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In my own Words...

Updated: Jan 22, 2022

by Hannah Smith

Pic Credit: Tessa Chapman Photography

" I loved the allure of the high street as a teenager. I remember spending time outside of school in the nearest ‘big town’ discovering the enjoyment that perusing shops had to offer. I didn’t have much money (I had a Saturday job in a clothes shop), but part of it was experimenting with freedom; catching a bus or train, socialising a step-up from sitting in the park, grabbing a milkshake and feeling 20 at 15.

As well trying to find a bargain t-shirt in Chelsea Girl or Miss Selfridge, I’d be buying bath pearls in Body Shop (affordable) and of course, poster-trawling in Athena. I used to love thumbing through the (now iconic) photographs they used and deciding which design would best-fit my bedroom walls. I could babble for hours about this era because it really set the tone of adult life for me.

Fast-forward 25 years and here I am creating my own ‘grown-up’ version of the Athena experience I remember in some ways - strong imagery for the walls, priced in a way that is appealing. It's poster-sized independently-produced art. The prints are matt-finish - a heavier GSM, not prone to buckling that you get with a regular thinner poster. They are produced in a way that you get accents of the watercolour paper coming through, it generates an impression of the subject on a strong background.

I try to keep the art in a category of affordable treat. I try to generate designs that role with the seasons and dabble in trends without losing the timeless nature art should offer to you. The very reason for launching the business was that I was not able to afford to buy oversized works of art to fill my walls at home. I like the fact I'm sharing my own inky sketches designed as prints for the home. I started primarily with large pieces because that’s what I wanted myself but I now offer prints in three sizes to suit a range of spaces.

I believe customers should have the option to buy framed or unframed in sizes that fit in readily-available frames off the high street. You should have the flexibility to be thrifty in finding your own frame or have the ‘off-the-shelf’ version if that’s what you’re looking for. In buying from me, you are also helping a British female artist establish in business and it’s a very exciting thing every time someone buys a print from me. Also, the prints are made in Somerset and I’m always finding ways to work with other women in business or British suppliers.

I love to paint, but I love Interiors and presentation just as much. The whole ethos of the business is to fuse traditional painting with contemporary subjects and design. By including the brand on the artwork I think it shows where it has come from. I guess it’s a modern signature and me putting my mark on it but it does have a ripple effect and I have had lots of enquiries from people who’ve seen something of mine at a dinner party in someone else’s home, in a restaurant, hairdressers, florists - it goes on. I like the fact that it’s versatile enough to sit in the home or in a commercial premises.

If a customer wants to go bigger or smaller, or remove some text I always oblige.

That may sound contradictory after explaining the rational behind including my brand on the artwork. But above all, for me, I have learned so much from customers who have a sharp eye for what they’re looking for. I’m always blown away by the results of collaboration between myself and a customer when a photograph arrives of it where they hung it. Even on the occasions I have been skeptical I have always been wrong and loved the end result and seeing their vision in situ.

What am I working on next? Well, more prints in the style of food & drink, but more things that would make wonderful gifts for loved ones - I love the idea of multiple cricket balls or tools for fathers day. Something cracking for summertime that would make a great wedding pressie. More of the finer things I introduced in 2021 to compliment Oysters, Champagne and Lobsters. I definitely have a few other surprises up my sleeve that will be revealed too".


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