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27 January 2014

How to...Workshops

Contains Art, in Watchet, are currently running a series of 'How To Workshops' thanks to valuable funding from the Arts Council England. They are intended to be informal peer to peer sessions that will provide you with valuable know how that can be adapted to your artistic practice, helping you to take your work to the next level. We all know it's not easy being a professional maker or artist at times, it can be an isolated career but also one where you require many skills to promote your work once you have invested valuable time creating it - some may say wasted time if your work does not reach a wider audience especially if this is how you wish to provide your main source of income.

The workshops are designed to help you get your work noticed. Last week there was a session on photographing your work, this week it's how Photoshop can enhance your images, preparing them for flyers, business cards and the Internet. And on Tuesday 4th February experienced graphic designers will be on hand to help you with the practical skills of designing your own posters using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & InDesign.

You haven't missed the boat as there are many more workshops lined up. In fact on Tuesday 11th February I am to present a session on 'How to sell your work to Shops and Galleries.' I hope that during the fifteen years that I have been commissioning and buying work to sell in our outlets that I have picked up some valuable tips along the way. I have met many makers during this time, many when we first started out were also new to the business and have gone on to build successful careers doing what they still love - creating.

The evening workshops run until Easter, places are limited and there is a charge of £3.00 per session, a bargain for such expert knowledge, other topics to be covered include -

How to... Apply for Grant Funding
How to... Blogging and Social Media
How to... Curate an Exhibition

Interested in any or all of these workshops do contact Naomi at Contains Art her email is

I look forward to meeting some of you on the 11th February. 

12 January 2014


The beginnings of a new year can often be the most productive and creative. There is a sense of stillness to January, no doubt heightened by the hectic festive fun of the preceding month. January offers up a 'void' that naturally makes many of us reflect, take stock and plan the year ahead, even nature itself seems to stand still. It's time to step back and eye up the blank canvas of 2014.

If your household is anything like ours then it doesn't take long to start pencilling  in those outlines. The canvas I am referring to is of course your new diary - all those fresh white boxes crying out to be filled with the year's possibilities and adventures. We all tentatively map out new roots around the solid foundations that already exist whether they be work, school holidays and family occasions. These early months are precious ones, as it's these gentle seedings that can lead to the bigger picture, ensuring strength and fruitfulness. For me running Number Seven it's a time to go buying, discover new artists' work to sell in the shop, plan our events and forthcoming exhibitions, all essential to keep the shop vibrant and fresh.

It is also time for existing and new SAW members to start registering for this year's festival. Plan their year of work, what their influences may be, how their practice may evolve, what funding will support their progress, who they may team up with and setting exhibitions as deadlines is a great way to insure productivity. 

Is this the year that you have promised yourself to be more creative, to grab that paint brush more firmly, ignore the fact that you will never get that ideal studio but just create regardless. 

Perhaps it's time to learn a new skill to keep you fresh and up to date. Contains Art has an exciting line up of peer to peer workshops and talks lined up, funded by the Arts Council England, the first to kick off the programme is Guy Manne- Abbott. Guy is a writer, essayist and critic, his talk for Contains Art will explore his artistic journey and the lands and people that have influenced his work and will include a reading from his most recent publication concerning his experiences in Palestine. Tickets are £10 including food & a glass of wine, for further information visit their website here 

Another great resource for finding out what other opportunities lie out there locally is the Creative Somerset website and their regular newsletter. It's provides a great database of creatives in Somerset and worth registering to promote your own events and exhibitions. Or if you are at the other end and enjoying being a creative voyeur or Somerset culture vulture it's an extensive listing site for art workshops, theatre productions, concerts and exhibitions.

SAW of course has some exciting plans for 2014 starting with the Hip Hawker Exhibition in Frome which opens this week. And I am looking forward to what the three artists commissioned for the new Z Twist Project produce over the next three months. Exhibitions of this project are planned for April and July.

Exciting times lie ahead. Do remember to leave some breathing space in your 2014 agenda, we all need times to relax, but most importantly time to be spontaneous and react to the creative opportunities that cross our paths. 

A happy, inspiring and creative new year to you all!