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My First Time

A while ago, probably years knowing me, I asked people what they would like me to blog about, a lot of people wanted to know about how I started and the journey so far. 

I’ll talk about the really early days when I can get hold of some of my cartoons, as that is how my art really started.  For now, I thought I would share one of the early pivotal moments for me.  My first commercial project.

In 2011/2012 (I honestly can’t remember which year it was) a gentleman approached me at my stand at Stithians Show and took an interest in my work.

He turned out to be the Marketing Manager for Trebah Gardens and asked if I wanted to design their new leaflet….it was one of those moments where inside you are jumping up and down screaming YEEEEESSSSS but you have to act all nonchalant and professional and go ‘yes, I would be very interested, thank you’ (inside) YEEEESSSSSS *air punches* OMGEEEEEEEE *star jumps*…etc.

At that point in time I lacked a tremendous amount of confidence with my work, well, everything really (even more than now!).  I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to produce something that would be worthy of such a place as Trebah.

The biggest restriction was at that time I was using Publisher (for non pc savvy, it’s a very basic graphics package that no professional would use), I think the printer company were horrified and hoped I was joking when they found out.  It made me feel incredibly naïve and out of my depth.

But Trebah were great to work with and I even organised my first ever craft fair there in 2013, but that’s another story.

The leaflet took a huge amount of work to produce and was a steep learning curve that I really enjoyed.

I cannot describe the feeling I had when I walked past one of the leaflet displays in a supermarket and seeing the finished leaflet.  A bit scared to pick one up, almost embarrassed but of course no one knew it was my work.  (Inside) YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, ME, I DID THIS, OMGEEEEE…*whilst slowly strolling out pushing the trolley with a mahoosive grin on my face.

Trebah were one of the first attractions to not use photographs on the cover, it worked well as it really stood out against the others.  Nowadays there are lots of illustrated leaflets.

The printers did convince me to use Illustrator to put the final piece together in a format they could use.  I had it for the sublimation printing driver I use for my coasters, etc, but had incredibly limited knowledge on how to use it.  This experience led me to learn more about Illustrator through YouTube tutorials which in turn eventually led to night school.

I ended up designing the leaflet for 2 years, I did another one for their Champion Trees, shop labels and was even lucky enough to have my artwork on the side of a shuttle bus service in Falmouth.

I would LOVE to do something like this again with the skills I now have and will always be grateful to Trebah for giving me that opportunity.

So, attending a fair isn’t just about flogging your wares, you never know who will see your work and present you with an opportunity.  It is also how I came to work with Whistlefish, they saw my work at an event and approached me. 

I feel incredibly lucky as I am terrible at marketing myself.  Something I need to change.


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