Developing a distinctive product.

When I first moved to Dorset I looked around for local scenes with Christmas cards. At the time in 2016 I didn’t find any but have seen some since. I decided that I could use this idea of Christmas cards to draw some well known local views which many people have done but in a new way.

So approaching Christmas 2017 I designed my first two cards – my theme – “Santa Over Purbeck” and I produced two scenes / 7″ by 5″ card designs. These were drawn originally at a slightly larger scale and then printed as cards.

The more successful design has been “Santa Over Swanage”, early comments included that Santa was on the water rather than in the air, but I was fine with that. I used the classic view north of Durlston Castle showing: Durlston Bay, Peveril Point, Ballard Point and Old Harry Rocks with Bournemouth in the background. The card sold well in 2017 and has continued to do so in 2018 also.

Drawn in Winsor and Newton Promarkers like most of my coloured work, Santa gave a reason to draw a deeper night sky.

The second card in the series also produced for 2017 shows a view you have to travel off the beaten track to see and is beat seen on foot. It shows Houns Tout, the headland I live on standing above Chapman’s Pool with the silhouette of the Isle of Portland in the background. A lower selling design but an idea that I will add to as there are several favourite landmarks found on foot here that you can not see as easily, it is why this coastline appeals to many walkers.

The cards were a success during Artisans on the Beach 2017. During the event I chose my next areas to include. I drew an original A4 piece for Wareham but then modified the design as I wanted to include the bridge as well as the Quay. This original remains available (If interested, please contact me)

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The revised version was drawn at size to fit an 8″ by 4″ card template. I have been pleasantly surprised and this card has sold in better numbers than I expected in 2018. In fact if I had cards printed in time for PAW18 I could have sold Christmas cards in May/June which was a genuine surprise.

The fourth design and extremely successful design for 2018, almost catching the sales for the Swanage card is Santa Over Corfe Castle. Living on the edge of Kingston on the limestone ridge in Purbeck I am used to looking down into the valley upon Corfe Castle and Poole Harbour beyond through the gap in the chalk Purbeck Hills ridge. I have used this sort of view before for my piece North of the ridge. It is also a popular local angle used by photographers capturing Corfe in the mist.

This picture sold its original in 2017 and the print is proving popular too.

My first successful Lino print drawn by hand and then took hand painting with printing ink to get a satisfactory outcome as it was hand rolled. (This picture is in my private collection).

Both card designs had been drawn and proofs printed by February 2018 but cards weren’t ordered until August when they started to sell. For 2019 I have two designs in mind, again I shall be drawing them this month and having proofs made but there will be cards of all six designs ready for PAW19 just in case the demand is there again.

I am so pleased to have gone ahead with this idea and it has been very successful now accounting for up to 30% of my greeting card sales to date. I have had ideas suggested by visitors / customers and there may be a new “Santa Over….” series starting in 2019. If that happens you will be able to read about it here.

Changes afoot …

Well if I haven’t chased my readers away with infrequent posts recently. I decided enough of my excuses I needed to up my game with my online presence. So I am restructuring the web site – all constructive feedback welcomed.

What lies ahead?

– Meet the artist events – i.e. come into the Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street, Wareham when I am on duty. I am there to promote the work of all of our Artisans. However, if I can answer questions linked to techniques and the media that I use then I will. Please note my art materials are not for sale as one gentleman tried recently but I can recommend stockists that I use.

– Christmas, yes that season that I would never have considered this early before becoming an artist, lies ahead and my #SantaOverPurbeck range of 4 card designs are now available from Bay H at the yard. I can also take orders by using the contact form in the menu options in the site header or email me direct at andy@andyknillart.com. They retail at £2 each, or 3 for £5. Interests in commercial stocking or larger quantities (25 units plus will include price discounts).

-on Saturday August 25th I will have work for sale at a craft event in Wareham Town Hall. This will include my full card range of printed cards and a selection of original pieces and fine art prints of my work to date.

– In December I will be participating in Artisans on the Beach in the beach huts on Shore Road, Swanage as I did in 2017. I am on the committee to organise the event which will focus on being open from Friday to Sunday for the five weekends so that Artisans are all there. I will be open on additional weekdays, details to be given in November. If you would like to look at what is required and would consider putting an application in by the September 2nd deadline please see the Artisans on the Beach page on Facebook. We will have an event that develops from the previous events and yes “that” suit may make an appearance.

I will continue to develop new pieces. I have two events booked for Autumn 2019 but I will tell you about those in 12 months.