This morning I went into my bathroom and was inspired again by the light coming through the window. We have a stained glass window in the bathroom, that’s an advantage of working in glass, and the sun was catching the colours and making them shine. It does cheer you up in the morning, all those colours and shape and light flowing into the room. So often a bathroom window in obscured glass, well we don’t want to flash at the neighbour, but the introduction of colour is so great. So I wandered in and out this morning and felt better as I washed that colour was flowing into my life and making my day have a better start.
Time seems to move so fast and I cannot believe that we are weeks away from the Grand Designs Live at the Excel centre and I am still catching up. Meeting people all day every day for ten days is quite amazing for someone who spends 50% of their working life alone in a studio. The time you are at the exhibition is fast and hectic and great fun, but it is also very different. While you are there the normal life of the studio is on hold, waiting, pausing and then you return and the river of studio life is flowing again but there are new interests and enquiries from the show as well. This weekend is a good time to review and catch up and sort out the next few weeks but also to reflect on a great show and some great new clients.
There are many skills you need and some you develop but the skills for exhibitions are not high on my list. Working with stained glass suggests you have some good art and design skills. Moving this skill into a business means that you have then added a set of commercial skills to you art skills to develop you business. In a large business each of these areas have specialists departments to navigate the difficulties and skills needed. However, in a small business all workers need to have more than one specialism and the owner often needs to have many skills that they didn’t know we’re necessary. So now Stained Glass Studio have done a series of exhibitions and displays we have to be able to put up an exhibition in minutes. Our theories are; don’t rely on what they say they provide, make sure your display or stand can be put up by you alone, make sure you have power cables and extension leads and finally depend on yourself. Make it simple, and make sure you can cope is a small or large space as you don’t know what you will be given. After all this you will be expected, within seconds, to turn around and be happy and cheerful to meet the public. This is a role that learning your art skills and then your business skills did not prepare you for. Sometimes you must think about how comfortable it might be to be a specialist in a larger business. Alternatively, you are the modern explorer, inventor and creator, perhaps even a modern Isambard Kingdom Brunel!
So we are off to the Surface DesignShow in London, at the Islington Business Design Centre, from 5th to 7th February. Lots of preparations in hand, new windows for display being completed. It is surprising but when you think of an exhibition you suddenly realise you don’t have lots of spare windows sitting around. Most windows are made to measure for clients. As a studio we don’t do lots of exhibitions but Matthew has a new technique that he is excited about and so it was decided to launch it at the Surface Design Show. There will be lots to see and if you register for the show beforehand you can get great reductions, its free! It would be great to see people at the exhibition so come in and have a chat. Take a look around and go home inspired.