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Claire Mort

Column, Community Page

Be Creative columnist and favourite, Claire Mort, penned her thoughts and feelings on the crisis that has turned the world upside down

And then, the world was different…

So, a few weeks ago all was normal and all I was stressing about was how I am going to find my mojo and what opportunities can I find for exhibiting and selling my work this year. The smallest things got under my skin and I worried about things that, as it turns out, are not really that important. Little did I know that the world as I know and as you know it, was about to change in a massive way.

Enter stage left: Covid-19 or coronavirus as we know it. When it began, I had no idea how it would impact so many, so quickly, while I was sat in my chair watching the situation develop in China, and Europe, and then globally. Within a week, my inbox was filling up with other artists worried about their livelihoods, myself included.

As the weeks have passed, so many exhibitions have been cancelled; galleries have closed their doors- some for good; art weeks cancelled and more, including cafes and restaurants which also exhibit work. There are lots of industries which are dependent on being out there and art is one of them.

So, how do we manage in these times if we cannot put our work out there in its physical form in the guise of exhibitions etc? Well,in the spirit of community over competition, I am going to give you some of my ideas that may work which you can perhaps try.

There are quite a few online market places – Etsy and Folksy are two of the biggest. For those of you who haven’t come across them, these are two shop platforms which require you to upload your work onto their sites and then you are responsible for marketing and promoting your work and posting it, if and when sold to your customer. This costs a little in listing and selling fees but can be quite affordable. If your work doesn’t sell, you have only lost your listing fee. These platforms require you to post your work out so if you are in self isolation and cannot get to the post office that is not going to be ideal for you.

The next two I am going to tell you about are also quite genius, and will not cost you any up front fees, so if you are really struggling, may be more useful. They are Redbubble and Society6. They are quite similar in what they do; both selling platforms but here is the twist, you can upload your designs to their sites and choose which products you would like to place them on, ranging from anything like a card to a duvet cover… clever huh? There is no cost for you to list your work and they make your product and send it to your customer; you will receive a royalty for your design which you can set starting at 20%, so its like you get a commission of the sale. If you cannot get to the post office its perfect as all of that is taken care of for you.

So in short, there are lots of other ways of getting your work out there and still working, we are just going to have to think outside the box a little more. Remember too, if you are working in isolation make sure you reach out as there are plenty of others in the same boat as you who would love to touch base. Take care.

Instagram @clairemortartist

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