Last year, Joanna Hunter of Ninian – possibly the best gift shop in Lerwick- offered to try selling some of my painted wood boards.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well these sold throughout the summer, especially the chunky re-cycled scaffolding boards. There will be more of these in the shop soon, including new variations of Shetland themed painted wood. I’m also experimenting with some prints of paintings I have done.
Ninian will be the only Lerwick based outlet for my work, but there will be more in country shops throughout the islands. Watch this space!
As I grow as an artist and develop work one question which is never far from my mind is how to go about selling work.
Without a physical shop space, selling your pieces to the public can be difficult – lots of folk like to see work “in real life” before they buy, and there are packaging and shipping questions and costs to take into account.
Selling to trade fairs is another option. I recently visited Scotland’s Trade Fair Spring, in Glasgow, for a bit of research and as i’ve never been to anything like that before.
The show is huge – 500 exhibitors and 5,000 trade buyers (its not open to the public) The show incorporates four specialist areas – home and gift, fashion and accessories, craft and food and drink.
The range of arts, jewellery and crafts on display was amazing! It was great to see the friendly face of local Shetland knitwear designer Joan Fraser, who won the space at the exhibition as a prize, as well as other designers I am familiar with.
My absolute favourite by far was illustrator Linda Lovatt’s stall. Linda uses copper, wire, beads and pieces of pottery which she often finds in her garden at home in the Scottish borders to make wonderful ‘beastie assemblages’, including brooches, pictures and ornamental 3D pieces.
You can find out more about Linda’s work here – http://beastieassemblage.co.uk
Like most of the stalls, Linda’s was very well presented, with professional promotional material ready to give to anyone interested.
The show was a fantastic experience and has given me so much to think about. How do you like to buy (or sell?) art? I’d love to hear your ideas.
I hope January is treating you well so far!
I’ve been getting stuck into developing some new ideas. The past year has seen some real changes and opportunities for me and my work, and i’m very excited and pleased to announce that I have been invited to join Craft Scotland on the strength of my mosaic work.
Craft Scotland is a charity which works to promote a wide range of crafts and creates opportunities for Scottish makers to exhibit, sell and promote their work. With exhibitions, workshops and events which champion craft, its a fantastic opportunity.
Mosaic work is defiantly my first love, and I have lots of plans for it in 2017, including smaller works. Ive been inspired to decorate native Shetland animal shapes, such as otters, birds and rabbits, using a variety of materials, including pottery from local beaches, which makes the art truly unique and special. These will be sold locally as well as online and would make the perfect gift.
The picture is a larger mosaic piece I sold recently using local driftwood, beach pebbles and glass tiles.
Welcome to my blog page!
I’ve been busy, developing ideas and making,and it’s hard to believe how far I’ve come: from having no work shown to now having a website, selling my artwork online and in a few local locations – at Ninian, in Lerwick, and at the Hoswick Visitor Centre – and I’m exhibiting year round in a local cafe, The Olive Tree.
Some highlights include the Shetland Arts and Craft Fair in November. This was a big deal for me, because as well as being really enjoyable it was my first anniversary of selling my artwork!
In 2015 I decided to have a small stall and try out some of my ideas on the public. This was the first time I had ever shown any work, so to try and sell it as well was quite nerve wracking. However the response was great – I was really encouraged and haven’t stopped making since.
This year, I decided to try a bigger stall. at 5m x 3m. Building a stall this big and having the work to fill it was a challenge, but thankfully the risk paid off! The weekend was a huge success.
Thank you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here’s to more art in 2017!
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My story of becoming an artist definitely begins with the garden.- Highlands. I designed and created a garden from the 1 acre waste ground surrounding our house, which is on a challenging steep slope, with fantastic views. I started the same way as I would any piece of artwork and looked at the size, shapes and textures choosing certain colours of plant combinations to fit the layout. I had some previous experience growing and caring for plants, so knew which conditions suited which plant type.