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  • Helen English Artist

Going to market

I have a line, which I trot out with regularity. It is that you do nothing without learning something. It sounds contrite but it is true, for me at least. Possibly I know nothing until I do it, but I do also hope that it is because I reflect on new experiences – something which I had drummed into me as a trainee teacher.


So , yesterday was my first time selling on a market stall. My automatic response went back to my experiences working in cafes, where I say hello to everyone who walks past! I focused my attention on simply interacting with everyone and having a conversation. I figure that it’s nice to sell but you might as well have a good time doing it and not spend your time seeing dollars as the only mark of a successful day.


It was also really interesting to see other stalls and The Arts Village green in Rotorua transform itself for a day. There were live bands playing, hula hooping, Christmas decoration activities, and the café was buzzing. All in all, it really felt like the run up to a true Kiwi Christmas. We certainly are lucky here to be able to congregate with little trepidation in a world which is social distancing.



As it turned out, I made a few sales but I also had many conversations about my portrait process, which has led to potential commission work but also other ideas. And I like ideas – they fuel my work! I am working on some of those today while they are fresh, and thinking about my next market in six days!

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