Just back from the home and gifts exhibition at York Racecourse, I’m feeling exhilarated and so happy to receive direct customer feedback for my work. As an artist and designer trying something new, for anyone feeling exposed; venturing out to display your work is always an onerous task, especially when you don’t know what to expect from the event, venue or the public response as you present your work for the first time face-to-face in a new location and exhibition!
Hosted by stylish Living North Magazine, the venue was superb. Decorated with an abundant Spring-time theme it was enough to encourage a positive vibe and support the discerning public to get out and do some shopping, momentarily forgetting the currently ‘negative headlines’ highlighting spending and cost of living which can make anyone feel guilty for spending on non-essentials! It’s a difficult time for many, but if you can afford a treat, this is a good place t be.
The format of the exhibition made me think of the many large Trade Shows I’ve visited or taken part in on behalf of a number of publishers in my past life; throughout the country and on occasions the world. So compared to representing a business in a senior position, this one felt very personal; 3 floors of small businesses or individual makers like me, I had a small stand to display my work, it was simply about me and my artwork and not a corporate brand targeting a specific market sector with a commercial product range. I create items on an individual basis, I’m inspired by nature and create original framed artwork and hand painted glassware
Halls of artisan ‘makers’, this show wasn’t about ‘being commercial’ on a large scale but set out to appeal directly to the general public on an individual basis. The venue made it ideal to plan a day out, have something to eat and buy from artisan makers. Of course, the reason for me to be there was to engage with my customers, encourage sales and be part of an event that inspires individual purchases direct from me the maker.
I love to engage directly with my customers; as customer feedback helps me with future direction for my business, I find responses to my product can guide and inspire me to decide what to do next. The public can be harsh but also very honest, for me as a designer it’s a great way to get direct feedback; good or bad and gives a good context to relevance and what people really think and where you fit in. I’m very happy the comments I received were mostly good and complementary, “That’s unusual”, “Stunning” “how did you make that?” but there were a few hilarious comments too. One person looked at my glassware which she clearly associated with a family member in her past and said “She had a glass clown, I hated that b*****d” and moved on at great speed – I don’t have any glass clowns by the way!
The camaraderie between other stand owners and makers was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and chatting to other makers, getting their perspective on the ‘state of the nation’ and appreciating their skills and the amazing variety of products, which I have my eye on one or two for myself! I hope to meet up with a few of them again at a future event, when working alone or in isolation this type of event is perfect for sharing ideas with others and offering supporting and introductions to each other too
I believe images and unique pieces not only bring personality and connection to a place or a room, but also how we feel about our surroundings.
Over time I have created a selection of my own unique artwork, 3D artwork, original framed prints and hand painted glassware. Subjects vary from moody landscapes to quirky animals, or simply a captured moment or beautiful detail to share some joy as a gift or display in your home
Quality is important to me, I use the best materials when framing my artwork and I select quality glass for my hand painted glassware
Most of my work is available to buy directly from my website online shop. However, I do take commissions and I can provide alternative sizes for most artwork shown.
See my website to buy currently available designs. Contact me for personalisation on an individual basis or trade enquiries if you are an Homewares and accessories outlet, gift shop or gallery owner – we should talk!
Note I have no street address, please use the contact me form on my website or call for any enquiries
Thank you for reading