Well, it has been very busy here at Illustrated Collections HQ!
As you may have spotted from my Facebook and Twitter posts, we have been working on the website to get it all ready for our international expansion. There is still a lot to do but soon you will click on my website and find a new site that allows buyers to translate content into the language of their choice and there will be a general re-design of many elements of the page.
During this overhual there have been a few technical problems, one of which meant that I couldn't post on my blog but that is now all sorted so here I am!
Since my last post there have been a few great events that we have attended- Once again we took to St. George's Hall for their Summer Arts Market with some new designs with local interest including my Giants prints and cards. If you are unsure of what the Giants are then stay tuned as I will be posting all about them very, very soon!
Also, I was delighted to be approached by Alder Hey Children's Hospital to work with them on an illustration to commemorate 100 years of care in their iconic brick building, which is soon to be demolished as the new super hospital is under construction. There were copies of the print available on their Centenary Celebration Day in the raffle. There will also be a special exhibition at the hospital followed by an auction where I am donating a strictly limited to one large version of the print! I'm really pleased to be able to help.
We have been featured in many publications over the past couple of months that it is hard to keep track! It is safe to say that the benefits of ethical and environmentally conscious production are being heard and appreciated, as well as the simple enjoyment of people admiring the characters themselves and featuring them also on that basis alone. There has definitely been a swing (particularly in my hometown of Liverpool) towards green and carbon-conscious business practices and we are glad to be part of that wave, gathering speed as we go and working with lots of other like-minded warm-hearted people.
I am also helping at the university where I gained my Graphic Arts degree (LJMU) and later studied at their Centre for Entrepeneurship. I will be taking questions from pupils in an informal question and answer session on October 22nd on being self-employed and sharing my story. If you fancy coming along (and you're a recent graduate or current student) then ask at the uni for details. Thes sessions are called Start-up Wednesdays.
Now, for me, one of the most exciting development has been our new relationship with a new (potential Michelin star!!) super duper restaurant called The Art School in Liverpool. We have been a fan of the work of Chef Paul Askew for many years. In fact he catered our wedding but he didn't make the connection that it was me when he employed me to illustrate for him! I was approached by Chef Askew to illustrate some special artwork for the walls of his exciting new venture, which sees him leaving the London Carriage Works to embark on that elusive Michelin star. I won't spoil the surprise of the finished product as I haven't been in to take photos yet but I will be doing so very soon so do keep checking back! It has been great working with the team at The Art School including Mike the Project Manager and James the Restaurant Manager who I know is going to do an amazing job.
So there it is, just some of it. I won't bore you with the business stuff, which is great (yay!), but boring to read so I'll spare you too many details. I have new stockists and the list is growing. I am continuing to look for just the right stockists who want to work with the complete brand and reap the benefits of stocking our entire range. I offer staff training in store for tips on how best to sell the range from my own experiences and what buyers love most about the designs/ brand. Most of all I want every stockist to be as passionate as I am about Illustrated Collections! New catalogues are out soon so do send a message if you would like one. *end of business talk!*
I'll be posting lots of photos from now on so keep looking back!!
Have a great September everyone x