Couple of weeks ago, I turned 27 years old and decided to give myself a day off, away from all those stressful Christmas market preparations and visited to Horniman Museum in Forest Hill.
Nikon F4, Kodak Colour Plus 200
Visiting everything apart from aquarium, my favourite parts are the Natural History section and Collected & Possessed exhibition (which will be open until 24th Jan if you want to visit too). I love the taxidermy animals, which were beautiful and creepy in equal measure. The exhibition is about the artist, Mark Fairnington and his paintings “depicting natural history specimens exactly as they are stored behind the scenes in the Horniman’s and other collections.” His paintings were big, beautiful and realistic – right up my street!
I brought my film camera and realised after I left the house that I probably should have brought digital one because I wanted to take photographs of these taxidermy animals and I knew it’d be quite dark inside. I took pictures anyway and as expected, the photos didn’t come out well but I kinda like them – I guess it helps that I knew that there would be imperfections.
It was cold but pretty out. The landscaped gardens outside the museum were looking a bit sad with lack of plants, flowers and herbs. I imagine it would be better to visit in spring. But I was still appreciating few plants that were still around and some colourful pumpkins lying around. I have also made friends with a squirrel!
My last market of the year was last Saturday, hurrah! I sold my art with Shape Gallery, Camberwell Arts and Pexmas three weekends in a row and they all went well. Between these weekends, I was constantly busy coming up with ideas to improve my stall, organising float money, ordering more products, preparing new prints and buying new print browser after my handmade one fell apart sadly and unsurprisingly! These three weeks were the fastest three weeks I have ever had.
Not to blow my own horn but I am so proud of myself for doing this – going to the markets, talking to visitors and meeting new people are totally outside my comfort zone being deaf, introvert and a sign language user. It is not the most easiest thing to do for me but I want to continue doing this next year. Having markets is very beneficial in many ways – I learn what makes art sellable, build my confidence to be around people, find ways to communicate with hearing people, get my name out there and meet new people in the creative community.
I’d like to thank to organisers of these markets for having me, visitors who said loveliest things about my art, bought my products (even just a card), my loved ones for supporting me during these busy months and not forgetting my blog friends who left me encouraging comments, which did make a huge difference to my courage to do all this. THANK YOU.
I still have Christmas cards left if you are still needing some, A5 notebooks (only £4!) and original paintings for the first time (which I totally forgot to announce this morning) on my shop. Don’t forget to use your 15% discount code if you have bought from me before and do let me know if you have lost it or unsure as I have everything written down and can check for you! Shop closes Friday 18th December.
Did you have Christmas markets this year? Share in the comments how it went and whether you found it rewarding too!
I painted this little guy with watercolour and acrylic for highlights. I had a few printed in time for The London Artisan and they were surprisingly popular! It looks particularly lovely in A5 size and they sold well in my last two stalls – Shape Gallery Christmas Fair and Made In Camberwell Christmas market. I just had more printed ready for my last market of the year this Saturday with Pexmas. Nothing beats the feeling of knowing that my art is being appreciated by many people who doesn’t know me personally!
When my cards and especially prints were running out fast over these festive months (thank you so much guys), I took an opportunity to refresh my shop by removing some prints that weren’t selling well, retaking product photos and introducing new prints, as well as the new sizes – A4 and A3. I made a decision to go for a new printing company and chose a new type of paper for my prints, which is more costly but it is worth it because it has that lovely luxurious feel to it that I want for my new prints. So exciting!
I have hugely struggled with product photography all my business life, despite reading every product photography advice post I could find. Amongst small businesses’ beautiful product photos, I subconsciously felt the pressure to make mine look as super cool but I realised recently that I needed to stop trying too hard and take photos of my products as I wanted them to look like, basically, staying true to myself. I am aware that a product photo without props and exciting colours might appear boring to many but that is me, I love keeping everything simple and fuss free. I wanted my pictures to look as light and clean as possible, obviously I haven’t quite achieved it yet but I need to stop worrying and hope that I will suddenly turn in an awesome product photographer one day!
I am feeling a lot better about my shop that is now tidied up and looking smart. Soon I will be adding my current cards that needs to be photographed again, originals and my brand new cards that will hopefully make its debut this Saturday (5th December) where I will be selling my art with Made In Camberwell Arts Market. If you happen to be heading that way too, see you there!