Setting up and Establishing my Own Textile Art Business- Continuing Research and Follow-up Processes

Examples of screen-printed imagery selected for my recent exhibition photo book to help promote me as a textile artist and my solo show.
Several different types of business cards  have been developed using a range of artwork imagery and then distributed widely to continue to market myself and my business involving original, unique and creative textile art for exhibition, gallery outlets and for commission work.

More recently I have increasingly focused upon developing my business involving textile art, of formalising and making known what I want to do and how I want to do it with others including Creative Scotland and Craft Scotland, Workshop & Artists Studio Provision (Scotland) (WASPS) and Made in Stirling (as part of the local division of Create Scotland) with additional local support from Business Gateway to write a formal business plan, to utilise a range of online and face to face business advice resources including finance related and government regulations as well as to select an appropriate business model and structure.

Business Gateway is a Scottish Government resource that offers advice and guidance to start-up companies and established companies across Scotland.

Through Business Gateway local support has been made available to help me with a wide range of business issues related to setting up in business, which I have started to capitalise upon especially concerning digital marketing, increasing my online presence and developing my professional website which will include links to all social media platforms. I have taken part in several virtual webinars and been supported through online 1:1 adviser sessions including validating and developing my business idea, for creating and making original and unique textile art for face to face and online exhibitions and commissions alongside involvement with a range of gallery outlets as appropriate.

An example of the range of business advice and support which is available through Business Gateway
An example of the range of business advice and support which is available through Business Gateway
Laura Slater is a bespoke pattern, textile and print designer. She has translated her drawings and print textures to her textile products to create a unique range of stylised designs (Emma Fisher, 2014)

Ongoing Research Processes have aided idea generation from using several different successful and professional website templates from current textile artists/designers including Laura Slater I am in the process of using similar layouts to those so often used by textile artists for my own professional website including textile collections, projects, shop, news. journal, studio and contact with links to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram to ensure a professional online presence.

An example of the journal page from the website of Laura Slater, textile and print designer

Business Gateway continues to offer information and additional support on how to best optimise the finance options which are available through The Crafts Council, Craft Scotland and Creative Scotland.

The Crafts Council is the national agency for craft which supports the development of  contemporary crafts throughout the UK.

Primarily the Crafts council aim to inspire making, empower learning and nurture craft businesses. They believe craft skills and knowledge enrich and uplift us as individuals, and, in doing so, will change our world for the better through supporting craft makers and businesses to help them grow in the UK and overseas, through training, mentoring, advice and by showcasing makers through their directory. The Crafts Council  regularly hold the national Crafts Council Collection, offer learning and participation programmes for all and present exhibitions both in their own gallery in London and in partnership with venues around the UK. A Crafts magazine is published six times a year, featuring stories about craft and making across different continents. There are increased opportunities through the Craft Council for me and my textile art work to be known through ‘Collect’ an International art fair for contemporary craft and design which is held annually in London, with leading art and craft galleries from across the world involved.

The Crafts Council  have already been contacted as they promote and share the work of the wider craft sector through their range of communications channels,  with the aim of supporting and leading more of their events, to run workshops and to get more involved within the related museum exhibitions and gallery shows.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. Creative Scotland distribute funding from the Scottish Government and The National Lottery through Craft Scotland.

Contact with Creative Scotland and Craft Scotland has been forthcoming and ongoing through follow up with funding sources, exhibition opportunities, residences, advertising, publicity, marketing, employment options, business advice and support.

An example from Craft Scotland’s Programme 2021/2022 to support makers and promote Scottish contemporary craft with their varied programme of work, events and exhibitions throughout the year.

Craft Scotland is the national development agency supporting makers and promoting craft through their exhibitions and events programmes, digital platforms and strategic partnerships, which create opportunities for makers to develop their creative and business practice, and to exhibit and sell work in Scotland and beyond. Their website provides a platform for contemporary craft for Scottish-based makers with thousands of people visiting every month to find out more about craft, exhibitions, events and workshops which are on in their area, and to commission craft directly from the makers all of which I wish to be part of.

Formerly Will’s Tobacco Factory, Hanson Street Studios was redeveloped in 2001 to become Scotland’s first purpose-built studio and events complex for up to 200 artists with a large events/gallery space. The centre has excellent facilities, including: 77 studios ranging from 175 sq ft to 1000 sq ft. A 4000 sq ft project space with public access for regular exhibition use and full accessibility throughout the building for the professional artists there.

The application process for a professional artists studio at Hanson Street with Workshop & Artists Studio Provision (Scotland) (WASPS) has been commenced given my long affiliation with Wasps through Hanson Street Studios, and the artists there especially Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor, Textile Artist. WASPS is Scotland’s national provider of artist’s studio spaces and as such being a tenant within this very large supportive agency for professional artists enables immediate access to over 900-1000 artists and creatives, business advice and support, subsidised studio rates, and enhanced opportunities to show my work and to be involved in exhibitions online and face to face.  

More than an art and craft retail outlet- Made in Stirling Store and Creative Hub at 44 King Street, Stirling FK8 1AY. Made In Stirling supports over 100 local artists across the central belt of Scotland.

In 2018, the Stirling Cultural Partnership established a Place Partnership programme, in collaboration with Creative Scotland. The Place Partnership is being led by Creative Stirling, which has promoted an open, collaborative approach to partnership, where support is forthcoming for the arts and artists within the local area, to support each other and from this, new opportunities have emerged. One of the key activities in Place Partnership is Made in Stirling at 44 King Street, Stirling’s new creative hub within the middle of Stirling, which promotes a range of innovative and contemporary project outcomes based upon offering a diverse programme of workshops and presentations within the multi-use gallery and event spaces. It is therefore an exciting time to be completing my degree and branching out into professional practice in Central Scotland as I am currently applying to become involved with Made in Stirling.

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