We’re bringing you even more amazing makers in another Support Sunday! 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, @helenfrostartist. Artist working in 2 and 3d utilising found and made materials:

What is your process for creating your work, tell us a bit more about how you go from idea to final piece
My work is born from opening many hours scoring the beaches around Chichester Harbour looking for suitable objects to use in my work.  These are almost exclusively manmade objects which entered the sea as utilitarian, mass produced items which have become altered by time and tide to become unique but useless pieces whose worn and distressed finish appeals to me.  I rarely know how I will use the things that I find but I bring them home, photograph and consider them and, over time, an idea forms.  Sometimes the pieces are used by themselves but, more often, they are combined with other found or made items.

What’s your set up at home, are you able to remain creative?
I am lucky enough to have a dedicated studio space within our home.  The downside is that it is all too easy to be distracted by domestic chores and the lure of the keyboard but I try to site aside specific times each week to concentrate purely on being creative.  The lockdown period has been challenging in this respect as, like many others, I have found it hard to concentrate and persevere with my work.  Despite this, I have completed a number of new works, some of which are framed and ready to go!

What are you tips for remaining creative and promoting your business during lockdown?
My best advice is to use a diary and stick to it!  I set aside time in my calendar to be “arty” and try to let nothing interfere with this special time alone.  I do share the studio space with my photographer husband but we are not often in there together or else we might each achieve very little.  I do make it a daily ritual to post on both Instagram and Facebook although I am not so good at keeping up my blog on the website I will confess.  

What are you plans for the future and have you got anything exciting coming up for us to look out for?
Sadly, the Chichester Art Trail due to take place in May this year was cancelled so I am now working hard towards the 2021 event which will be based over 5 days in my studio.  I also aim to hold a solo exhibition at the Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester next year.  I have just been asked to appear in “Findings”, the magazine of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery next year to take part in their focus on found objects.  And, finally, I will make a diary note in my calendar to write a blog at least once a month!

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

Next up, @mei_mei_design. Meik it with colour
~ modern & colourful knitted homewares
~ personalised gifts
~ sharing textile stories & projects:

What is your process for creating your work, tell us a bit more about how you go from idea to final piece
I work with textiles, mostly knitted textiles, so my process involves experimenting on my domestic knitting machine. It’s quite technical so often I have an image in my mind of a texture I want to create but it takes a lot of playing and manipulating with the machine to actually arrive at that image in my head. As for my colours and patterns I take my inspiration from my travels using my 35mm film camera to capture small details that catch my eye along the way. 

What’s your set up at home, are you able to remain creative?
Prior to lockdown I was very envious of creatives who could afford a studio space. As I am still in the early days of my business my studio space is set up in my bedroom. It has slowly taken over a good two thirds of the room, but now in lockdown I am so unbelievably grateful to be able to continue my process as it has definitely helped to keep me calm. I do also use industrial machines at Knitworks London which for some time was closed so that did leave me with a few products that I could not complete orders for. 

What are you tips for remaining creative and promoting your business during lockdown?
Lockdown has given me a lot of time to focus on my business which has been great to just have that space to think of new ideas. As for my tips, I think social media has really shown its importance during this time, but it seems to have become a place for more real connections rather than disconnected scrolling. That is how I have grown my business through telling my story and connecting with my followers from an honest place. 

What are you plans for the future and have you got anything exciting coming up for us to look out for?
Looking to the future feels very difficult at the moment, but I had always said this year was the year to have a craft market. During lockdown I have held many virtual craft markets but I am hoping that mei mei design studio will be selling at a Christmas market once things are a bit more settled. 

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

Finally, @sussexartprints. Two East Sussex based Graphic Designer/Artists. Inspired by local landscapes, nature and abstracts. All Giclée Fine Art Prints from original artwork:

What is your process for creating your work, tell us a bit more about how you go from idea to final piece
Our process is an entirely digital workflow. Generally, we have drawn inspiration for our artwork from local landscapes and natures creatures – great and small. Starting with digital photos, we strive to create a minimalist aesthetic by simplifying image shapes and using a pared-down colour pallet in the final artworks. We also set out to create artwork that visually compliments each other when hung together. Many of our customers comment that they love the sense of quiet calm conveyed in our work – which means we have achieved what we set out to do in our artworks.

What’s your set up at home, are you able to remain creative?
We are fortunate to have always had a home studio; therefore being able to create new work is not limited.

What are you tips for remaining creative and promoting your business during lockdown?
Our focus during this lockdown has been to utilise what would have been time spent on the nitty-gritty logistics of exhibiting at galleries and shows, to create new artwork in readiness of the easing of lockdown restrictions. We have also used this freed-up time to improve our presence, visibility, and engagement on Instagram and Facebook with both potential art-buyers and fellow creatives. We also invested time creating and launching our online shop, which so far has proved time very well spent.

What are you plans for the future and have you got anything exciting coming up for us to look out for?
Ah, as they say, watch this space! 

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