Tigerlilly Quinn: Printing Thoughts

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Printing Thoughts

You may have noticed over the past few months or so a change in my blog. I've mentioned it before but when I started this blog it was mainly to showcase my illustrations, then it became a lifestyle blog, then a baby blog. Now after an intense first year of motherhood I am trying to focus more on my art and try to be more successful in that field. Ever since I was a little girl I'm always just wanted to be an illustrator (and mother).
me as a child drawing, clearly very still as a butterfly decided to land on me

When I left on maternity leave at my old job my boss was kind enough to give me a couple of gifts. One a mug saying 'mother knows best', mugs had been his Christmas gift each year I had worked there and something he had only started on my arrival at the company. My colleague thought that he had become decidedly more friendly since I started there and the mugs were a sign of 'changing work environment'. I would have been more than happy with the mug but there was also an envelope he told me to open when I got home. In it contained a generous cheque from his personal bank account, I think we all knew that I wouldn't be returning to full time work after maternity leave and so it was a leaving present as well as a maternity leave gift. I'm really still so grateful that someone would value my work enough to help me out this way.
I chose to use this money to buy a really decent home printer. I imagine he thought the money would be used to towards the baby but my reasoning was that this was investing in me actually being able to work from home as an artist. After a lot of research I bought an A3 printer and I'm really happy with it. Although I've not actually got round to printing A3 prints I have used it for some of my smaller prints and the quality is fantastic.
There is something about seeing your work in a larger size, I'm so used to working in A5 or A4. When I was younger I would be chastised by teachers by only using such a small amount of a page, I was scared to see my work in a large scale. I mentioned before how my in my degree I wanted to be an children's book illustrator. For my final show six pages from my book were blown up to grand proportions using banner printing. I wish I had appreciated at the time how amazing it is to see one's work like that!
these are extracts from my then book...it wasn't my greatest work but it was fun to do!

After my exhibition I gave three of my banner prints to my (then six year old) brother and he had them hung above his bed for a good few years. Actually now I come to think of it something like that would be great for Wilf's room too.
A friend and I were discussing other steps we could do in promoting ourselves as artists, bouncing ideas off each other with other ways in which to produce art work that isn't just prints of our work. I know that whenever I order something I love it when it comes with a beautiful postcard or cute badge as it makes you feel all that little bit more special and I love the surprise element. I like to do the same when selling my work, often i will pop in a surprise something extra, even something cute and fun like stickers. I think attention to details like this is hugely important even if it means spending a bit more on packaging and extras, if it means people coming back for more business. I also like to think you should be proud of every product you sell right to the very last aspect. 

There is still lots to work out when it comes to working as a freelance illustrator. I am not very business minded if truth be told (as I think many creatives struggle with) my brain doesn't quite work like that. I'm also desperately trying to work out how to fit in my creative passions with being a stay at home mum but I'm sure I will work it out some day...right??

This post was sponsored by Discount Banner Printing but as usual all words and thoughts are my very own.

8 comments:

Col | Hello Olive said...

Wow, your ex-boss sounds amazing! Mine was the opposite - even though she was a mother to young kids herself she was awful about my pregnancy and maternity leave. (Going so far as to hire people who, and I quote, 'weren't of childbearing age'!!!) Needless to say I didn't go back. Maybe I wouldn't have even if she had been kinder but it would have been nicer to leave on a better note. Good luck with the freelance! Col x

Ruby Hoppen said...

It is so nice to have support when you are pregnant. You are lucky to have had an exceptional boss. I had incredibly loving and supportive employees (I was a nanny) who completely understood and were happy for me to move on to the next stage of my life. As for the freelance stuff, I'm not really very good at thinking of business strategies but I have seen a lot of my friends release limited edition publications, launch party, show etc, which if anything has been a good way of getting their work out there and letting people have a small sample of what they can do!

Helen said...

I love getting stuff printed out. I don't draw but I love getting photos printed off and holding an image you've captured.
Not really sure if it's something that would work for you, but working with charities/ local non- profits might be a way of getting yourself known more widely and also give something to them in return?
http://ahandfulofhope.blogspot.co.uk/

vintagevixenarts said...

I find that the business part really intimidates me too as an artist,and I am technologically challenged to boot! But I keep creating, and rely on the gracious experience of other artist's to help me progress.Parenting can really make your art a challenge, but hey, mom's are multitasker's right?:)

fritha strickland said...

Col thats so horrible, I worked with a women very much like that..terrible discrimination! I'm not surprised you didn't go back xx

fritha strickland said...

Ruby I'm glad your old boss's were supportive, I guess as parents themselves you would hope they would be understanding. Thats a good idea re: your friends putting on shows etc, I know its what they encouraged us to do in uni it seems like so much organisation, I need a P.A! ;) xx

fritha strickland said...

Helen, yes you are right its a great thing to do. I used to do a lot more of that before I had Wilf but at the moment I don't really have a free time to do free work (if you see what I mean!) but it's certainly a good idea to get your name out there :) xx

fritha strickland said...

Vintagevixenarts you are so right! x

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