Seller profile: Clare Birtwistle
As part of my talk at Manchester School of Art this week, I included profiles from some of my print fair veterans. Next up is Clare Birtwistle! Clare is a graphic artist who explores geometric designs through the texture and colours of risograph printing.
I asked each seller 4 questions about attending print fairs and 5 tips he would give to students on getting your work out there.
1. Which MPF events have you attended?
I have attended Manchester Print Fair no. 11, 12, 13 and 14 and also a few of the Christmas pop up shops at Beat Street in 2016 and Leaf last year.
2. Have you seen a direct link between networking at the events and being commissioned for new work?
I have had companies contact me prior to the fairs after seeing me on the listings showing interest in my work for various projects. I have one in the pipeline not completed and another who showed my work in presentations to Habitat but it didn't follow onto a commission.I have also been approached by online companies to sell wholesale.
3. Do you believe the events provide a profitable environment?
Yes, mostly they have been very profitable. Christmas be can be harder.
4. Overall, what are the main benefits of the events for you as a seller?
I find them beneficial in many ways. They act as an impetus to produce new work, they are great for networking and reaching out to new audiences for my work and it's lovely to be part of a working artist's community which in itself offers support and possible collaborative opportunities. It also raises my profile as an artist.
TOP 5 TIPS
Clare's tips on promoting your work on and offline:
1. A well designed, clear website that you can update yourself. This is your online portfolio that clients can easily and quickly view.
2. Instagram - reaches audiences and possible clients far and wide.
3. Product in shops. People buy your product and get to know your style and brand.
4. Doing a good job and following through on commissions. People often recommend you through word of mouth so it pays to be reliable and easy to contact and communicate with.
5. Networking and attending other peoples shows.