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Friday, 1 November 2013
My Stall, My Story
MY STALL, MY PRODUCTS, MY STORY
TWO OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS EVER ARE ART AND THE EAST END - I WAS THERFORE EXTREMELY EXCITED TO MEET UP WITH HELEN EDWARDS AND HER COLLEAGUE, EMILY DOWNES, TO ENTER HER MAGICAL WORLD OF EAST END PRINTS.
"Everyone is an artist if allowed the time and space"
How did you come up with the idea to start East End Prints?
I was head of research at The Art Group for eight years, going round galleries and negotiating contracts for artists to bring them on board for poster publishing. It was after that when I set up East End Prints because I thought there was a real market for affordable graphic art, particularly in the form of a platform for emerging artists. We started running pop up exhibitions in the East End in gallery spaces and empty offices... there was a buzz around what we were doing and WGSN [a world leading trend forecaster] picked up on one of our shows.
Graphic art is in my blood. I feel really strongly about the work I present to the world and am passionate about the artists and their creativity - that's what drives it.
The East End is great! It's a plethora of markets, one nearly every day of the week, which stretch over acres of land. I love the food markets on a Sunday - particularly the Japanese Cabbage from the Upmarket, and there's that amazing cake stall at Old Spitalfieldswith the peanut butter and dark chocolate cake. Then there's all all the excellent places to buy coffee, freshly roasted here in the East End.
I am clearly a bit of a foodie but lets not forget all of those incredible independent shops and sole traders you find all around the East End... half my wardrobe is from them now!
Everyone is an artist if allowed the time and space. I studied Photography to MA level, and still dabble a little with an analog camera, but most of the time my creativity goes on problem solving for the business - which is a delight.
"Markets have an unprofessional atmosphere filled with professionally minded people"
How do you choose which artists to work with? Do you have a set criteria or do you make decisions person by person?
When I’m looking for artists to work with I first of all choose what stands out to me and my taste - then I look at what the public seems to be crying for at the time. It’s a mixture between love for the artwork and what we think will sell well, both in the marketplace and online.
We LOVE markets because no matter where it is or who your neighbouring stall is, there is always a strong sense of community within the marketplace and the creative buzz has always excited us! Everyone around you is always willing to help out, whether it’s in giving change for a tenner or pinning up something we can’t reach; the feeling of unity is surreal.
Markets have an unprofessional atmosphere filled with professionally minded people who are full of respect for one another. And as we are based online we love getting the opportunity to sell our prints to customers ourselves, having the ability to interact and explain our love for the prints to the people who share that love.