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Ways To Improve Your Next Market Stall

Ways To Improve Your Next Market Stall

Since I started selling in art markets and had 4 more market events booked for this year (yay!), I have been thinking about what I’ve learnt from my previous events and how to improve my next market stall so I am sharing these thoughts below and I hope you find at least one of them useful for your future market events.


I’ve got cards and prints both in A5 size and in some of my market events, without realising that it was a potential problem, I positioned them near to each other so some of the visitors got confused whether the cards were prints or prints were cards, having to check for themselves. Put the similar sized yet different products apart from each other or at least group them separately and make clear what they are. I have also made my latest card collection in A6 size rather than A5.


I’ve had visitors that were let down because I didn’t have a machine for their cards. Personally, it is too pricey but I know they are very useful if you are able to use them in the market events and create more sales. I think this one needs a pros & cons list!


I don’t know why I was lacking common sense when I placed the business cards kind of inaccessible in my first stall. Well, they were accessible but it needed a lot of energy to reach over and pick them up as the pile was nearly right in the back. In my last two market events, I placed it in the front and it was so much better. But just be aware that some of them might be accidentally swept off the table by someone else’s bag etc. I might provide a box for them next time to prevent that happening again.


As my long time readers will know already, I am profoundly deaf and couldn’t speak well, even with these millions of speech therapy lessons I attended all my life. My main language is British Sign Language and obviously 99% of the visitors don’t know the sign language so when I wanted to tell something to or reply my visitors, I couldn’t ‘give it my all’ and not every conversation ended well. I’ve had some terribly rude ones who just made faces and ran off as soon as they realised I am deaf.

I’ve brought Aneurin (who is deaf too and can speak very well, almost like a hearing person) to my every market event so far, which was very helpful but he sometimes has a difficulty understanding people because he doesn’t know them personally. So having an interpreter (the one that doesn’t have a problem understanding me and signs like a pro) will be great but I worry that it will interfere a personal interaction – however difficult it is – between visitors and I. And of course, they are not free. Pros and cons list for that one too!


I have too many products (about 50 different ones apart from originals) and I have brought every single one to my every market event so far. I didn’t think so until recently in Old Spitalfields market when I looked at my stall very carefully, positioned myself as a visitor and realised – Too Much Products.

It can be a good thing, depending on what visitors are like. Maybe a super arty person will get really excited with plenty of choices. But a person with enough interest in cute illustrated cards could get overwhelmed and couldn’t be bothered to look through everything. I think I will streamline my next market stall (25th October with Fairy Tale Fair!) by bringing a selection of products that are most relevant, i.e. autumnal designs etc.


Throughout the day, you will get to learn what works or what doesn’t work. Move them around, making best products more accessible and visible. Check your stall from a visitor’s point of view quite regularly, making sure that nothing is out of the place or running out. In one of mines, even though I thought I checked my stall enough, one of my bestsellers actually ran out and I didn’t notice for god knows how long! I was so kicking myself for that.

What have you learnt from your previous market event(s) and how would you improve in the future?

Photographing A Christening











I was recently asked to photograph a beautiful christening in Surrey (if you don’t know already, I photograph events and special occasions on the side). It was my first time photographing a christening so I was a bit nervous (the fact that I have never been to one didn’t help!) but I managed to do well. I loved what I took that I couldn’t choose about 50 photos – imagine the parents’ delight when I gave them just over 200 photos! They loved their new photos and said that they will love to hire me again for their child’s 1st birthday next year. Yay!


// Have a chat with vicar in advance about the church photography restrictions

// Arrive a little early and scout the venue

// Research how christening works (if you are clueless like I was)

// Be patient

// Take note who are godparents and family so they are focused in the photographs

// Capture a good photo of baby right after the baptism


// Make sure people are paying attention in the group photos, especially children

// Since the church rules can be really strict, I might need to buy myself a zoom lens for future events

// Photographing people in direct sunlight is mostly unflattering

// Uncle Bob do exist (bye bye beautiful photos)

Photographing a christening was a beautiful challenge. I was so honoured to be a part of this special day and I hope to have that opportunity again in the future. Have you been to or photograph a christening before?

Kuretase’s Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour



I have been trying out Kuretase’s Gansai Tambi recently instead of my most used medium – Winsor & Newton’s Cotman Watercolour Painting Plus. They are traditional Japanese watercolour paints and each pan is quite big. So it is worth its price tag. I have a set of 36, which is huge (32 x 19.5cm!) and it is sometimes a bit annoying to have it taking over my desk when painting with it but there are sets of 12, 18 or 24 if you need something smaller for your desk.

The colours are so saturated that it took me a while to get used to it. I love it though, it is great for pieces you want to be bold and pretty. Be careful if your paint don’t have enough water in it as once they got on the paper, they may not dry properly and stay sticky. One of my recent paintings was ruined because of it. The paints can also be diluted to a very light palette but you’ll need a bit of patience.

I like that there is a colour chart (pictured above) inside the lid for you to paint each colour and use it for future reference. It is not in English though!

Even better – there are also metallic gold, bronze and pearlescent white paints. Love! They are only available in a set of 36 though.

I will be mostly sticking with my favourite – Winsor & Newton’s but Kuretase’s is sure lovely to paint with and I will use it whenever it tickles my fancy.

Examples painted with Kuretase’s Gansai Tambi – Clownfish and this.

Have you got a set and did you find it a bit of time to get used to it?

End Of The Road Festival


Hello EOTR!




























Trying on cool sunglasses.



Drinking gin and tonic at midday.



Slightly sunburnt at the end.






Nothing fancy – I used my compact digital camera as I didn’t want to take the risk of bringing my DSLR. I could have taken more photos, especially of all the lovely food I have eaten but I was having too good (and chilled) time to remember to take my camera out.

Speaking of food, I enjoyed everything we ate – fish & chips (we opted for white bait instead of the usual), pizza from Pizza Tabun (best pizza I have ever tasted), Goan fish curry, pie & mash, grilled cheese sandwich and some delicious alpine street food (melted raclette cheese on new potatoes, french sausage and coleslaw- dream come true!).

I enjoyed most of the music we went to listen but what stood out for me are Brakes (my favourite I think!), Natalie Prass, Fuzz, Human Pyramids and The Black Tambourines.

Check out this cool video of EOTR’s setups. Have you been to any festivals this year?

Drawing In Public

End Of The Road Festival Sketchbook 1

End Of The Road Festival Sketchbook 2

Drawing in the front of people, personally, is a very hard thing to do. I get self conscious and shy but in the festival I’ve just got back from was a great atmosphere to draw in public. People in general was laid back and cool that I didn’t feel judged. I drew these with Paper Mate Flair, which I have enjoyed drawing with recently. I drew my desk tidy and cactus with this pen too!

Despite being unable to sleep well in the freezing tent and developing a head cold, my time in End Of The Road festival was brilliant. I got to really relax and switch off. There were no mobile signal or access to internet so not worrying about updating my social media sites was liberating! I did feel a bit anxious at the start but I got used to it in no time. Listening to good music, eating good food and spending with good people for 5 days have done me a world of good.

Will be sharing festival snaps later this week after catching up with you all.

My Studio (So Far)

It wasn’t until recently I finally got more storage for my new studio,  had a big tidy up and all my materials are now stored away safely. My studio is a studio! I am so thrilled to have a lovely space to run my business and paint beautiful things.

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

I have two tables: one as a general desk and one as a painting table for bigger, messier painting jobs. As I paint from images (or still life), I have an old laptop to use on my painting table. I love that trusty chair my mum gave me when I had my studio shed, which I miss a lot (apart from spiders that wouldn’t leave!).

The painting below is my portrait painted by my big sister. We agreed to paint each other for our 25th birthday presents. Here is what I painted for her.

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

I love that my painting table is a drop-leaf table so I can put it “away” when I am not painting. I really need to get it a table cover as it is very old – it used to belong to my grandma I think and I was given it by my mum. Since it is becoming my favourite table in the whole world, I really should start looking after it.

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

I aim to fill my studio with indoor plants and these two babies are just a starting point. I have several downstairs in the living room/ dining room and kitchen already.

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

I am still figuring out where my things go in these two shelves. There are spaces for more and I plan to fill them with my poor old cameras (I have about 12) that has been left in the box since I moved in last March. I only have my two most used cameras out. The books need to be reorganised too. If there is still enough space, I’d love to take my unused notebooks out of my drawers so I’ll remember to use them rather than buying more.

I am excited that there is plenty of wall space so I can put up a lot of artwork (I already have quite lots waiting to be hung up!) and making my space even more beautiful.

Do you have a studio? Show me!

How To Get Started With A Christmas Collection

Christmas brainstorm diagram
As an artist and small business owner, I like to plan my Christmas collection super early and be prepared. A couple of months ago, I started thinking about my new Christmas cards but I have been struggling to start properly ever since. It was sunny, I was selling my spring/summer collections, I was trading in summer arts markets and painting stuff that were hardly inspired by Christmas. Luckily the weather this week was pretty miserable, it gave me a little push to start thinking about it again and after a bit of visual inspiration, I am painting Christmas! But I am not quite there yet. I still need to do some things to get myself in a christmassy mood and hopefully I will have my cards available to buy this autumn.

If you found yourself struggling to get started with your festive collection, I hope these tips below turn out helpful for you. I would love to hear about how early you start making for the festive season and where you find your ideas.


Collect images for inspiration. Do not copy or steal. As for Pinterest, pin away and you can make your board secret if you prefer.


Write everything down that reminds you of Christmas, even if you are unsure. I wrote down rabbits and I am still unsure if it is christmassy or not! Leave a google image search page open for ideas if you are stuck.


Keep a notebook in your hands in case you get ideas in the middle of the film or soon after. What to watch? These below are a few of my favourites:

Die Hard
It’s a Wonderful Life
Love Actually
The Muppet Christmas Carol
8 Women


Get yourself reminded of your old designs and how you felt when you made them. It can be helpful not to make something too similar. Check out my previous Christmas cards here.


Take note of what are the first things your friend thought about Christmas. And it might end up a brainstorming session!

Lastly, if you haven’t noticed yet, can you find what I wrote down twice on my brainstorm paper?! Silly Katrina!