens-based modes of production. My other research interests include early photographic printing, chemistry and the physics of light, curating, gender studies, film, poetics of human experience and psychology, physical properties of objects and materials.

Locked Pro Plan feature


  • Visual Arts
  • Print Design
  • Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Fine Art
  • Design
  • Excel
  • Illustrator
  • Indesign
  • Office
  • Photoshop
  • Word
  • Academic Writing
  • Academic Research
  • Academic Editing
  • Studio Management
  • Creative Projects
  • Print Production
  • Coordinating Teams

Companies I’ve worked with

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  • V


    • L

      London Print Studio

      • U

        University of Stellenbosch


        Work history


        Studio Coordinator

        London Print Studio

        Jun 2015
        • London, United Kingdom
        • Full Time
        • londonprintstudio is an independent charity, funded by Arts Council England, to provide professional support and production services to artists and imaginatively engage the public in printmaking and the graphic arts. • Management, coordination and delivery of core service provision and resources at LPS. • Strategic planning, development and coordinating implementation of the print studio program and activities to ensure efficient and effective use of resources to a consistently high level of excellence in accordance with londonprintstudio’s Business Plan, Cultural Diversity Action Plan and key funder requirements. • Management and monitoring of studio accounts, budgets, studio usage trends and key performance indexes to ensure a responsive studio program. Over the past 3 financial years the income performance, technical excellence and overall studio performance has shown a marked increase. • • Increased the efficiently and smooth running of studio through regular maintenance and upgrades to studio equipment, facilities and operational procedures. This resulted in increased customer satisfaction and uptake of new customers (based studio surveys), increased technical service offering and improved quality of work, establishing the studio as one of the leading printmaking facilities in London. • Management, coordination and scheduling of part-time and freelance staff. • Organising and maintaining administrative and filing systems, stock control, supply and equipment ordering and studio maintenance, as well as maintaining records of material use and services provided across a multi-functioning facility. • Lead role in the set up and implementation of a new stock control and inventory system used across the entire organization. This involved reviewing and redesigning material and service sales and stock systems to integrate into new software and improve workflow. • • Management and overseeing studio projects, commissions, editions and print publication for professional artists and organisations as the master printer. This includes providing cost estimates for projects, planning and implementation of project briefs and timelines, and ensuring effective delivery of professional quality products within budgets and deadlines. • Developing and delivering demonstrations, short courses and training for groups and individuals in printmaking and drawing. This includes the production of training materials, costing and budgeting and the maintenance of a high standard of course delivery by freelance practitioners. • Mentoring of artists from conceptualization through to production and display often requiring a flexible and experimental approach to the creative and technical process in order to realise a broad range of artistic goals. • Primary trainer in the LPS Traineeship (intern) program. This includes the interviewing, hiring and planning of a 6-month rotational training program structured around the daily running and technical services of the studio. • • Lead curator for 3 substantial group exhibitions at LPS as well as provided curatorial consultation and installation assistance on many exhibitions. Over the past 2 years the strategically essential annual Summer Members Exhibition has been exceedingly well received having grown in number of applications, excellence and prestige amongst members since my involvement. • Taking responsibility for health & safety, COSSH, ongoing risk assessment and inductions in the print studio in keeping with company and best professional practices within Fine Art printmaking. • Liaising with londonprintstudio staff members, customers, and external suppliers, promoting the range of goods and services and being actively available to a wide range of clients, visitors and existing customers • Providing operational and technical support to the digital (large format) printing facility at LPS. • Maintaining a professional interest and engagement with new developments in the fields of printmaking and the graphic arts as well and continuing personal Fine Art production, research and exhibitions.


        Designer, Copywriter and Researcher


        Feb 2015 - May 2015
        • London, United Kingdom
        • Freelance
        • • Research, raw data collection, user experience mapping, marketing personas research • Data Entry, interpretation and collation of research and raw data • Design, layout and typography • Designing content structure and layout to position a destination lodge brand within the travel and tourism market in South Africa. • Uploading and editing and managing content library through Wordpress. • Research, writing and editing copy to market and promote the company.


        Fine Arts, Graphic Design and Visual Studies Lecturer

        University of Stellenbosch

        Jan 2011 - Dec 2014
        • Stellenbosch, South Africa
        • Freelance
        • • Managed and supported the technical print studios. Implemented upgrade plans to improve the functionality, productivity, standard and safety of the studios and maintained equipment and stocks. • Implemented new studio working methodologies and programs based on research and analysis in contemporary print practice and safety. • Studio induction, safe practice and studio procedures and technical training for all new students. • Studio supervision and technical demonstrations and assistance for all print processes through one-on-one collaboration with artists and students. • Restructured and developed a new foundation year film studies course in Visual Studies, which was received with overwhelming enthusiasm from both staff and students. I was subsequently offered the opportunity to present the third year Post-Colonial and Orientalism studies course with equal success • Liaised and collaborated with senior staff. Developed and delivered new curricula and strategic plans for all streams of undergraduate printmaking courses. This included applied print for Graphic Design, which established Stellenbosch University Print division as a leading training facility in the country. • Sought after lead lecturer for the CCIBA (Centre for Comic Illustration & Book Arts) workshops in etching. • Coordinator of the first community-based workshop for high school scholars at the William Humphries Art Gallery Print Studio in Kimberley. • As Production Assistance, created and coordinated two collaborative print portfolios: “Parting Glass” (2014) and “Pre-Pri” (2013). This included overseeing the team’s production of artwork across different print and photographic processes to tight deadlines. • Produced catalogues, posters and handouts for Fine Art exhibitions for leading South African artists. • Assisted in the planning, curation and installation of various group and solo exhibitions • Prepared the typesetting, layout and ensure students academic theses were prepared for printing. • Signed-off lithographic and digital proofs, then liaised and negotiated with commercial printers to produce catalogue and exhibition material. • Supervised research articles and essays for Graphic Design and Fine arts students. This included proofreading, editing, checking logical arguments, ensuring a consistency of style and tone. • Critical assessor of practical and theory examinations on an undergraduate level • Supported and assisted senior staff in calendar management, art collection documentation and cataloging and student administration



        Fine Arts and Printmaking

        University of Cape Town

        Feb 2011 - May 2013
        • Cape Town, South Africa
        • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) with distinction Dissertation: The Printer's Grey: Alchemy, Ritual and Performance in Fine Art Printmaking Positioned within the fine arts practice of printmaking, The Printer’s Grey is an investigation of the liminal, in-between processes of printmaking in terms of alchemy and ritual through the figure of the printmaker. In drawing attention to the in-between processes during the act of making the artist asserts both its instrumental role in the creation of the print as well as the importance of the process as a site of thinking through the visual. Specifically in relation to printmaking, The Printer’s Grey speaks to and seeks to draw into the gallery space aspects of the in-studio process of making a print – aspects which often remain hidden when viewing a print. The Printer’s Grey is therefore a remediation and reaffirmation of the aura of the printed artwork by drawing attention to the labour, skill and complex thinking processes vested in the making of a print as an autonomous creative act.


        Feb 2007 - Dec 2010
        • Stellenbosch, South Africa
        • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (BAVA), cum laude