Support The Arts Sunday

Our third week! We have such an exciting line up ahead of us and we have loved sharing so much amazing work so far.
Supporting and promoting independent and small businesses is so important to us, and in this series we will be giving you a deeper insight into their their practice and their amazing work!

Meet our first artist, @b.creates.illustrations. Creating beautiful illustrations of wedding venues, homes, pets and much more.

What is your process for creating your work, tell us a bit more about how you go from idea to final piece
 I first started creating illustrations during lockdown when I began to draw my own wedding venue and home for fun at the time; since them I have drawn over 60 illustrations of wedding venues, homes, pets and some people too!

What’s your set up at home, are you able to remain creative?
This began as a hobby but has started to become a little more full on. I do still work a full time job but fit in illustrations as much as I can and always try to ensure ta first draft is sent within 1 week of purchase. 

Have you got any tips for remaining creative and promoting your business during lockdown?
Try to be organised so you feel like you’re ticking things off as they’re done, remember to take some time for personal well-being to not be overloaded, don’t be afraid to try new things and if something doesn’t get the result you want don’t be disheartened. 

What are you plans for the future and have you got anything exciting coming up for us to look out for?
I am hoping to continue with illustrating more and more. I love creating wedding venues, homes and pets and want this to continue. I have set myself a challenge to create a wedding venue illustration from every county in the UK (check this out on my page). I am also starting a new range of children’s prints… watch this space 🙂

Discover more from this artist on their Instagram or on their Website

Next up, @essemgejewellery. Creating a range of sleek jewellery. For busy successful entrepreneurial mums who want to look great from AM to PM, & beyond:

What is your process for creating your work, tell us a bit more about how you go from idea to final piece
I am very much like a butterfly when it comes to influences. Finding inspiration comes naturally; editing all the ideas to create one coherent jewellery collection is where my challenge lies!
I am an avid collector, so anything, old or new, that has an interesting texture, shape, colour etc I will keep. I also love reading, and that feeds my ‘research’. I will usually sketch ideas as I go along. I try to keep a sketch book but more often than not it is on scraps of paper that I file in clear-view folders. Usually a lot of what I have gathered will be kept for later collections, so as to focus on just a handful of ideas. I rarely make paper models – not patient enough! – But I do technical drawings to scale. That way I have a very precise list of materials, with sizes etc, as well as processes. It has multiple advantages – everything is documented for when I need to remake another of the same, and I know exactly where I am heading. It also helps with the costing of the final piece!

What’s your set up at home, are you able to remain creative?
Unfortunately I don’t have any space for a makeshift bench at home. I have therefore not been able to produce any new work since mid March. However I have just moved to a new studio space which is a walking distance from me. I am so thrilled about that! It will give me the confidence to go back to the workshop, safely.
I won’t lie, remaining creative in the current environment has been difficult. The way I have managed so far was by finding a new routine – the first couple of weeks have been a little all over the place, like for most people I guess but then with my husband also working from home we quickly created dedicated spaces so that we could each focus on our own things. That has been key to keep a sense of ‘normality’ and ‘control’.

Have you got any tips for remaining creative and promoting your business during lockdown?
If you are able to have a dedicated space at home, however small that will make a huge difference.
Also try to be kind to yourself. Don’t feel that you absolutely have to show the world that you are on top of your game all of the time. It is ok to take time to pause and reflect.
I have felt overwhelmed at times by the relentless flow of online information. What has kept me grounded is the emotional support from family and friends. Sharing with other maker’s tips, ideas or just lovely chats has created bonds stronger than if it had been more ‘normal’ times. Also carving out some time every day to exercise has been very helpful.
As I have not been able to make any jewellery, I have primarily focused on improving my online presence and marketing – including experimenting with jewellery photography and styling, adding products online, being a lot more active on social media, taking part in virtual markets including Morley College’s. I have also attended lots of live webinars and online classes. Such a treat to be able to learn from industry experts, on a variety of subjects! I have also participated in online creative projects and initiatives, incl. the Association for Contemporary Jewellery (ACJ) and the Crafts Council’s #makersupportpledge.

What are you plans for the future and have you got anything exciting coming up for us to look out for?
I am an eternal optimist so lots of plans! One is getting ready for the year-end exhibition with my City lit Fine Jewellery fellow students mid-September. I have been working on some new exciting designs using new techniques that I hope will develop into a fully fledged collection ready on time for this Christmas! I also plan to apply to a couple of virtual pre-Christmas festivals. All of this will keep me quite busy for the rest of the year! 

Discover more from this artist on their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or on their Website.

Finally, @noriko_nagaoka. Japanese Ceramicist inspired by nature.

What is your process for creating your work, tell us a bit more about how you go from idea to final piece
All my works are inspired by nature in Japan and Canada, using a layering glaze style and gravity to create one of a kind ceramics. Trees, ocean scenery, mountains, waterfalls, and animals, are all inspirations to me.

What’s your set up at home, are you able to remain creative?
My studio has been located at the end of my garden since last October. I have been making more ceramics during Lockdown.

What are you tips for remaining creative and promoting your business during lockdown?
During Lockdown , I joined a few online markets on Instagram which is good to sell my works. Sometimes I sell my works on my feed or my story. Top tip is good photos of products!!

What are you plans for the future and have you got anything exciting coming up for us to look out for?
My first open studio (by appointment only)  is on 16th August 1:30pm to 5:30pm ,28th &29th August 2:30pm to 5pm.

I have few fairs in September, 5th Sep: Independent ceramics market, 25-27th Sep :Handmade in Highgate

Discover more from this artist on their Instagram or on their Website

Come back next week as we share even more artists and their practices