Developing a picture from a friend’s photo (with consent)

One of my favourite subjects to draw because of the detail involved in the construction are Cornish Pilot rowing gigs. Each year in May the World championships are held in the Isles of Scilly. My club Swanage Sea Rowing Club takes several team combinations each year. As other commitments have kept me away from rowing recently I have less pictures to work from. A friend posted a photo which I asked consent to draw from. Once I had consent I started to plan how I might draw it.

My first attempt meant that my lines were not smooth enough, starting with the gigs. My second start was while I was working at Purbeck Artisan Yard on duty. My choice A4 Bristol board to use a smooth surface.

I built the picture up in fineliner pigment pen from the top of the image downwards. Artistic interpretation included some changing of details shown.

Then colour would come using my range of Windsor and Newton Promarkers and Brushmarkers. I am very pleased with the overall piece and have asked if anyone at the rowing club is interested in a print. If not, I will just put up for sale as the original during Purbeck Art Weeks starting on May 26th in two weeks.

What do you think? Feedback welcomed.

I have been an artist for a year . . .

So 31 January marked a whole year as AndyKnillArt. I had investigated and come up with the name in November 2016 about the time I had a breakdown and left teaching. I wasn’t in the right headspace so came back to it.

AndyKnillArt is different from my keeping sketchbooks for mindfulness. I was sticking my neck over an imaginary parapet and seeing if people would buy my art work. Friends had encouraged me that my work was good enough, but they are friends …

So it started commercially when I approached Swanage Tourist Information Centre and sold a card design and was commissioned to produce three more designs. This commissioning idea proved to be stressful and I wasn’t strong enough but luckily my second drafts passed. They continue to this day to be selling four designs by me. They are often mentioned in conversation as people say I have seen your work before.

I approached my landlord and gained consent to use an outbuilding for a studio for Purbeck Art Weeks 2017. The studio area wasn’t completed until the night before PAW started. I also tried some craft events where I met more artists and crafters but sold few pieces.

PAW 2017 was my first big success. I now had a range of greetings cards and prints of some of my Swanage pictures. I had joined Swanage Art Workshop after Easter and had some primitive attempts at acrylics. I also displayed some of my photo canvases I have had printed from my photos previously. My studio is on a track to the coast used by walkers and dog walkers, visitors were guided to park and walk 400 metres to reach me so I was one of the most remote studios. However I still attracted 250 visitors over the two weeks. I sold cards, some work on canvas including a rowing regatta original. Prints sold but only in small numbers. I took an active part in PAW through my use of social media especially Facebook which raised my profile. In the end I earnt 20% of the first year’s takings in PAW.

PAW offered some exhibition opportunities so I had work displayed at L’Artishe in Swanage (Artcubed exhibition). PAW at Etches museum, Kimmeridge; RSPB Arne on the theme of Dorset verges; Rollington Barn, PAW headquarters. I am also currently exhibiting as part of the PAW 2017 sketching programme exhibition at The Orchard Cafe, Holme Nurseries.

An active participation then and one which brought me to people’s attention. I had also sold prints to Qatar, Belgium and Germany and Canada more recently. I continued to attend Rempstone Road craft fairs monthly, one original sale made my table profits for the year.

My most successful event was to be the Artisans on the Beach from November 27 to January 07 on Swanage seafront. I had chatted to and met artists here in 2016 and produced my original Swanage beach huts piece that was to be my first sale. While I had sat there often very quiet and withdrawn in my own thoughts. In 2017 I was a new character – lively, engaging, hyper at times. I wore colourful outfits, I acted the fool, I drew outside my beach hut even when others found it much too cold and it worked. My enthusiasm was recognised by Tourist Information and I was awarded Artisan of the Year 2017. Most importantly many people saw me producing new art and talked with me about it. I also took 50% of my earnings for the year over 6 Weeks.

I was invited to go into Swanage Primary School as a local artist, for me this was very special as it had nothing to do with me the ex teacher, my artwork was the reason. This work is continuing.

So 2018, January plans fell behind slightly for various reasons beyond my control. I still have the portfolio photographic work to do. The Year has started well with the culmination of Artisans on the Beach; work on exhibition; Primary School work on landscape art and Paw entry for 2018 done. I have even booked a two month slot to exhibit at RSPB Arne for late 2019.

I no longer deny being a local artist, my sales prove that I am one of those. I enjoy the art community I now belong to and I look forward to many years of promoting the enjoyment of art as a participant or observer to locals and visitors of all ages.

AndyKnillArt News Update July 28th

Hi, I have gone quiet in the last three weeks due to work on some commissions which ultimately did not work out, a period of introspection and a gap in events to sell at. I will be quietly developing work in the background. I am next displaying work and offering work for sale at the Craft fair, St Edwards RC church hall, Rempstone Road, Swanage on Saturday August 12th from 10 onwards.

I am framing some of my fine art print pieces, developing some new original pieces and looking at my card range. The aim is to offer a range of pieces from £2 for my Art2Card printed card stock, through hand coloured versions of some of my pen and ink mono cards to the hand drawn original cards – these are each unique and will not be reproduced as a print set in this form.

Prints will include my current fine art giclee prints at £25 to framed examples at £35. 

Original pieces of art will range from the cards, miniature canvases with their own wooden easels, A4 pieces on watercolour paper to my larger pieces – canvas and framed. I hope by then to also have some panoramic pieces developed from recent sketches I have been doing. Prices range up to £150 presently.

Alongside these I am working on allowing online shopping directly through this blog and my Facebook.com/AndyKnillArt page. This is in a state of development and links to my Square card reader which I have at all events enabling me to take contactless or card payments for works.

I also now have my banner for the table front, business cards and clothing that I will wear, that show how to contact me. Marketing myself is still a fresh concept for which I am doing research in the background. Feedback that is constructive is welcomed especially where it links at good examples to study. I rushed into going public with my art this year so that I could enter Purbeck Art Weeks – that paid off and so I am now developing  ideas a bit slower and working towards Purbeck Art Weeks 2018 and my developed open studio.

I mentioned commissions above – recent experience has shown me how fragile at times my mental health still is ( see personal blog about this if interested at mishmashlearning.wordpress.com). Therefore I am goi g to focus on producing my own work, if people like and buy this that is good. Commissions are a step of uncertainty too far at this time,  although I thank K & M and C & P for their trust shown in me.

In conclusion this month I celebrate my sixth month since AndyKnillArt emerged and I am very pleased with my development as an artist, my improved techniques and acumen re. developing a new business and career, while also still enjoying my arts recuperative effects.

An early morning walk this week on Swyre Head led to posts on Facebook and Twitter which says it all as mentioned in the last paragraph above.

Andy Knill Art News Update 7th July

This week has been the week for deliveries and new plans regarding publicity. Based on the business cards last week (see 1st July Update post) I now have a tshirt design to wear for events / around town to promote discussion, business possibly. I have some prototype business posters to develop further as an idea. For events where I use a table to sell from I now have a banner to fix to the front of the table making it very clear who I am and how to contact me. I will leave images until I am using these at an event itself so should have some photos for the next weekly update. 

My new canvases order has arrived so I can start my commission work  and producing more panoramic landscapes.  I have a meeting today and some clients from PAW have come back to me for a photographic piece too so there is more work in the offing. I am back to sketching most days and have also started a new “Skies” sketchbook to keep an ongoing record of local skies. This will help me develop skills with different media as skies have been a weaker area to date. Yesterday I practised water textures between customers at my river job.

Saturday 8th sees me spending the afternoon at The Arty Bazaar at the Boilerhouse galleries site in Corfe Castle behind the Swanage Rail station. It is a new event for me and hopefully one that may become a regular event.

In the next week then I need to arrange more meetings with clients, work on commissions, sketch and just enjoy my lovely surroundings.

If you see any examples of work that you like either here or on the Facebook page please email me on andy.knill@gmail.com or ring on 01929 481539. Sales can be direct, mailed… the key idea is that I want to expand my customer base. 

AndyKnillArt News 1st July 2017

Well PAW number one has passed, by the end of it I was elated but also weary after 16 consecutive days. I produced a range of art pieces including cards and original canvases. Sales and visitor numbers were far in excess of anything I would have hoped for prior to the Open Studio.

I took some time off initially but in the last week have started sketching again more frequently. I attended The Swanage School Summer Festival on the 24th June. The weather was not helpful but I got to speak about my art but sales were very disappointing. Today I was at the Rempstone Road Craft Fair I have done previously. This was a make a decision day – was it worth an £8 table fee and 6 hours of my time? In the end yes. I sold cards including some new original ones. 

Then a couple expressed interest in the original of the Shore Road beach Huts, a price was agreed. On seeing a sketch I had done of the south side of the bay they also commissioned a canvas 30×80 cm which I will start on as soon as my new canvas order arrives. I hastily rearranged my bookings for the next four craft fairs as this proved you just need one person to walk through the door…


I have also now received my new business cards which replace my previous slips of paper with contact details on. I started to use these today and will endeavour to carry them at all times. I have also ordered some clothing with AndyKnillArt on so that I can self publicise wherever I go and back it up with the business cards.


During PAW I ran a competition to win a free art print, few entries were received and the winner was chosen as M. Summerfield aged 9 whose design will grace my PAW 2018 silk flag design. I await a response on their choice of print.

AndyKnillArt News Update 23 March

So, all cards printed and stock held by me and Swanage Tourist Office. I have also been asked to sketch the Art Workshop in Swanage for some charity flyers. Today I submitted and had a new piece accepted for the PAW exhibition that will run at The Etches Collection, Kimmeridge from 20 May to 11 June. Next piece to work on will be a piece for Verges exhibition also linked to PAW.

I attended a sketchbook workshop on Sunday 19 March which generated a number of ideas to investigate further. Stormy skies seen at Burton Bradstock on Tuesday afternoon has inspired the start of an acrylic piece – my first complete painting at the Art workshop Wednesday group I am currently doing. A second piece has started which will link to photos taken at home with various hares.

I am also working on a logo design. The week has seen orders placed for new art supplies and a wire carousel to display my cards in at events. My creativity is being tested as I come up with other ideas which I can pitch to local people, clubs and businesses for cards and / or prints.

A busy week with several successful outcomes. There are photos of all pieces on he Facebook page, they are blue tinted as the pictures were taken through the cellophane wrappers. A new page is to be created on this site asap with images of all collections , pricing and how to order.

I am hoping that March going into April can see a “spring” in sales.
All feedback gratefully received.

Andy

The development steps working up the page of my first acrylic piece, using sand as mixed media texture enhancer.

AndyKnillArt news update 09 March

If you are a regular follower of the Facebook page – use link(s) above, then you will know of recent progress already. I hope that this blog and possibly an e-commerce website to follow (so many decisions) will keep everyone interested up to date.

Ok, on 31 January I said that any art selling would be a validation of the points friends had made about my art previously. This has clearly been the case already and very quickly too. Using some updating of previous sketches the card collection has been ordered, proof read and printed. I am now the proud owner of a box of 360 greetings cards. 


Cards retail at £2 each.

Before the cards had even been collected I had earnt my first client – Swanage Tourist Office. Their order helped surprise my printer James at Art2card when I ordered an additional set of 100 cards. The canvas print idea was researched thoroughly but based on a small commercial order the price point I could have A4 canvases supplied at would make them too expensive for the client, as I had suspected.

On collection of the cards and one mounted fine art print of the now popular beach huts scene (Shore Road beach huts on Swanage sea front) I now had stock. I posted the fine art print on Facebook that evening and within 15 seconds I had a buyer, they liked the idea of a reminder of the English seaside while they work in the Middle East. So I was now a commercial artist and an international one to boot.



I and the Tourist office have both sold further copies of the beach huts card. The print has been posted to the Middle East. I designed more designs of Swanage for the Tourist Office. This was a good learning meeting on my second visit as I delivered the cards. Some aspects of designs were liked but others were not. I have since amended the pieces and three new orders have been made for cards, so my collection will be in the White House office on the seafront from April. It will be great to go in and see my work up for sale too.

I am currently researching possibilities of an e-commerce website to allow direct sales from me and a mobile form of point of sale handset to allow card payments as well as cash when I am selling at events. My first public sales event will be a local Craft Fair in St Edwards church hall, Rempstone Road, Swanage on 1st April. 


This is the craft fair page on Facebook – I may be attending future fairs as well, booked one to start.

I am also working towards being able to make sales from my Open Studio during PAW (Purbeck Arts Week) from May 27 to June 11 (open everyday from 10-4). When the brochure comes out I will be Studio 22 on a beautiful path to the coast that will allow visitors to see the surroundings that are inspiring my art.

Recent photographs of local wildlife with my new camera are introducing a range of wildlife photo based cards (release date tbc) that show the animals I encounter most days around our home.

All card designs can be ordered as fine art prints in a mount and cellophane envelope. I will publish a table of costs for these in a range of sizes with posting & packaging quoted individually based on customer location. Currently sales are in cash or by BACS. I am investigating a range of canvas prints of some of my photographs in addition (release date tbc).

I have a pen and ink piece based on a local waller’s work on a new drystone wall as part of the Artcubed exhibition at L’Artishe gallery in High Street, Swanage. The original is up for sale at the exhibition.

For those blog visitors who are not on Facebook I will be setting up pages on this blog to show my art and photography work and prices. Feedback is gratefully received on here or to andy.knill@gmail.com (please use subject AndyKnillArt blog in subject).

Thanks for reading.
Andy