Home is where the heart is, and during lockdown we’ve all seen more of our homes than ever before! Lots of people have been inspired to re-decorate and renovate as a result, so this week’s Meet the Maker meets 3 of our wonderful artists, who each create prints and pieces to brighten up the home. Introducing Echo Art, DrawInk Designs and Patrick & Finn!
Each of these makers creates prints and offers bespoke services too, so whether it’s a gift for a special occasion or even wedding stationery that you’re after, they have it all…
Pedddle: Where did you first become interested in these things, and where did you learn the skills it takes to produce your products?
Echo Art: I’ve been drawing all my life! Whenever we went somewhere and I was allowed to buy a souvenir it would always be a pencil, notebook or a pen. I have just always loved being creative!
I loved colouring in when I was little, my Dad would draw pictures for me and I’d spend ages colouring them in, in the lines of course! All through school I had a love for Art and Design, but I fell in love with Graphic Design, then went on to do this at Uni. This is where my passion for lettering started. I fell in love with the different ways you can create letters and the difference a font can make to a piece.
The style of lettering can change any piece of work, to make it feel different to the viewer and this just fascinated me. 2018 I picked up a calligraphy pen and never looked back!
DrawInk: I have always doodled! It used to drive my mum mad, the amount of doodling over my school books instead of actual work, but I just couldn’t help myself! I love pattern and find inspiration in nature and architecture. Nature especially has the most beautiful patterns, my favourite being ice. Some insane patterns form when water freezes on different surfaces.
I studied Art at school but found that what I enjoyed doing most was my own thing, so I didn’t take it further with examinations. Since school, I have spent lots of time honing my skills and now love nothing more than exploring new shapes and patterns.
Patrick & Finn: I’ve always loved to draw from a really small age, I remember asking for just colouring books and everything that goes with it for my birthday one year, and even for my 30th my husband bought me the entire contents of Hobbycraft!
I never went to university, I didn’t really get any qualifications, I fell into working,and became a visual merchandiser for a number of years. I did go to college right after school, where I studied fashion and textiles but that’s it, I’m completely self taught.
I’ve learnt from Skillshare, YouTube, lots of books and the kindness of others really. It’s taken me nearly 5 years but I’m proud of what I’ve done and achieved so far.
Pedddle: Sounds amazing! What have you been working on recently?
Echo Art: Recently I’ve been working with a friend on a ‘Find Joy’ campaign. This promotes mental health awareness and is a page on Facebook to spread joy! My ‘Find Joy Collection’ on my website is something we created together in the hope that it would spread some joy in these unprecedented times.
These are prints available in postcards, A5 and A4 sizes. 50% of all profits will go to charity, 25% to NHS charities and 25% to hospices.
DrawInk: I’m currently pregnant, so I haven’t had much time to create many new products recently! However, my maps have proved especially popular lately.
Patrick & Finn: I have a brand new floral collection of prints. It’s taken me a little while to figure out what I love and how to create my own style in my artwork, and I definitely feel like I’ve found that in my floral illustrations.
Pedddle: What first made you consider selling your products at markets?
Echo Art: My mam! I never had any confidence in myself when I started out, so really she pushed me to do what I do today.
My local market, Uttoxeter Makers Market, always makes the town booming! We decided to give it a go with my products, and nearly 2 years later we are still doing them. I actually am really missing them due to Covid-19, so hopefully they will be back up and running soon!
DrawInk: When I moved to Nottingham from London in September 2018, I decided that I wanted to immerse myself as much as possible in the Independent and artistic community. I found a wonderful bunch of supportive female entrepreneurs and was blown away by the support available to small businesses and knew that in order to widen my social circle, markets were a good idea.
I had always liked the idea of doing markets with my art, but London is such a huge city that it was difficult to know where to start. When I moved to Nottingham I found the ‘market scene’ much more accessible and spent a year doing as many as I could.
Part of the allure of markets is getting your business and brand ‘out there’, so while some markets weren’t as successful as others on the day, I did find the awareness of my brand increased, which in turn helped my sales!
Patrick & Finn: I initially struggled online and gaining an online presence, so I found a small local market near home and I just loved it. I sold so much and overnight I knew I had a product that would sell, I met so many lovely people and have some really good friends from doing markets.
Pedddle: What makes selling at markets so special?
Echo Art: The interaction you get with people and seeing people’s reaction to your work is wonderful. For me it’s hard to explain everything online, and exactly what I can do because I literally can letter onto anything! 90% of the time it is so positive and it gives me the confidence boost I need to carry on sometimes!
The relationships you create with fellow market traders are absolutely invaluable! I’ve made some of the nicest friends along the way and it’s so nice to have the support and community you build together.
DrawInk: I love doing markets because of the face to face interaction with customers. There is such a community feel to markets that I really enjoy, with traders and customers alike. There’s a real feeling of camaraderie. I have picked up so many tips and tricks from other traders – and hopefully passed on a few myself!
Patrick & Finn: 100% the people; there is a huge buzz when you’re selling items you have made to people who you don’t know! For a while my whole customer base would be my family and friends – my mum’s house is full of my prints – but selling to the public and hearing their feedback makes it all worthwhile. You realise what amazing products are out there and shopping small really makes special occasions feel so much more special.
Pedddle: Do you offer personalisation or any other unique services?
Echo Art: I can personalise pretty much anything! That is my selling point really! Because I create everything by hand, I can letter onto anything – not just paper, I’ve lettered onto chalkboards, windows, plant pots, mirrors, you name it!
I also offer a bespoke wedding stationery service, in which I work with the bride and groom to create a stationary set that is perfect for them. I specialise in calligraphy but also love watercolours. One of my favourite things to do is to combine the two mediums and create a really special wedding stationary set.
DrawInk: My maps especially are personalised to each customer, but I am very open to personalising any of my prints should the customer want it. I also offer a commission service so you can create your own truly bespoke piece!
Patrick & Finn: Yes! I am currently working on a whole wedding collection and I offer a selection of prints which can all be personalised. I love lettering and if I can pop a name or a special date on a print I am always happy to help.