Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Competitions - Mother's Day design for Tigerprint



This was my entry to the Tigerprint Mother's Day competition (acrylic on wood) and I am thrilled that of 550 entries that this design has reached the shortlist of 62 chosen by the judges! woohoo... such a thrill to have got that far :)

See the full shortlist here http://tigerprint.typepad.com/competition/2014/04/mothers-day-florals-top-62.html



Friday, 25 April 2014

Friday Finds - Victoria Johnson - Illustrator





Morning everyone! Today’s Friday Finds is a truly fabulous illustrator called Victoria Johnson who I met virtually through the Lilla Rogers MATS class. Soon she will be jetting off from Rome, where she lives, to New York to exhibit at Surtex in New York in May for the first time. Find her at booth 447:)



When did you start your business and why? Did you plan how you started meticulously or was it almost accidental? Tell us your story of how Victoria Johnson came to be!

I’ve been designing for 17 years but started my own collection, representing myself, in 2012.  I definitely planned it. I allocated the first few weeks for just writing my business plan and building my online presence and gave myself a very clear starting strategy.

Did things take off immediately or has it been a slow burn?

I started to get sales and contracts almost immediately but I think I’d still describe it as a slow burn.  I’ve gradually increased the time I invest in it and am broadening my contact list.  It’s hard to move at a fast pace when you’re doing everything yourself.

Do you do your business part time or full time?

I do it when my children are at school, 5 days a week between 10am and 4pm.  I almost grind to a halt during the 3 month Italian Summer holiday!



Do you intend to grow your business into something much bigger or are you happy with it as it is and why?

I intend to grow it into something much bigger!
Where do you sell your work?

I sell or license my work mainly to paper product retailers.  I also do commissioned work quite often. I haven’t created my own ‘product’ as such but would like to in the future – even if it’s just prints on Etsy.  For the moment I want to focus on reaching more leading retailers.

Which of the selling methods that you use works best for you? Why do you think this is?

I submit my work by jpeg regularly to key companies.  This is the standard way of presenting work for most print designers.



Have you had publicity in national magazines? If so how did you approach them?

I was recently featured in the Uppercase Surface Pattern Design Guide – which was exciting. I’ve been featured on Print and Pattern numerous times in the last year. I just sent work following the submissio nguideliness. I’d like more exposure through popular blogs and must make more time to submit to them.


Who do you think your typical customer is?

Art Directors, seeking art that appeals to trend-driven women between 25 and 45ish!

Which aspect of your work do you enjoy most?

Obviously I like the designing but I actually love all the other stuff too. I really enjoy interacting with clients and feeling connected to the world out there and I even like doing my accounts!!  I like to feel I’m building myself a little puzzle everyday – putting all the different pieces together a bit at a time and watching it keep growing.



Is there anything you would have done differently if you were starting your business today?

Yes – I’d have made sure my website wasn’t dependent on Adobe Flash so it can be seen on ipads and phones better!  I’ll have to retackle that at some point.

Are you someone who sets goals regularly or more instinctive?

I force myself to set goals.  It doesn’t come naturally. I write a list at the beginning of each week and keep reminders on my phone.  I just started a book of general work goals – a series of untidy, random entries that identify where I’m trying to go.

Have you ever or do you employ people part time to help with any aspect of your business? For example, book keeper, accountant, packers? If you do how did you find people who were the right fit for you?

My best friend helped me for the first year and she was the wind beneath my wings!!  She helped me with sales, building a client list, sending work out, and I paid her a cut.  More than anything else she encouraged, motivated and supported me and I can’t thank her enough for that.



Could you describe where you work? Are you alone most of the day or with others? Do you feel that they way it is now is the best fit for you? Do you see that changing?

I’m alone at home and generally I like it – especially since joining the Lilla Rogers MATS Facebook communities.  It’s like a virtual studio, being able to throw out questions, insecurities and triumphs to a group of fellow designers. I’ve considered having an outside studio but think that being able to work while I cook my children’s dinner etc far outweighs the benefits.  I’ve always liked being at home, surrounded by my own stuff.
Do you have a mentor or people who you are able to discuss your business with? If not how do you find you best make decisions about your business? 

At the moment it’s the MATS communities.  Before that it was my friend - I’m very lucky that shortly after my friend left to live in South Africa, I started the course and a void (in that respect) was filled.  I’ve had a successful business before though (a design studio in New York) and that experience has proved invaluable in guiding me through this and I’ve felt quite self sufficient in terms of decision making.  



What is a typical day for you in your business as it is now? What would be a dream day for you – business or otherwise?

I usually hit my stride about 10am, though I’d love to get going earlier.  I sit in my kitchen (I have a studio but NEVER sit in it!) at my computer and do whatever needs doing, responding to emails, designing etc.  I take a break between 2pm and 3pm usually then fetch my kids at 4pm.  If we’re not doing anything after school I might fiddle a bit with whatever I’m doing while they play or watch telly and if I’m not knackered I might have another go when they’ve gone to bed at 8.30pm – particularly if I have a US deadline.

A dream day – I’d work like a machine while my kids were at school without checking FB every 20 mins!!!  I’d start the day with a run and not eat any biscuits and I’d get an inbox full of opportunities (sales, new licenses, a competition win) throughout the day!!!  Ha ha!!

Anything else  you want to add… tips or plans or ambition…

My biggest tip is always – just show up.  Even on a bad day.  Sit down and fight your way through the difficult parts but be there.  I can’t tell you how many designs I’ve done that seemed utterly hopeless at some point and turned out to be work I’m really proud of. Challenges are problems to be solved.


© Victoria Johnson

Links please! Where can we buy your work?

I don’t really sell my work to the public at this point, though I’d love to start doing that and will do soon.  However, you can see my work  and find me on these links;





Thanks so much for doing this Victoria and masses of luck in NY - I am sure you will be a massive hit.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Friday Finds - Angie Spurgeon of Artwork By Angie


Good morning! Today's interview is with artist and designer Angie Spurgeon. I came across the gorgeously colourful greeting cards, stationery and prints that Angie creates on both Facebook and Etsy where she has a large engaged following.

 © Angie Spurgeon

When did you start your business and why? Did you plan how you started meticulously or was it almost accidental? Tell us your story of how Artwork By Angie came to be!

It all began when I started taking on freelance design work whilst I was pregnant with my first child back in 2005.  It was very sporadic and word-of-mouth to begin with and stayed like that until my second child began nursery.  From the start, my long term plan was be a work at home mum and to have a second go at making a career for myself from illustration and graphic design.  Ever since I was a child I’d always wanted to be an illustrator and was very set on my path. When I left school I did a foundation art course and then went straight onto the University to do a BA Hons in Graphic Design illustration back in the early 90s.  I was very sure about my path – possibly a bit too sure being so young.  When I graduated and had to try and find work in the real world I found it all a bit of a struggle because I had no idea how to deal with the business side of things.  I was unsure on how to pitch my work, how to value my work, I had no idea about marketing myself.  It all seemed very daunting and I lost confidence in my ability.  In the end, I came to a compromise with myself and took an office manager job in an advertising agency in order to gain some much needed (money!) and business and marketing experience whilst remaining in a creative environment.  This was supposed to be a temporary situation, but I ended up having a 12 year career in advertising working in client services.  Even though I gained lots of valuable experience and training during that time, I still felt I needed to be an illustrator again someday.  So when the children came along that was the catalyst to spur me on and go for it again with the benefit of being much older, wiser and experienced.   When my youngest daughter (I am mum to 2 girls) started nursery in 2010, that’s when I launched my website, folksy shop and blog for Artwork By Angie.  It wasn’t meticulously planned, but there was a clear vision for the business from the start to simply try and earn enough from drawing and designing so that I can stay working from home and be there for my girls.

Did things take off immediately or has it been a slow burn?

I always consider the 2010 launch of my website the real beginning of my business because before that I was only doing the odd design job here and there to keep my hand in and regain my design skills.   After 10 years not doing any design work, my skills were rusty and needed a lot of practice to bring them back up to the level I was at when I graduated.  There was a lot of confidence that needed rebuilding.  Since the launch of my website, it’s been a very gradual and steady growth, which I’m happy with and feel positive about.

Do you do your business part time or full time?

At the moment I’m putting in full time hours but am only taking part time pay as my main priority is to help ensure the business has continued steady growth.  To be able to say that at this stage feels good as that’s already exceeded my expectations from where I started when I launched the website.




© Angie Spurgeon

Do you intend to grow your business into something much bigger or are you happy with it as it is and why?

My main aim is to grow the business in order to ensure I have continued full time work from it as that has always been my main goal.  Of course I’d love to see my business really take off and do great things. I certainly have dreams that are so big they scare me.  However, thanks to my marketing background, I understand the realities of what can happen when a business grows at a pace that it struggles to cope with.  At the end of the day I just want to be drawing for living, so will keep my feet on the ground and continue to work hard towards that and see where it takes me.

Where do you sell your work?


I sell my work in few different ways. As well as my website shop I sell my designs as prints and cards directly from my Folksy, Etsy and Society 6 shops.  I sell the license to use my illustrations as greetings cards to a publishing company that I work closely with.  They get my designs into lots of lovely shops and show them at key retail trade shows such as Spring Fair International at the NEC.  I have a few local wholesale stockists where I can test out new products.  Most of the wholesale side is handled through the publisher, but it’s good to have a few stockists of my own to get feedback from the shop floor.  On top of all this, I continue to fulfil graphic design commissions from a small client base of other artists, crafters and independent business owners, who are people I’ve worked with lots during the past few years and know their businesses well.




© Angie Spurgeon

Which of the selling methods that you use works best for you? Why do you think this is?


A combination of three main ways of selling suits me as it spreads the risk and helps keep cash flowing.  Those three ways are:

- Selling illustrated products online and through a handful of local stockists using social media to promote it  
- Licensing my designs to trade
- Taking on a comfortable amount of commissions and collaborative work from a trusted client base

Have you had publicity in national magazines? If so how did you approach them?

My products have had coverage in national trade press such as greetings today, but that was through the publisher I work with.  I have had features in regional titles such as Somerset Life Magazine.  I think starting with regional press is a good way to go. I contacted them on the back of seeing someone I knew featured in their magazine – it was a classic case of it’s not what you know it’s who. Warm introductions are always a good way in, it’s always worth asking around as you’d be surprised who knows who and can help introduce you.

Who do you think your typical customer is?


I think they are mostly lovely ladies who enjoy being surrounded by pretty things and bright colours.  I imagine they are also rather fond of beautiful stationery and cheerful paper goods.  I know from where my cards are stocked that many of them like to visit Waterstones and National Trust shops.



© Angie Spurgeon

Which aspect of your work do you enjoy most?

I love drawing. I also enjoy developing a germ of an idea that’s burning in my head and making it real.  It’s a fabulous feeling to get hold of finished printed items that you’d been imagining for months.

Is there anything you would have done differently if you were starting your business today?

Not really, I believe you need to make mistakes along the way in order to learn and grow.  It’s all part of the journey but the main thing is to make sure you learn quickly from those mistakes and move on.

Are you someone who sets goals regularly or more instinctive?


Definitely, I think goals are essential in business. I set goals in the short, middle and long term because it helps keep me focussed and motivated.  When you are using social media every day to promote your work, it’s very easy to get distracted or start comparing yourself to someone else and then start to drift and feel demoralised. That’s where I find goal setting comes into its’ own, it’s a great discipline when you work on your own. It snaps me back to focus on what I need to be doing to help move me towards where I want to be.  It’s also vital to be able to assess your own progress as one person’s perception of success is very different from another’s. 

Have you ever or do you employ people part time to help with any aspect of your business? For example, book keeper, accountant, packers? If you do how did you find people who were the right fit for you?

At the moment I don’t employ anyone, although I do like to outsource certain things if it makes better sense in terms of use of my time.  I tend to outsource some of the photography, such as the important shots I need each year.  I also outsource my year end accounts.  I do my book keeping, but will hand it over to a good qualified account at the end of the year to make sense of it and ensure it’s done correctly which is certainly worth it for the peace of mind it brings me.  I tend to find outsource partners from word of mouth.  If they’ve done a good job for someone I know, trust and respect then chances are they’ll do a good job for me.



© Angie Spurgeon

Could you describe where you work? Are you alone most of the day or with others? Do you feel that they way it is now is the best fit for you? Do you see that changing?

My studio is a custom built corner of our bedroom.  Sometimes the dining table get used for drawing or packing purposes.  I tend to get most of the order fulfilling, emailing and social networking stuff sorted in the hours when our girls are at school.  The design development tends to take place in the hours when the children are in bed, as that’s when I find it works best for me.  We do have a room at the back of the house which the children use as a playroom - when they’re older and their toys get smaller and more gadget-y I shall reclaim it as my studio, but for now we manage as we are.


Do you have a mentor or people who you are able to discuss your business with? If not how do you find you best make decisions about your business?


I’m lucky to be surrounded by a very supportive family. My husband keeps me on track and always rolls his sleeves up to help whenever I need it.  My dad and brother both have their own businesses so are great to turn to for advice and are always quick to share their knowledge and passion for being entrepreneurs.


Finally please tell us where we can buy your work!


www.artworkbyangie.com
https://beta.folksy.com/shops/artworkbyangie
https://www.etsy.com/shop/artworkbyangie
http://society6.com/angiespurgeon


Thanks very much for telling us your story Angie, it's really interesting to read how you manage things working from home and how clear headed you are, I find your thoughts about goal setting really helpful.
 


Sunday, 13 April 2014

A shop for my paintings on Folksy.com



This is what my new shop looks like so far. Now that I have posted almost all the paintings I have available for sale (I've yet to add works on paper - and cards) - I will be able to burst forth with new work!!

What will it be? We'll have to wait and see...(you and me both).. the most recent piece here is the Beach Swim at the top right that I finished yesterday. I love it. Currently it's hanging on my bedroom wall and I enjoyed looking at it this morning as the room grew brighter.

You can click through to my shop on the Find Me on Folksy badge third one down on the right. If you do happen to look through the shop I would love to read which painting you'd like on your wall most of all of them.

I will enter anyone who comments on this page or their favourites in a draw to win a set of 5 cards of their favourite designs, which I will print myself in a couple of weeks time. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

Friday Finds - Jennifer Orkin Lewis - painter and designer



Good morning! Today's Friday Finds is the wonderful Jennifer Orkin Lewis - a.k.a August Wren, whose painting I've admired ever since I saw her work in the Lilla Rogers course we both took. I just love this profile picture that Jennifer dashed off a few days ago. She mentions her daily project further on...

 © Jennifer Orkin Lewis
 
When did you start your business and why? Did you plan how you started meticulously or was it almost accidental? Tell us your story of how “August Wren" came to be!

I went to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and after I graduated I worked in textile studios painting patterns and repeats. I became a stylist with a NY textile company. I didn’t paint or draw much at the time but I was working with patterns, repeats, design studios and artists, putting together the line each season. When I look back I know it made a big impression on me and has influenced my new work tremendously. 


When my son was little I started cutting back my days at work, one because business was a bit slow, and two, the industry was changing and I was ready for some new challenges. One of the studios I bought designs from asked me to design for him. It was a great way to get back into doing my own thing. I sold lots of work for greeting cards and fabric. The style I was painting in at that time was very different than it is now, more ink and watercolour and softer. I did lots of freelance work for fabric companies, some book covers and graphic design work.  

After a few years I was moving on again, I just started making lots of art, lots of digital work, but I started to realize my true love is painting. A big project the past 2 years has been illustrating for a blog called The Perfect Score Project. www.perfectscoreproject.com. I have licensed greeting cards, done fabric design, eco blankets and more. After taking MATS A&B I think I have solidified my style more and am still trying to decide who I want to be now!


Eat Your Hat © Jennifer Orkin Lewis  

Did things take off immediately or has it been a slow burn?
 
It’s a slow burn. I did decide that I really only want to do work that is satisfying to me and where I’m not compromising my aesthetic. I’ve seen lots of my patterns on fabrics but I wasn’t always thrilled with the final product. I want to love what I do and love the outcome.

Do you do your business part time or full time?

 
My son is away at college now so I have the luxury and curse of working all the time. 


 
Two pages from the sketch book © Jennifer Orkin Lewis

Do you intend to grow your business into something much bigger or are you happy with it as it is and why?

I want to grow, I have lots of ideas and plans. I’d like to do some lifestyle editorial work as well as expand into more licensing. One project I’ve worked on for over a year is a children’s book. The author and I are working on getting a publisher. Things are starting to simmer with that so I will have something to show soon!

Do you make a good living if you are full time?


I make way less than when I was a stylist but I’m also much happier.

Where do you sell your work? 

 
I have an Etsy and Society 6 shop. I sell lots of original work during our annual local studio tour, art/craft shows and word of mouth. 



Table © Jennifer Orkin Lewis

Which of the selling methods that you use works best for you? Why do you think this is?
 
I sell much more live.. I think it’s because I haven’t been great at keeping up my shops. There’s also something about seeing the work for real that seems to make a more emotional connection with a buyer. I am painting a series of large canvases now and hope to have a gallery show soon.

Who do you think your typical customer is?

I really love to paint flowers and quirky people and patterns. I think those subjects appeal to women.



© Jennifer Orkin Lewis

Which aspect of your work do you enjoy most?

I love when I start out a project and I don’t really know where it’s going and through exploration I create something I really love. On another note, I am on the board of our local arts council and among other things I run a blog where I interview local artists. I find it very inspiring to meet so many creative people and their passion is thrilling. That blog is at http://riverartsblog.wordpress.com/

Is there anything you would have done differently if you were starting your business today?

I wish I could have taken the  Make Art That Sells class years ago.. I learned so much about what I want to do and how. Of course it wasn’t available then!

Are you someone who sets goals regularly or more instinctive?

I’m very intuitive, but I make small goals for myself. I don’t have a great ability to see far into the future. My yearlong project right now is a 30 minute painting everyday in my sketchbook. I just finished month 3. It’s been an amazing experience, deciding what to paint everyday, how much I can accomplish in 30 minutes, playing with techniques, and getting comfortable letting what happens, happen. I post them everyday on Instagram and it’s such a supportive community there, it keeps me very motivated.

Have you ever or do you employ people part time to help with any aspect of your business? For example, book keeper, accountant, packers? If you do how did you find people who were the right fit for you?

 
I’m hoping to get a part time intern this spring for a few weeks. I want help upkeeping my shops especially.





Green Floral © Jennifer Orkin Lewis

Could you describe where you work? Are you alone most of the day or with others? Do you feel that they way it is now is the best fit for you? Do you see that changing?

I’m in my studio with my cat Sushi. I am very comfortable here but I’m starting to crowd myself out, now that I’m doing larger paintings. Someday we will renovate our old stand alone garage so I can have more space.

Do you have a mentor or people who you are able to discuss your business with? If not how do you find you best make decisions about your business?

I have a few friends who are very supportive and encouraging. One in particular loves to come by and brainstorm with me. My husband is also a great help, we were at RISD together, he’s an architect and very visual yet business minded, He will help me sort some things out.

What is a typical day for you in your business as it is now? What would be a dream day for you – business or otherwise?

I’m most creative in the morning. I try get up early, do my most creative work whether for a job or myself before 2 or so. After that I am more drifty.. That’s when I can do more technical things. I do find in the evening I can do my big paintings it must be a different corner of my brain. I make a big list every morning and I use a timer to keep me focused! It feels great as I cross out tasks that I accomplish. A dream day would be one that is 48 hours rather than 24 and where I just paint all day.

Anything else you want to add… tips or plans or ambitions or even  special offers to my blog readers?

I would love to offer a print of one of my sketchbook drawings to one of your readers. Either the green sketch above or this one below ....




 Black Vase © Jennifer Orkin Lewis

That’s so generous  of you Jennifer - I think this both are lovely and wish i could enter!:) 

To win one of these prints please leave your comments below making sure that you include your choice of either "Green floral" or "Black Vase" as part of your comment and I will draw a winner in approximately seven days time and put Jennifer in touch with whoever wins!

Finally Jennifer please tell us where we can buy your work:

Website: http://augustwren.com/
Etsy:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/augustwren?ref=si_shop
Society 6: http://society6.com/AugustWren
Blog: http://augustwren.blogspot.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/augustwren 


Thank you so much for letting me interview you Jennifer and showing your glorious paintings; you are a true inspiration to me.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Revamp for Moobaacluck

 

It's started! I have begun the revamp of Moobaacluck; of course there is quite a lot to do still - principely building my shop again and working out how to add social media icons so that they aren't all over the place. I am really pleased with how the front page is looking so far though with the new logo. I found a typeface that is quite close to the look of the hand drawn lettering I had before but I think it's more legible and sophisticated yet still fun.




I love the little creatures I drew with chalk pastel on Monday evening and am going to design some products based on them over the next few weeks.

I hope you like the new look!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

There is a blog I love ...

There is a blog I love that I don't read nearly often enough written by a special lady called Nicole Cody.

Her latest post shows images and beneath them messages for you related to the one image you are most drawn to. I love these posts and it's uncanny how spot on they are. Today's for me was blue. I feel like someone has given me permission to have a short rest from the things on my mind.

Then I popped over to her previous post and read these words. Which could not be more apt. Thank you Nicole. Your gift is precious.

“Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer.
If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” 
~ C.S. Lewis

Visit Cupcake and Cauldrons!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Friday Finds - Rachelle Panagarry



Today's Friday Finds is artist and illustrator Rachelle Panagarry who I met virtually when we both took the Make Art That Sells course with Lilla Rogers; she then went on to set up the Cultivate Art Collective of which I am a member.


 
 © Rachelle Panagarry

When did you start your business and why? Did you plan meticulously or was it more accidental?

I wouldn’t say that I had an actual plan, it was more of a desire to be making art full-time rather than teaching and trying to fit in art around it all. It really became more a realistic idea sometime in 2011 when I was on sick leave from my full time job. Being out of school allowed me lots of time to draw and make art again, more as a theraputic distraction rather than anything serious, but mostly it gave me lots of thinking time. 

All this time made me really sure that a career in art was what I really wanted above everything else and I set about writing a set of 12 goals to slowly make it happen. It wasn’t until my Father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2012 that I handed in my notice to care for him and used every other moment possible to concentrate on making my art career become a reality. After all, I was going to have to get myself another source of income now that I’d quit my job. It was really time for me to take a complete leap of faith and go for it. When my Father passed away in May 2013, that’s when I decided to rent a studio space and start working on my art as a serious career. I also went back to college to take a Masters Degree in Children’s Book Illustration and
set up Cultivate Art Collective as a way to get my art out there on another platform and also to enable myself and other artists to have the opportunity to exhibit at the big trade shows like Surtex. It’s been a long and rocky start but now I’m looking forward to a bright future.

(I love these sketches by Rachelle for one of her book projects:)




Did things take off immediately or has it been a slow burn?

Although I started to promote and make my art whilst I was still holding down my full time job, I still managed to get myself published twice and sell lots of original work. Don’t get me wrong, it took a lot of hours doing the promoting side and social networking to get noticed, but looking back now it was all worth it. The thing I noticed was that once I had been published in the US this almost created a ripple effect of opportunities, and thankfully they are still coming.
 

Do you do your business part time or full time?

I know make art full time – it sounds so good to say that!


© Rachelle Panagarry

Do you intend to grow your business into something much bigger or are you happy with it as it is and why?

At this point in time my main goals for this year are to get myself an agent, have some licensing deals as well as graduating with a published book. I’m always looking for ways to challenge myself and grow my business. The studio that I rent also has space to hold workshops so this is also something I’m planning on doing alongside everything else.

If this is your full time job do you mind saying what your approximate turnover is annually ?

 
At the moment, my turnover is approx 25k – with room for improvement!



Where do you sell your work?

I have shops on Etsy and Society6 where I sell smaller items like prints, ceramics and other bits and bobs. I sell larger pieces through my website, and I also host another website where I sell my online workshops. 


I have sold at art and craft fairs in the past, the success of these usually depends on the weather and time of year. This year I will also be branching out to sell designs at Surtex in New York.

Which of the selling methods that you use works best for you? Why do you think this is?


Etsy has been really good although it’s one of these things that needs quite a bit of promoting as Etsy is so big and your little shop can easily get lost. My best sellers are actually my online workshops which I sell via my blog and websites. I’m not sure why they would sell more than anything else, but I have a lot or repeat customers who like to take every class. They are also very kind at spreading the word and helping in the success of the classes.
 

Have you had publicity in national magazines? If so how did you approach them?  

I have had publicity in magazines in the US. I have been published in both Somerset Studio and Artful Blogging from Stampington. I have also been published with Cloth, Paper Scissors in one of their special didgital editions called Art Lessons which was a whole issue devoted to my art and techniques. This year, I will also be published with CPS in the summer. For the Stampington magazines, I approached them by physically sending in artwork and writing a feature article. The Cloth, Paper Scissors also came up from an email I sent with artwork, but since then they have invited me to contribute. I also keep in touch with both magazines on a regular basis via short emails.

One of my aims for this year is to be published in the UK.





© Rachelle Panagarry

Who do you think your typical customer is?

For my artwork, they are women aged 25-45, mostly in the US and Oz,they are using Pinterest and Etsy and have an awareness of styles and trends in interiors and fashion.

My workshop customers are from a much wider group. Mostly women,aged from 25-65, located mostly in the US. They are women who use facebook and they tend to follow mixed-media artists.


Which aspect of your work do you enjoy most?

I LOVE creating, just the simple thing of actually painting or drawing something. That’s the thing that gets me stirred up and excited. More recently, I’m also enjoying learning new skills in Photoshop and Illustrator.

Is there anything you would have done differently if you were starting your business today?

I think I would have actually followed the same process, just perhaps been more self assured that I could do it if I worked hard at it and not listened to those inner voices that say no-one will buy your work.



© Rachelle Panagarry

Are you someone who sets goals regularly or more instinctive?
 
I was always a more instinctive kind of person generally despite the fact that in my job as a teacher I had to be very organised and structured etc. I do now set goals. When I first set out to make the change in career, I listed 12 goals to complete in 12 months. Some where (or they seemed to me) big goals such as getting published in Somerset Studio, or teaching art workshops in the US. At the end of the 12 months, I had ticked off every one! Since then I always start January by making 12 BIG goals for the year with December as my deadline, and each week I also set small deadlines depending on what projects are going on. I usually have about 4 deadlines on any week.


Have you ever or do you employ people part time to help with any aspect of your business?

This isn’t something I have done yet, I manage everything myself butthe closest I have come to this is finding someone to share my studio space with to cut costs.
 

Could you describe where you work? Are you alone most of the day or with others? Do you feel that they way it is now is the best fit for you? Do you see that changing?

I work in my studio which is about 5 mins away from my home. It’s actually an office space in a business center but it’s great as it has a large room with space for two of us. The studio also has a half dividing wall with a separate space that has a table for 10 people for workshops or meeting clients etc. It’s a really bright and lovely place to be, and just the fact that it is away from home helps with the fact that it is ‘work’ that I go to everyday.

I share my studio space with a friend who also does creative work along with other things. She is in the studio a few days per week and I work alone the rest. For me I find it a good balance, I work best alone but I do enjoy company too. I also really enjoy it when there are workshops happening in the studio – it creates a real buzz.


Do you have a mentor or people who you are able to discuss your business with? If not how do you find you best make decisions about your business?
 
I’d love to have a mentor! At the moment, my husband is my sounding board. Besides his patience, he is also really good at helping me see the bigger picture and keeping me business focussed rather than swept away in the art!


What is a typical day for you in your business as it is now? What would be a dream day for you – business or otherwise?

I arrive at the studio at 8:30am after the school run, put on the coffee machine and whilst that is brewing I check emails and have a quick run through all my social media. I like to take this time to see if there is anything I need to respond to, comment on, or even something that might affect the days schedule. Once the ‘business side’ is done, I’ll generally get down to working on projects. I often get totally engrossedand work right through lunch without even realising. I tend to pack up around 5pm and go home. The only ‘work’ I do at home is the social media stuff or maybe reading.

Everyday is pretty much a dream day for me, I think the icing on the cake would be an email for a big licensing deal!




© Gabriella Buckingham

Anything else you want to add… tips or plans or ambitions ...
 
One of the best things that has helped me is to observe people who are doing what I wanted to do, find out how they did it, and take the same steps in my own way.I’d read tons of books about art related business, especially if they were written by people I admired and wanted to emulate. I also have a notebook where I write ideas down or take notes from books. For the business side of things, especially art licensing, taking onlineworkshops has really helped. For example, Make Art That Sells from Lilla Rogers really opened my eyes to the possibilities of where you can take your art. It helped to hear from the business side of someone who does this for a living.

Networking is also something that I take very seriously, its usefulness can’t be underestimated. Finally, social media is an artists best friend. Besides being free, it canopen up your world and bring in opportunities. It’s always important to take care of your social media accounts and nurture relationships built there. I always take time to comment, reply and thank people and this again has brought me work and opportunities. You never know who’s looking!
 

Finally please tell us where we can buy your work..


My Etsy is http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtEyeCandy

Society6 http://society6.com/ArtEyeCandy

Website http://www.rachellepanagarry.com


Thanks so much Rachelle - your work is delightful and I wish you great success in New York in May at Surtex. Booth nos.214 and 216 if you're visiting!