Monday, 13 May 2013
My BCTF Favourites - Alex Snowdon of Snowdon Design and Craft
Here is another of my BCTF favourites, a lovely lady I met when I was doing my first trade fair last year. Alex and her husband, a fellow North-Easterner, Charlie, came to say hi and we we ended up chatting for ages about the show and our work, I remember Alex had just given up her job and was concentrating on her printmaking and design fulltime, how exciting! It felt like we had known them for ages by the time we parted ways and Alex said she hoped to be back at BCTF in 2013. I've kept in touch with her since last year and have been following her progress on Facebook. It was great to catch up properly this year and see what an amazing job she has done with her products and her stand. I asked if she wwould share a few words about how she found being a BCTF-First-Timer and this is what she had to say....
'I decided to exhibit at BCTF this year after checking it out as a visitor last year, just after I'd left my day job to concentrate on my printmaking and illustration full time. I think the thing that stood out for me most when I was looking round as a visitor, was just how friendly and open all the exhibitors where and what a lovely, relaxed atmosphere there was. I got a lot of positive feedback about what a good show it was and it was there that I met Sue and her sister Heather in the Newcomers Gallery. Sue and Heather really swung it for me, after having a chat with them I decided I wanted to be there next time! Luckily I was accepted into the Newcomers Gallery for 2013.
When I arrived on the Saturday to set up I have to admit I felt a little sick! It all seemed so daunting to set the stand up from scratch myself and make sure everything was straight and fitted in. Once the show opened on the Sunday morning though and I took my first order I started to relax and enjoy it. I was amazed at how friendly all the buyers and other exhibitors where, it was such a supportive atmosphere and there was no sense of competition, everyone was helping each other out with tips, information and practical help.
Making a living from your art is usually quite a solitary pursuit. I worked as a graphic designer for over 20 years before I started my own business last year and I have to admit that full time employment, no matter how much I might have resented it, did come with it's own sense of belonging.
In the past year, since I started working for myself, I'd started to feel like I didn't really 'fit in' anywhere anymore. I often felt like I was the only person in the world working from home, and had begun to feel quite 'disconnected'. Being at BCTF for a few days though, among hundreds of other people in a similar situation, sharing the same challenges and triumphs, I came away feeling like I'd found my place in the world again!
I enjoyed it so much I arrived back home feeling like I'd been on holiday, although a very tiring one! All the great feedback I received has given me more confidence in my work and made me feel that I'm on the right track. I'm already looking forward to going back again next year!"
Thanks for taking part in the blog again Alex and we wish you all the best for the coming year. If you want to find out a bit more about Alex and her work you can check out her website here