At the end of July I took the exciting step of having a stand at an art fair. The thought of art fairs has always been a bit scary to me – having to pay money for a stand with no guarantee of making it back, and even worse having to stand in front of your work all weekend and watch people looking at it or hearing what they think about it…pretty frightening in my book. Now I’m not exactly a stranger to art fairs and their ways as for about 5 years I was on the committee of the British printmaking festival Printfest, and had visited many others. So this year I decided to go for it, and worked on the basis that no matter what happened I would learn something. And indeed I did. So here are my 9 lessons I learnt from doing my first art fair. Continue reading “9 lessons I learnt from doing my first art fair”
So on the other side of moving house, here finally is July’s free colouring page (and technically also June’s because I didn’t manage to do one.)
Recently I have been exploring a sea creature theme in my papercutting, which I am absolutely loving. I feel like there is an endless amount of beautiful creatures to discover. This month I have drawn a jellyfish for the colouring page, which I hope you enjoy colouring as much as I enjoyed drawing it! You can download it HERE until the 15th of August.
I’m so excited to share that my Etsy shop organised is now officially open for business!
This is a big step for me. I know there are millions of creative people trying to sell their work online, but it is something I have been working towards for the last two years. Making the work has been very time consuming, and I feel like I had to learn so much about how to present my work in the way that felt true to me. I’m planning to share everything I learnt about this in a blog post at some point in the near future to help other artists get there work up online and out there!
To celebrate this step I am offering 20% off all unmounted prints from my ‘Bird Spotting’ series* from today until Thursday 2nd June! To get your prints at this lower price just visit my Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/storiesinpapershop and type ‘CELEBRATE’ into the coupon box.
Once again, thank you so much for supporting my work, whether that is buying a print or just popping over here and reading my blog! To keep informed about other offers I have coming up please sign up to my mailing list HERE .
*Please note, this offer does not include papercut commissions.
When my daughter was 10 months old her perception of the world around her began to expand hugely! One day I experienced a really beautiful moment watching her watch crows flying and landing in a big tree.
It was so lovely I decided to make her some crow shadow puppets that I could use to entertain her in the evenings. I had read that babies love the contrast of black and white and pattern (well mine certainly did!) so I also used a scalpel to cut geometric patterns into the bird silhouettes. These ended up being my papercut pattern bird shadow puppets.
I love working at my desk creating, experimenting, drawing, thinking and imagining. In fact I love this so much that I want it to be my job. And with that one little world comes a whole area I struggle with – growing and building a business. I have overcome the shyness of sharing my work, I have conquered the guilt of wanting to make art all day and I have accepted that if I want to do this as a living then sometimes I will have to sell stuff to people. But the one think that always challenges me is time, and without a doubt the thing I struggle with the most is how slowly I work.
I make detailed, intricate images, mostly with a scalpel, sometimes with a fine tipped pen or tiny paintbrush. They take me ages. I also have toddler and a part time job that I fit my work around, and I realised last year that staying up till 3am to make art and then waking up at 6.30am to play is most certainly not a sustainable way to run a business. I get distracted by washing up, or tidying, or other household tasks. It takes me a long time to get into a piece of work, and often I’ll only have a few hours when I feel like I’m really in the flow of things before its time to collect my daughter, make dinner, or go to bed. Sometimes I am just too tired. And of course, I am in no way alone in this. There are few artists in this world who are responsibility free and can spend all day working on their art. We are all juggling many things at once.
But perhaps the most important thing to me is this: as much as it frustrates me when I look at my portfolio and see how little I seem to have accomplished this last 6 months, and as impatient I get that my business is taking such tiny steps forward, the truth is when I’m actually making things…I love going slowly.
However, in the digital age nothing seems to go slowly anymore. I think its brilliant how the internet and social media offers us so many opportunities for inspiration and connection. But sometimes it makes me feel pressured too – like I’m working too slowly, my business isn’t growing quick enough, and I can’t put something new and amazing on instagram everyday (often because the only creative moment I had that day was taking a quick photo of a flower on the way to the shops). So here is a little contemplation on working slowly.
Hello there! I’m so happy that I can share May’s free colouring page! It was a bit of a tight one this month as I’ve just completed my teacher training course so there hasn’t been much time recently to make art. It was such a relief to sit drawing at my desk, especially knowing other people might enjoy it too.
In my last post I shared the first of my free monthly colouring pages, which you can still download HERE until the 14th of May.
I didn’t design this image to be a papercut template but I thought it would be fun to have a try at converting it as I went along. I printed the original image onto a piece of my favourite Canson’s Mi-Teintes Pastel Paper and just got cutting!