Marchmeetthemaker day 25 and the prompt is Starting Point. This can be approached in so many ways linked to the multitude of jobs that you do as a small business.
The initial photos are based on my Instagram post today but then I will add some extra examples as well linked to other things I have been doing just this week alone.
As I have described before my artwork usually starts with a pen line drawing in fineliner, occasionally in marker. A couple of years ago I decided that rather than the two brands I had used up to that point I should try out a variety of fineliner brands and see if particular ones worked better for me.
All of my drawings start with a pen, I only draw, there are no brushes used in my work.
My colour work is produced using marker pans. Since 2015 when I started I have used Winsor and Newton ProMarkers. These are alcohol based and permanent. Early on when I discovered them I thought i had a massive collection when I filled this drawer in my IKEA drawer unit. Now just over 4 years later my collection includes the whole colour range. I have also started to use Posca paint markers on some pieces, more often when drawing on hats, boiler suits and wooden boxes.
In 2018 I had decided I wanted to produce my own hand drawn art suit by December during the Artisans on the Beach event in Swanage it became a reality. A new direction for my art – the first suit was a paper painting suit – very thin and easy to tear and once worn difficult to rewear, although I have kept it. I found a workwear shop Acutts in Weymouth and have subsequently bought several items from them. The hand drawn boiler suits became a talking point and one of my ways of wearing my art and advertising what I do at the same time.
After lockdown 1 in 2020 I drew my new logo and colours onto this pith helmet that I had bought from Snooks in Bridport. Again to advertise my art. Then I was given two fancy dress pith helmets someone thought I might like to draw on, I did, I put them out in the shop and as much to my surprise as anyone else’s they sold. Since then I have sold 12 hand drawn hats – 6 of them commissioned specially. Who knew…
Starting point – well it was a drawing of these in December 2016 that started AndyKnillArt as my first sale to the Swanage Information Centre, I have drawn them again several times on their own or as part of local scenes.
We have a lady called Gill Richards who posts photos of Swanage throughout the year. Imagine my surprise having enjoyed a paddle in the bay to find a photo of me kayaking. She let me draw it and I sold it on a mini canvas easel. My watersports have featured in many works since – gig rowing with Swanage Sea Rowing Club, hiring out boats with Wareham Boat Hire, Sea kayaking with H2O adventures, sailing with Swanage sailing club and just out in the kayaks on my own. I have drawn pieces based on photos I have taken from the water of the land from a different angle and perspective than most people know.
I promised some extra examples. The hat section was not in my Instagram post. This week in preparing the shop – The Courtyard Studio to reopen I have been decorating my areas of the shop.in my colour scheme that forms the back of my logo – the colours of a Purbeck as I like to call them.
I have mentioned being noticed through my use of my colourful outfits. Over the last year especially I have taken up a number of opportunities of keeping the business in people’s minds while we have gone through lockdowns and the pandemic generally. Some of those avenues have been free in addition to my blogging and social media posts. others have a cost factor which I shall continue with for at least another year and we see how trade is once we can move past Covid 19 and its impacts. So I have profiles on Visit Dorset, In Dorset and several other platforms, I am trying TikTok as another way to appeal to a younger audience than my other outlets. This week my latest strategy has kicked in which is to buy a unit of hours from a PR agent to look specifically at print media and trying to get my message out to a wider audience at a time. This was one skill I decided I would pay someone else to do as I do not have experience or the contacts. So I am working with Jurassic Creative.
Many, many starting points, least of all that in December 2016 I left my profession of 28 years as a secondary school teacher. Four years later in December 2020 I was a co-tenant of a shop in Swanage selling my own artwork and still managing to work part time and have some semi retirement time as well and despite a global pandemic that has shut the shop for 6.5 of the last 12 months I have still broke even as a business for the first time this tax year.
There are going to be so many more starting points for me as an artist and I look forward to them.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-123416164-5009-6109588a6f6ba' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=123416164&post_id=5009&origin=andyknillart.com&obj_id=123416164-5009-6109588a6f6ba' data-name='like-post-frame-123416164-5009-6109588a6f6ba'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>