Show off

When a creative has to create

Just like an athlete’s urge to improve, a creative is never fully at rest.

Out of hours, Rachael has been developing a range of fine art botanical prints over the last few months as a creative outlet.

Although we are primarily focussed on website design, branding and filmmaking, the inspiration to feed these areas needs priming.

Our allotment and the outdoors feed our inspiration, and the prints have been a by-product.

As such, we've been looking for spaces to exhibit and show off our wares; the first was last week at Sanctuary in Derby; the second is this weekend (22-23 June) at Six Streets Arts Trail.

Fear of rejection

The trouble is that by nature we are not people who naturally show ourselves off or grab the limelight.

We prefer our output to speak for itself.

However, it's also easy to hide behind the work, which can provide a convenient barrier; protecting you from rejection. It also prevents people getting to know your brand in depth.

Nevertheless, promotion, publicity and marketing are important aspects of running a business, so we can't afford to hide our light under a bushel.

Through putting ourselves and our work on show last week, I've been reflecting on some of things that it prompted.

1. Validation is essential

The exhibition at St Werburgh's was an excellent opportunity to get validation on the quality, concepts and visual impact of our work.

A lot of people chatted to Rachael and conveyed their appreciation of the fine art prints.

If we had not been there, we would have missed the chance to expose ourselves to that input.

As hard as it can be to hear criticism, when your market and potential customers are telling you things directly, this is important information that can help you make improvements.

2. You never know...

A lot of people I meet find it hard meeting and talking to people they don't know. I can well relate to that having attended business networking meetings!

However, you never know who you will meet; you never know where conversations will go; you never know if that connection will be significant.

The evening was It was a good networking opportunity, as Rachael met other creatives from Derby, widening our pool of contacts.

Plus, it was good to be able to encourage other creatives in their endeavours, talking about pricing, production and positioning.

3. Marketing is a journey

My reflections so far are that marketing is not entirely fixed.

You are always analysing how you are doing, what your audience is saying and how you are coming across, especially if you are starting out.

Yes, you need the fundamentals in place, but you also need the flexibility to adapt and the freedom to analyse yourself.

During the evening, Rachael was able to talk to a lot of people about our story and underlying motivations behind the work.

This allowed us to connected with like-minded people and those who share our style.

As in point one above, this was again helpful in the marketing and sales process, as we were able to assess how our work and aesthetic was connecting with people.

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Simon Cox