Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Popped up, popped in and popped out.

So it seems like I can only manage to blog once a month currently. I was, very briefly on top of everything - for a day, and by on top of everything, I just mean that I knew what was going on. But somehow now, I have two commissions in discussion, 4 print orders, and messages coming in as I have put my left over pop up shop items up for sale on facebook. I am on top of my architecture work though, just, and on top of my admin, kind of, and I think 'real life' is in check at the moment. So I think that means I am vaguely organised.

Busy, busy! It all makes rather a contrast with when I first started out.

Incidentally, I meant to share on here more information about my London pop up shop. Unfortunately it was only up for a week and has already been and gone. In between working, manning the shop and getting my stock ready I seemed to have slightly failed the marketing test! Nonetheless it wasn't a complete flop, but nor was it a soaring success. I shared the shop with 3 other friends - a photographer and two jewellers, so we had a pretty good variety of stock, the shop, in fact, looked pretty good. the downside was the lack of footfall, although what footfall we had had a good rate of purchase.


I think I learnt some valuable lessons though:

  1. Choose where you locate carefully, I don't think the area we were in was particularly suited to my style of work.
  2. Price is important. I was told too many times that I was selling everything too cheaply. 
  3. Marketing is everything.
  4. Be gregarious - I need to be more willing to talk about my work and sell my ideas. 
  5. Local is better. It would have been much easier for me to get people in my local area to visit my shop and it would also have been considerably easier not to have taken my stock (by foot!) into London.
  6. Music! Have music on in the background to avoid 'rushing in and rushing out shop syndrome'! 
  7. Do some fake browsing. People are always more likely to come in if it looks like there are already people in the shop. 

So the jury is out currently on whether I will do another one of these or not. There is a shop in Maidenhead that might sell some of my stock so that seems like a good avenue to explore to start with. It also seems, art wise, that a personal exhibition may be more successful than a shop, at least whilst I am trying to become a 'known' entity.

Marketing is tough.


Friday, 23 June 2017

Exhibition Review.

It has been one month since I last blogged, and so much has happened within that month that I literally don't know where to start. I seem to have been busy on all fronts and have work, and art and commitments coming in from all sides. I am at that point where I am juggling 20 balls and I have thrown them all up too high. I am currently looking up at the sky wondering a) where all the balls have gone and b) where and when they will fall and if I will have enough time to catch them.

All answers are currently debatable.

But lets start with a review of my exhibition on the Isle of Wight. Take down day was on Tuesday the 5th of June. The results are as follows. 1 painting sold before the exhibition opens. 2 sold, including my largest sale to date, during the exhibition, various business cards taken, 1 commission enquiry in progress. Then somewhat impressively, 8 paintings sold after take down. 20 paintings went to the Island and only 9 returned. That seems pretty good and has afforded me some extra room in my house, which is just as well as I have been ordering lots of stock in for my London pop up shop, but more about that later.

So all in all, as well as the comments and the interest generated by my work whilst it was up, things seem pretty positive and successful. I was, in fact, far more successful than I would either have imagined or dreamed. I am hoping for a similar response to my pop up shop, but this is a different entity and only up for one week, so it will be difficult to generate as much interest or sales I would presume. I have a much greater variety of items on show though - cups, cards, cushions, prints, paintings, bags.....

That is another good thing that has happened over the last month - I have found a good place to source my mounted prints. It requires some assembly on my part but not to any great degree. It seems like everything is coming together. I just need to find some more places to exhibit and/or sell my art.

I guess I had better put that on my to do list.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Manchester

I am not sure where the last few weeks have gone. Time flies far too fast sometimes.

I was going to do an art post of some description today but I am distracted. Distracted by Manchester and the atrocities that happened last night. The world descends into madness when it becomes acceptable to target children. Destabilising society by attacking the vulnerable, on what must have been, for many of them, the highlight of the year, if not their young lives, to be so close to Ariana Grande and experience big music in a big arena for the first time, second time, whatever time.

Humanity is a strange thing, one where some people think cows are sacred, where some people hunt, some people are vegetarians, some people prefer animals over humans, some prefer ideals over life, some think they are better than others, some murder for martyrdom. Footballers are paid millions, nurses paid very little, cuts here, cuts there, greed, greed, greed.

Everything is all wrong, and everything is all right. People being heroes in catastrophes, doing good, remembering where their hearts are and letting them shout. Shout louder than the people with skewed perspectives and strange, painful and destructive ideas. And that is more important to remember than the people that are ticking, or driving, or killing, or hating.



  

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Salt & Pepper Pot

It seems like I may have another painting that I won't be able to say goodbye to, as according to my Dad, "Salt and Pepper Pot" now has a red dot on it, which means it has been sold. I hope so!


I have had a love hate relationship with this painting as I was really disappointed with it when I first painted it. I have subsequently come to like it quite a lot though. Normally, if I initially don't like something it is only because it is unexpected. I will  have had a vision in my head of the final painting, and the actual painting will have turned out differently which I will  have found frustrating. Quite often these paintings then turn out to be my favourites as they have something different about them, went where they needed to go, regardless of my brain or hand. So I am happy with "Salt and Pepper Pot" in the end, and happy someone else loves it enough to buy it. Thank you!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Laguna

I am back from holiday and thinking about what I need to do. Trips to the Isle of Wight, Canterbury and beautiful Slovenia have all definitely given me some inspiration. I need to dedicate some time to going through all my photographs, but with a holiday comes a backlog. Work from all angles, domestic duties and everything else that goes with living. I am seriously thinking that I need to dedicate some art time each week - be it an afternoon or a full day, otherwise nothing is ever going to get done.

But first, exciting exhibition news as I have made my first sale!!! More excitingly it is my biggest sale to date! I like the feeling that the money my paintings are worth is slowly creeping up. I feel like I need to grab onto this exhibition horse and get dragged along with it. I need to do some marketing. On the plus side the exhibition is getting good feedback, people seem to be taking note and having a good peruse of everything that is up, so much so I have had to order 200 more business cards. I also have another exhibition coming up in the not too distant future in London, only for a week but still. I actually quite like showing my work, which is something that I never thought I would say. Maybe it is time to start being more proactive and going to a few more art fairs.

The strange thing about selling something that is being exhibited is that I don't get to say bye to it. You may think I am crazy but normally I am in charge of packaging my work off and sending it to its new owner. 'Laguna' has gone off on its own though, to pastures new, I don't even know where it is going. It is at least going somewhere where it is wanted as the purchasers were so keen to have it that they have taken it before the exhibition is even over, I had to send over a replacement to fill the space.

So, this is it, goodbye 'Laguna' and good luck! I will miss not being able to look at you for one last time....




Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Graffiti

As a special post exhibition treat, one of my friends invited me to join a graffiti workshop class she was attending with the Maidenhead Ladies Circle. I can't resist trying out a new artistic method so I eagerly agreed. I have no experience of spray painting at all and was interested to see what the 'class' involved. It was a bit of a cheat experience really as they provided us with about a thousand stencils to help make our 'works of art' but that was fine by me. We still had to chose the pieces, compose, pick colours and spray intensely or otherwise, so there was still a lot of creativity involved. I actually loved it. Loved picking the colours, loved picking different stencils and effects and the fact that the spray colours go over everything, white over colour, anything over black. It didn't matter.

I think I might be addicted.

I can't help thinking about creating a piece using spray paint as the background and the trees, plants etc and acrylics as the building, or foreground. Metallic leaf thrown in as well, maybe on one of my massive canvasses. I can already feel the urge to buy some spray paints, a face mask and a boiler suit and clearing the garage in anticipation. Then I can take this first try out to a new dimension.


I definitely think this is going to happen. But first, a holiday (another one).

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Exhibition

So, as promised, here are a couple of photos from my exhibition. The space is rather difficult to photograph, and was in fact, slightly difficult to hang. Thank goodness I had vaguely planned out my painting sizes and positions, as in the end, it meant I could display 18 paintings, which amounts to a pretty big show!


I am still at amazed at how well the paintings worked against this somewhat intimidating orange wall.


As you can see, not a conventional space.... it is also surprisingly difficult to stand out against brick walls....

Regardless of the success of the exhibition, so far one painting has sold and 2 are partially under offer, it has been interesting to see them all together and witness how they transformed the space. They definitely add a buzz and a vibrancy to the cafe that was previously lacking with their blank walls. I have also been assured that the footfall at the Quay Arts Centre, is pretty big, so even if the paintings aren't re-homed they will be seen. It is after-all, difficult to ignore them!

They are also up during the Easter Holidays and whilst Richard Long - a Turner Prize winner has an exhibition on upstairs. I don't really think that could have been timed much better!