A Grand Plan
I had a five year plan to escape the drudgery of office life and spend more of my time immersed in photography. Admittedly it took me seven years to get there, but it’s hard to believe that eighteen months ago, I took the bold step to hand in my notice and walk away from paid employment.
All the signs in the photography world looked bad. Returns on stock images were dropping ever lower and professionals were bemoaning the lack of commissions, so it didn’t look like a good time to try and make some money out of photography, but I was ready for a change and keen to give it a go anyway.
It came as quite a culture shock for me, having spent all my working life in salaried 8 – 5 type jobs. I’d get up at 7am, into work at 8, coffee break at 10, lunch at 12 and so on and on and on……….. So suddenly I was free to keep the strange hours that landscape photographers do. If I had a late night photographing a sunset then I could have a lie in and didn’t have to worry about being at work for the dot of 8 o’clock. All very alien but liberating!
I had some set ideas about how I would spend my time and areas I would concentrate on to build the business, but somehow it all seems to have evolved slightly differently as time has gone by. We have always relied on selling framed and mounted prints, so we needed to expand our range of outlets so not having the day job getting in the way has helped enormously. It’s meant more time to visit galleries and to put on exhibitions but I have to say we’ve been overwhelmed by the number of exhibitions we’ve been offered this year.
Our year got off to a flying start when Andy Dalton of Ryedale Artworks put our names forward for a month long exhibition at Helmsley Arts Centre. This proved a great success, then out of the blue we were asked to join several other photographers for a two month exhibition (extended to three) in the Yorkshire Wolds Gallery at Staxton. This came courtesy of our friend Helen Wrigley who recommended us, then just when that was coming to an end we got offered a two month exhibition (Also extended to three months) at the newly opened Belmont Studios Gallery at Wrelton. This has meant having our work continuously in exhibition from the beginning of February until the end of September, when we finally got a short break to gather our thoughts for the next busy run.
While all this was happening we also entered a very busy run of art fairs, so life has become one long juggle of boxes of frames and prints, but it sure beats working for a living! We’ve just come off the back of Art fairs at Masham, Skipton, Staithes and Helmsley and we still have two more at Pickering and Masham to look forward to.
Whilst most women’s spare room wardrobes are full of dresses and shoes, Janet’s is chock full of frames and mounts!
Meanwhile the exhibition invites and new gallery outlets keep getting added to our list, so the house resembles a framing warehouse at the moment! Art in the Pen at Skipton proved a big success for us and has led to us being invited to exhibit in the Mill Bridge gallery at Skipton, then next Monday will see us delivering some work to the Three Peaks gallery in Settle which we are very excited about.
Once that lot’s sorted we have a couple of short exhibitions in October/November at Pickering Gallery and the Joe Cornish Gallery, courtesy of the Moorsview event which we are speaking at on 31st. October. David Ward is the key speaker, so it should be a great event. Meanwhile we are delighted to have been offered another exhibition on the run up to Christmas which we are also very pleased about. Details of where and when to follow shortly. Then just when we thought we couldn’t manage much more we have been offer a one day exhibition at the Moorsroom at Kirkbymoorside on the 28th November to coincide with the towns Christmas fair. We put on an exhibition here last year and it proved a big success.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, we’ve found time to run three five week beginners courses via the “Workshop for the Would Be Creative” at Ebberston and done an increasing amount of 1:1 workshops on the moors and coast.
So for the first time in the 18 months since I quit the day job, I actually feel a bit stressed! Now I must try and find a bit of time to actually take some photographs and relax a bit!