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Bill Voigt

Gyotaku Artist

Gyotaku is a Japanese artform developed in the early 1800s as a method to record a fisherman's catch. There are two methods of gyotaku, direct and indirect. In the direct method, ink is applied directly to the fish, and then paper or fabric is applied to the fish, which is rubbed to create a mirror image. I specialize in the indirect method, where paper or fabric is attached to a fish, and layers of ink colors are applied to the fabric. The inks catch the texture of the scales and spines of the underlying fish. It is the job of the artist to manage the colors of the print. When correctly applied, the inks never touch the fish. Fish make ideal subjects for printing. Most are bi-laterally flattened, they have a variety of scale textures, and diversity of colors, patterns, shapes and sizes. I get most of my subjects from local fish markets, or donations from my fisherman friends. ​I also accept comissions if you have a fresh fish to print.


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