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  • Writer's pictureHelen English Artist

New ideas over coffee...

I’m all for the easy life but, to be honest, when I take a good look at myself I thrive when I have a challenge! I like it when I think of something new to try or I hear about an opportunity which suits what I am trying to do, and this week a couple of things happened which have propelled me along a path.

I have shown a few people my calendars and cards and, although it was not my intention initially, I made a sale every time I did this. A pattern was emerging! My local arts centre runs fairs on a semi-regular basis and I had the Christmas one in mind as I looked at their Facebook page. I applied and managed to get a stall. Now I potentially have people who I haven’t met who I will be able to show my work. Then another opportunity raised its head.

I had popped my head into a place who had expressed interest in exhibiting my café pictures earlier this year. That was before the spectre of Covid hit. Along with many businesses, the place in question has had to focus on other things and changing artwork is not a high priority currently. However, as I chatted with one of the team about the calendars and cards which I have been designing and selling, she suggested speaking to a local store. So straightforward, but sometimes it takes someone to point the obvious out!

I sat down with a coffee and pondered the suggestion for five minutes and realised that we have a local bookstore which I love and this could be the place where my work could find a home. Luckily I’d ordered my coffee in a takeaway cup because I stood up and headed straight for the bookstore, taking the final swig of my coffee as I turned the final corner and marched through the door. To my delight, once I’d shown them what I was doing, the bookstore welcomed me with open arms. We discussed terms and I delivered my first box of stock to them the next day. This also led me to thinking about ‘in person’ selling. This year has been an online one and I’ll admit that I have been happy to go along for the ride but I also know that my work makes far more impact when people see it in real life. It seems like it’s time for a change in direction.

Like other weeks, I tell stories because it allows me to consider the events of my life and what they mean. They also all carry a message which I want to share in the hope that they resonate with something in your life. This one is that the ‘follow your nose’ message which I talked about last week has a place wherever you are. If you are feeling like you need inspiration, find people who you don’t normally talk too and share what you are up to. Likely they will have a different perspective on your story. Then take an idea and try it out.

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