• Janine Lees Art

Okay I lied to get your attention, there wasn't really a river in my studio but there was a 'York River Art Market' so it was only a little white lie, not one of those fully-blown really bad lies! This was something that I had considered for some time and the idea of having a little market stall did appeal because it is an opportunity to bring together all of my greatest works of art today which was a really nice way for me to reflect on how far I have come over the passed few years. What I didn't anticipate was how much work actually goes into organising the virtual market itself.

The idea is to upload all of your products onto your Instagram page and then create a link from each item to the 'shop' where you are selling it. As I have greeting cards for each birth-month as well as many other pen and ink designs and coloured pencil artwork, adding all of the listings before the big event (Sunday 13th of December) took me a week to complete. Then of course, I needed to promote it, which I must admit was a little bit 'last-minute' and rushed but I created a few 'stories' and 'posts' beforehand and, with the help of my 13 year old son, we cobbled together my first 'reel' which was fun!

When it was time for the 'big day' I made a little film to introduce myself and to explain how the YRAM online shopping worked, this took me around 30 attempts as I've never done anything like this before...for a 10 second clip! You wouldn't think that I used to be an actress many years ago at the Bradford Playhouse and would comfortably perform in front of over two hundred people each evening! Where has all of my confidence gone?!

Anyway, did it pay off? What was it like? Would I do it again? Well, the answer to all of these questions would depend on what you regard as 'success'? I did get some orders, but all of these were from people that I know...that's my honest answer! Nor did I get any extra followers...that's my second honest answer! So, to many people, I guess that this could be regarded as a fail but I when looking for the positive aspects, I learned that I can create a pretty good art display in my studio if ever I needed to do that again for something such as an 'open studio' event in the future. And, as I previously mentioned, it was nice to reflect on the work that I have done to date. But the most rewarding part of it all was the realisation that I have so much genuine love and support from my family and friends who really want me to succeed...and what could possibly be better than that! Oh and would I do it again...probs not...that's my third honest answer! But never say never!

  • Janine Lees Art

Well that was a nice surprise...Art & Soul have only selected me as their 'Featured Artist' and what an honour that is...I'm truly over the moon! Its been almost five weeks since I joined the A&S team in Beverly and I honestly couldn't have asked for more support, they have been truly fantastic and deserve to do really well. Considering that they have barely been trading for a couple of months, it must be extremely hard for them under the circumstances. Many businesses take years to build-up their website, yet the new stores must try to compete with the established ones...not an easy feat at all but the crew at A&S are doing all that they possibly can from offering free local delivery, click, national and international shipping and a 'click and collect' service.

I love the clean look of the Art & Soul website and the layout of each artist's dedicated page as its nice and easy to navigate. On my page I have greeting cards and framed prints of both pen and ink illustrations and coloured pencil art. My framed prints come in four sizes from the smallest one at £8, two medium sized ones at £15 and £18 and a large one at £25. As I'm relatively new to the retail side of selling art, I have entered the market with 'open-edition' prints which are competitively priced as this is a great way of discovering what specific pieces of art appeals better than others.

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  • Janine Lees Art

Its official...I'm now selling my artwork online and boy has this been quite a challenge! Firstly, I've had to master the art of product photography (did I say master?). This is so much harder than it looks due to heavy shadows and shiny glimpses of light attracting more attention than the product itself! Then there's the touching-up the photos bit (which I'm familiar with as I previously worked as a Graphic Designer). Followed up by the technical stuff like adding every item individually to the system and I currently have 92 of them. Then (oh yes...there's more...I needed to add individual prices and weights to each product so that the shipping rates can be calculated at the checkout! Anyway, it's all done now after several days of locking myself into the studio and being out of touch with everybody I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself! Now I just need to sit back with a cup of tea and wait for my first online orders...exciting times!

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