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"While You Were Away," 2019. Silkscreen print, collage. 12 x 16 in.
"I Took Up Sewing Patches," 2019. Silkscreen print, collage. 12 x 16 in.
"While You Were Away," 2019. Silkscreen print, collage. 12 x 16 in.
"I Took Up Sewing Patches," 2019. Silkscreen print, collage. 12 x 16 in.
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Holly Dirks
Honors, Interdisciplinary Visual Arts

As an artist I am naturally drawn to any medium that encourages me to be outside, true to my California upbringing. Silkscreen printing has become my medium of choice, especially when I can use the sunshine as a tool for exposing my screens. I often experiment with found materials, irregular shapes, and ink splatters, making my backyard the perfect studio.

Over the years spent at the University of Washington, I have dedicated equal amounts of time to my printmaking and design practices. My childhood love of cartoons has stuck with me throughout my life and has led me to pursue a career in illustration and design. Illustration has quickly become a form of escapism, a way to return to a place of imagination and unapologetic silliness.

As I work my way through school and life, I’ve developed meaningful rituals around my creative process that continually bring me back to a quiet place no matter where I am in the world. From journaling, to drawing, to photographing, each step in the process reminds me of how important it is to materialize my thoughts.

I am never more at peace with who I am than when I’m working on projects. The pieces I make reflect the beauty I find in relationships, the questions that I grapple with, and the messiness that comes with being. My pieces are most valuable when in the hands of somebody else. It’s not unusual for me to be found at my kitchen table creating a zine of illustrations or a print to mail to someone I love.

I view art as a practice that gives me the freedom to explore how I feel without judgement. Regardless of circumstance, I return to my sketchbook and I am always brought back to myself.

Holly Dirks is best known for her bold prints and expressive illustrations. She has been a multimedia artist her entire life and continues to create work that investigates art’s ability to build community, bringing us closer to each other and closer to ourselves.

Throughout her time at the University of Washington, Holly quickly fell in love with the printmaking process and has dedicated most of her academic time toward exploring the media. Her naturally illustrative style has shown up in her prints as well as in her graphic design work that she practices outside the studio. Holly has become known for her use of vibrant colors, collaged textures, and lively content.

Whether she is working with clients to build a brand identity or sketching up an illustration for the UW Daily newspaper, Holly is rarely seen without a pencil in hand. She is fiercely dedicated to her craft and to using her creativity to its fullest potential. She currently works as a freelance illustrator and designer in Seattle, Washington.