Life has been a whirlwind since the return to school and studio life in September. On top of moving into a new studio all to myself, I've been working towards showing my work at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair which took place last week at its new venue of Upper Campfield Market on Deansgate, Manchester.
Having an impending deadline I think benefits most of us in terms of productivity; I have always worked better under pressure and although the night before might be cutting it fine these days, you can't beat the flurry of activity and energy that arises when a big event draws near.
Working part time around school hours means I often just get into my creative flow and then have to dash off to do the school run. Having time to "play" in the studio is underrated but its the time when I accidentally do something as a result of another task perhaps, that often leads to a design or solution that is successful.
The thought of exhibiting at a fair fires my mind into action: the ideas I want to make, how I want to display my work, the experience I want to give visitors, the messages I want to put across and how I'm going to make it all happen. As weeks fly by and the event draws near I quickly scribble down the ideas that arise whilst making so I can revisit them when I have time; I often wish I could bottle them like the BFG bottles the dreams that he collects- I would love to have a studio wall lined with bottled ideas!
This year GNCCF teamed up with Patricia Van den Akker from The Design Trust who ran two webinars for GNCCF exhibitors prior to the event with a focus on planning and marketing. I am a keen devotee of Patricia and last year took her Creative Business Planning course after seeing her talk at various places. She really understands creative businesses and how they are different; offering practical, down-to-earth advice and guidance on everything from how to price your work to tips on social media and blogging. Her in depth questions and tasks are thought provoking and challenging but her genuine passion and interest in helping your business succeed really comes across and makes you feel less alone in driving your dream forward.
The fair gives me the opportunity to talk to so many interested and interesting people and now I feel motivated to get back into the studio and focus on my next goal.
SUNDAY 12TH NOVEMBER
COME AND TRY ON HATS IN MY STUDIO