Today on the show we’re trying something a little different and digging into an artist-entrepreneurs business model. I’m learning from Emma Gibbons, a Devon-based mixed-media pop artist who’s become known for her colorful, contemporary artworks using resin, glitter, crystals, and precious materials.
Emma’s experience in the art industry has seen her working on some of the most high-profile exhibitions in the world including seven years working for Damien Hirst. Before becoming a full-time artist she actually worked on the installation and exhibition for Damien Hirst’s infamous ‘For The Love of God’ diamond-encrusted skull at its UK unveiling at White Cube Gallery in London.
In this episode, we cover the blueprint of how she grew her business through galleries, what she learned working with Damien and how Margot Robbie became one of her A-list celebrity clients after a situation involving her personal trainer and a swift swoop-in.
Emma is the first-ever artist I've spoken to on the show, and it was so interesting to get to know more about the intersection of art and business. Especially, to see how much the two overlap. As Emma says, you almost have to go to your creative work with your business hat on. At this stage, there's not even so much creativity, it's business. It's like having two full-time jobs at once. And just as we often mention in business, how important it is to have a unique point of difference for your product. It's got to be unique. That's a no-brainer. It can't be run-of-the-mill, as there will be no chance you'll stand out against the countless other works out there battling for people's attention. The more unique you are, the more you can communicate your story, and the easier it is for people to hook onto that.
Whilst it's easy to see the business aspect of working in the entrepreneurial art space, it's also cool to learn how creativity seeps back into the business side of things. For all entrepreneurs. For example, how there's no specific blueprint or magic solution to success. There are lots and lots of different ways to go about building and scaling your business, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for someone else. It's important to take in lots and lots of different views on how to do things because there is no set way. You can then cherry-pick what works for you. The key here is to maintain focused on the things that you can do. The things that are possible. In Emma's case, what you can do with some paints and some ambition. The magic that you can create with some real hunger and some talent.
Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
My name is Emma Gibbons. I'm an artist. I live and work in the southwest in Devon. But I have shows and exhibitions and fairs all over the country, all over the world technically. I've been doing it for full time. I've been doing it for five ish years. If you ignore pandemic. It's all confusing with pandemic logistics, isn't it? Um Yeah, about five years. Um and through the pandemic. So that was interesting in itself. Um so I make large scale, very, very vibrant brights. Usually glittering artworks and then made with pill capsules. So they all start life. Um as many thousands of pharmaceutical grade pills that I then make with resin and glitter and crystals and all sorts of things and make them into large scale artworks that hang in galleries and eventually in people's homes. That is so cool. My gosh, I have like a million questions but I want to like really get back to the beginning and start at the beginning and work my way back to where all my current questions are. Where do you like to start your story? How does this begin to becoming an artist entrepreneur? There are so many places to start up there. I mean I think I do think all creative people probably have it right from the get go right from the beginning. So I think if we're being honest, I was always a creative kid. I was always making things not necessarily painting masterpieces. I definitely wasn't doing that. But I was definitely building stuff, making stuff gluing I did like to get the paints out. But yeah, it was all about just having a mind that wanted to make things. I wasn't too precious about them. It was more of the process for me. I did do art through school and loved it. Always really enjoyed it, did it all the way to A level and then decided that I didn't want to be a poor artist. So I didn't even consider doing it at university, didn't even think about it even though I'd love doing it for A level by the time it got around to applying for uni, I applied for psychology and with a view to doing something very non art based and although my fatal error, I think there was applying to psychology at Goldsmiths, one of the best universities in the whole world. So yeah, so I was I was trying to haul myself through psychology lectures and meeting friends and in an environment where art was this huge, really sort of powerful monster. Um So I lasted less than six months in psychology at Goldsmiths and dropped out and applied to art school immediately. I didn't even I didn't apply to goldsmiths wouldn't have got in and at that point um But yeah, so it was definitely a calling, I think even when I tried to veer away from it, it pulled me back in. So I ended up doing an art foundation course, London guildhall, so not slightly lesser version, but it was great, Absolutely loved. It felt like I was back home met friends that I'm still friends with now, like that, that it was a year Art Foundation course and they kind of push you to do lots of crazy stuff that you wouldn't normally do, make sure you're not getting set. Anyways we'll just I was doing so obviously like um my A levels have been very much painting, drawing, charcoal, bit of sticking glitters of things, but not much, they weren't such big fans back then, the glitter. So our foundation, I think specifically they even get you to do sort of a month on each discipline, so loads of sculpture, loads of illustration, lots of glitter, um crazy things. I was making big glass sculptures, I was doing story narratives and sort of illustrating stories, um writing and illustrating, but they ended up being this huge glass sculptures. I used to sort of cut my fingers on the ice queen, it was a long time ago, but lots and lots of like pressed flowers, all sorts of crazy stuff that I just never, I hadn't done since I was a kid, basically, you know, digging around in the garden, finding things to create with that all came back when I was 19 then, but it was great, it was, it was a real eye opener and a lot of things and from that, I was like, yeah, okay, I'm definitely gonna do an art degree then. And just because even then, even though I'm doing an art degree, I was like, I don't have to be an artist, I can use it and do something else. I could even go a bit full circle and do like art therapy or something. Um, so yeah, I ended up doing an art degree. I'm at the London College of printing now, so three year art degree and again, just sort of loved it did get quite hard towards the end, they do actually assess you and things, you don't just get to go to school and get out the paints. Um, so you got towards the end of that and then we're still enjoying it. And I actually just found a weird little comfort zone where I was creating books, but books arts. So again, it was playing around with sort of narrative and theme, but I was using lots of miniatures, which is something that still, I use a lot in my work and actually all of it is kind of miniature if you think about it. But that was when I kind of got into a grieve using doll's houses and miniatures, although I think my final, my final project for my degree was a big project called crack house, which was a doll's house that I sort of bastardized and turned it into a crack den. So it had lots of graffiti on it, it has lots of used drugs, paraphernalia, pornography, all sorts of just really cliches, but it was really interesting actually taking something. Adult houses are supposed to be very pristine and very prim and proper. Um, and a certain set of people like to like to use those houses and invest in them and get excited by them. So I was flipping it and thinking how could make it really seedy, really dirty and that kind of tallied with London and where I was living at the time and what was going on. So yeah, that was, that was a nice. I felt good about that. Good enough to apply to do a Master's um in fine art, That was horrendous. It wasn't, it was brilliant, but it was so hard and I really like battled my way through that one and I did come out the other side, but so I did get it and I got it in a year, which is quite good, but during that time I'd also got really sick of being a student, I got really sick of having no money. So I started working in galleries because it was better than bar jobs and I've been doing my job for quite a long time, so I started working galleries actually while I was doing my degree because yeah, again, much more sociable hours pay was terrible, but I was like, well this is the environment I want to be in. Um maybe I can use all of my degree background, but not potentially be an artist, I can go and use what I've learned and work for other people, work for galleries and you know, take home salary rather than terrifying myself with the prospect of actually being an artist. So yeah, that's all the way through to the end of the masters and then I went to work, then I started working for galleries as planned and I put away I think after, after my Master's, I was so enough with creating things personally that I was actually really happy to go to work, take salaries wear proper clothes, um you know, just get into the, to the gallery life of things. I did that for a couple of years. That's probably mid modern. Um, so this is still in London and then eventually I left London, it came down to Devon, I got my first job managing a gallery, so actually had the job title gallery manager, which I think would have taken me probably another, you know, five, maybe 10 years in London. But because of the experience I had already at uni and working in the galleries, a devon gallery was really happy to give me a manager role. So I was ready to leave. I was done with creating the last gallery before I left London was white cube. So white cube is a sort of huge contemporary art gallery that represents, among others of Damien Hirst Tracey m in um you know, really, really kind of big guns, which was phenomenal. I just worked my way up to work you by doing any job that they'd let me do. Um, so a lot of reception work a lot of admin, just anything in vigil waiting at the beginning, which was yeah, challenging, but I was in the place that I wanted to be. So eventually got the job at white cube and that was the reception job. And we I was there, the last show that I did was Damien Hirst for the love of God show with the diamond skull, very cool. It was amazing and it was crazy just the level of sort of celebrity and media hype around, it was just bananas. We had George, michael and Kenny goss came and did a private viewing and like, it was just crazy. It's just so that was sort of such a massive highlight and that was literally just I left London just as that show wrapped up, so Wednesday, even complete change of pace, but loved it. But you know, it was a very different vibe, very different atmosphere, but it was great and I sort of, I think I was prioritizing, I had my daughter during that period and you know, it was dogs and beach and you know, that very sort of wholesome. Um, so yeah, it was just a different, a different vibe. And then after working for a couple of galleries in Devon and I've had my daughter at this point, she was quite small. I heard through the grapevine that Damien was opening a gallery down in Devon. He already had a really big studio complex down here with lots and lots of painters um, and wanted to, and there's a big sculpture, huge, huge original hearse just actually down the road from me and he wanted to open the gallery. So I was down here, getting a bit bored with my previous employer, thinking it'd be great to sort of marry both of those worlds, the fun and excitement of London with the, you know, outdoorsy nous and the wholesomeness of down here um and lo and behold Damien opened gallery which I then went and ran for a few years and it was great actually, it was nice because very connected with London, I was up and down all the time, I was traveling and doing lots of overseas art fairs and things. So it was a really great period of time and a nice comfortable salary and all of that. So I did that for a few years and just biding my time really, I still wasn't thinking that I wanted to be an artist. I thought that I was doing it in my spare time now and occasionally selling them so my own work but I didn't think that that was the direction that I wanted to go in and eventually the scales began to tip and I was doing more and more and began decreasing my hours at work and eventually it sort of happened. I thought, yeah, I am actually ready. I think that's the key. I found a style and a technique that I was really happy with. I was happy doing it. I was happy with the results, I was happy with the reception I was getting for it. So yeah, it was a very, very organic process but there did come a definite tipping point where I thought actually this is changed now, this is something that I want to do and this is something that I want to do full time, I want this to be my baby, so side hustle to full time gig completely sort of accidentally as well, but you know what it's like, you just get these little seeds from the seeds they begin to grow and and eventually eventually it felt like the right time for me to actually take it full time and I imagine working under someone like Damien Hirst who is you know, so famous and so globally recognized as you know a modern pop artist that you would see the blueprint and you would see exactly how you kind of need to, what you need to aim towards. I guess what did you learn from him? Just honestly infinite amounts I think the biggest take home that I still think about now is look at what you can do, look at what is possible and I don't, I wouldn't want to be Damien, I wouldn't, you know that that's a whole different kettle of fish but look at what can be done with you know, some paints and some ambition and and working in that environment, I think you you cannot not be inspired by someone going because Damien as well as a human as a person is so down to earth and so normal that actually think yeah, you know, it's so inspiring to see just you know with a real hunger and some talent, what you can achieve, so if I could just put myself anywhere on that pathway, even right at the beginning, you know, with Damon at the other end, I'd be happy with that and it is refreshing and inspiring to see someone doing so well out of their own creativity is brilliant, really brilliant, very cool to have that kind of role model directly that you're working under. 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You know, there are some, I would say personally, I'm I'm I've gone down the galleries route. So I'm it's where it's where my background. I mean, I, you know, I spent my late teens, early twenties wondering around obscure galleries in London just getting inspired. I really like the geographic space of galleries. I like the collaboration you work with other people. I worked in galleries for a long time. So I know how they work for me. That's my comfort zone. So I mean, I knew instinctively working for Damian working in the art fairs and working to be fair, working for the other galleries. I work for, how to approach galleries, what their models are, how as an artist, I could fit into that and create a relationship that's beneficial to both of us. I think in a way I knew how to sell myself two galleries because I was so used to sitting on the other side and also just having confidence and having faith in the product that you're selling. So getting your artwork to a point where it's it's got the appeal for gallery owners and for people walking off the street, I think it's got to be unique, uniqueness is a real um is a no brainer really. It can't be one of the mill because otherwise you're up against you know, 50,000 other artists painting one of the male stuff. It's got to have a hook to it. And certainly when I've been selling artwork on behalf of artists and galleries, the more kind of unique stories, you can have the more unique the products are in themselves, the easier they are to sell, the easier it is to hook people onto them. Um So getting that so making sure that your quality control is really high and really simple things like logistics that the pieces your work you're making travel well, you know, you can't have something just extremely fragile that you can't then get to a gallery. You have to be able to sort of package it, get it there. Um They like a story. They like someone with a back story and you can spin that in any way you want to, you know like some of the people that I've represented in the past, just go hard with um you know, not qualifications or connections or anything, but their own personal philosophy, you know why they're doing what they're doing and why it's so intrinsic and other people, galleries and buyers then have something to her conto. There are lots of different, you know, there's there are people doing uh doing making amazing careers from instagram being instagram artists, you know, it's such a visual mode of communication where you're directly in contact with clients that can physically see you see the process that works phenomenally well for some people, um it's not my bag. I mean, I like instagram, I use it as a tool for sure, but it's not my pieces are very tactile and they're very three d. So personally, I think for mine, you need to be around them to experience that it's a really integral part. And you know, that again works quite nicely with the fact that I like working with galleries. So when you say, you know, you are approaching these galleries and they have a certain model that they work with, Can you like specifically break it down? Like how did you approach this? You know, X, Y Z gallery? And what does that working relationship look like? As in, are they buying the pieces from you do they just take it on commission? Do you work together to plan an exhibition, like specifically how does it work? Okay, so, I mean, firstly getting to know galleries, there's no point trying to pitch your work at a gallery who sells something completely different from what you're producing. So market research is really important, visiting physical galleries so that you understand the space, you can meet the people in person, go to art fairs. I mean, our affairs amazing because it's like 100 galleries fish together. And it's very annoying for for the gallery owners out there because they paid a fortune to be at the fair. So they don't want amateur artists coming and talking to them. But in terms of sort of voyeurism and just getting the lay of the land, they are absolutely brilliant. You can almost whittle down your, you know, your choices based on what's there. And then you can go and visit them in person and make communication. So just get talking, just get talking to people, phone them, email them, start a dialogue. Don't be annoying. Is very key at that point. See if they're looking for new artists, see if they're looking for for people showing work like yours. And yeah, just just get communicating. Um It varies massively. The vast majority of artwork is taken on sale or return. Um So you pay for the fabrication costs obviously your time, You pay for the framing, You pay to get it to the gallery that sometimes they pay. Sometimes you pay, but if there is hanging on the wall, they give you all space, they give you publicity, um as they facilitate sales for you. Obviously they've got their mailing list, so there hopefully what they'll do is introduce you to a new audience um and get some sales for you that way, and then we'll take commission for doing that. And that's uh it's industry standards, it's a 50% commission. I've never on either side seen it be anything but that it's um it's very generalized, but I mean, you know, from, and there are people who get really outraged by that who don't like that as a split. But having worked on the other side and run my own galleries, the overheads, staff rent, building all of it is crazy. So to not take 50% I think is is unusual. Um and probably fairly unsustainable because if they're doing their jobs well then they need to take a decent chunk of the rRP. Um and everyone should be happy with that. Um There are, there are lots, so obviously if you're selling direct to clients, you get to keep a lot more of it. Um you know, take out the fabrication costs and logistics and then it's yours so lovely. Keep those clients wonderful treat them nicely. You can even um and that's how instagram artists definitely have the high ground is that they're taking much more of the proceeds. And there are even, I mean, I work with the publishers as well, predominantly with limited edition pieces. So not so much with the originals but they do shift the originals with them as well once the they okay so explain what publishers are. Publishers um supply many galleries at once. So usually it's with prints so they will take an original make prints from it. Or sometimes it's just a print in its own right and then distribute it to their kind of bank of galleries which are usually all over the country, all over the world. You know a lot of galleries. Um So the gallery will sell the piece of work, they will still take 50%. Um and then what's left will be split between you and the publisher. But these works generally are a lot easier to produce and a lot easier to distribute and to get out there. Exactly. So usually with artists the revenue is a is a bit of everything. So you have some clients that you sell to directly and they're kind of your your golden ones. Then you'll have galleries that you work with and if you work with them. But then then greatly put a good working relationship and they'll get your career going, they'll they'll keep soaking that fire. But you will have to give away more of the percentage and then if you work with a publisher and a lot of people do a lot of artists don't but you know then you give away another bit. But again it's not always about just the money from sales, it's about what they can do for your profile as well. So yeah, there's lots of different ways to get it done generally, uh is the vast majority of products in galleries will be on sale or return. Um and and, you know, that kind of works quite well actually, because it does mean almost you can, you can, if something is not doing so well in the gallery, you can pull it out, maybe try it in another one. They're very situational, you know, geography plays a really big factor, so actually you can almost refresh your stock by just doing a bit of logistical handiwork, but, you know, it's a lot to keep on top of, and unless you really sort of hit the money shot, you've got to keep all of these avenues open and and working at one time in order to make a decent living out of it, because it is, it's a difficult thing to do. I mean, creative careers are challenging, They've got the reputation that they have for a reason, but they are incredibly rewarding, but you have to go to work with your business. Hat on, there isn't a lot of creativity. Um, it's business and I spend a lot of my time managing the business rather than creating artwork. So it's almost like two full time jobs at once, you have to do. Absolutely, it's kind of crazy when you think about how much tech we use daily. We use all these different platforms to do all these different things and to be quite frank, it can get really overwhelming. So imagine if you could streamline those routine operations and admin tasks that eat up all your time, things like lead management, employee onboarding or even customer support. The average Sabia user saves over $10,000 in recovered time every year and it's so easy to get started. They have thousands of popular apps like google sheets, quickbooks or even facebook and google ads ready for you to automate almost any workflow imaginable. They've also got thousands of easy to use templates ready to go so you can get started right away. See for yourself why teams at air table, dropbox hubspot zendesk and thousands of other companies use appia everyday to automate their businesses, tries A P A for free today at Zap E A dot com forward slash startup. That's Z A P I E R dot com forward slash startup. So at the moment you have this amazing exhibition that's just come on in central London in Soho and for something like that. How much do you need to invest in? You know, getting the product ready, getting everything while getting the art ready and you know, shipping and logistics and then how much are you likely to make from something like that. Like one kind of co like all like solo exhibition finding my words here. It really depends. I would say if I'm being honest, the solo show in London is not a huge earner for me. Um that it is expensive, there is a lot of very large scale artworks. Um So my framing bill is the most is the biggest outlay that I have because of the nature of my work, I use really high quality frames that each one is custom made because my work is very three D. They're very very deep. They've got art glass in which is this crazy, really, really beautiful transparent glass. So for me it elevates the product using really expensive frames but there's no shortcuts that the frames cost a fortune. They just do what's an example of like the bill for or ballpark for framing. Um So this show, if you is probably maybe three grand just in just in the frames and that's none of the materials, that's just the frames and there's only 10 pieces in this show. So you know, they are they're expensive and obviously you have to pay for all of that but long before you ever see any return on the show itself, so you're almost using the last successes of the last show to fund the next one and you hope that that sort of keeps going. Um art fairs, I've had a few art fairs this year and I've been incredibly lucky, they've all sold out and and that was very unexpected. I don't know what happened this year, something just took off. But that, so those ones for me, if I do an art fair myself, so I physically stand there for the four days, five days that it's on selling my work to the public. I have to pay for this stand, But it's not crazy expensive and I get 85% of the commission for the Affairs. Um, it does allow me to be a little bit more flexible with my pricing, it allows me to offer discounts to people that I like. Um, you know, when I'm in the situation where, you know, if people are buying multiples and things, that it means that you can go down a little bit. So those, the fair that I did back in March, which is the other art fair. So that's the one that's organized by Saatchi and held in London. I sold out that fair, It was phenomenal. And almost the money that I made from that has been funding the stuff since, and will fund and will fund, has been funding the solo show in London. So, obviously, as I said, it's a small gallery, there are only 10 pieces, 10 big pieces. Um, the gallery take a 50% commission. So that comes off Gallery takes 50% commission once my framing costs. And my, my materials are really expensive as well. I mean, presents phenomenally expensive. The glitter that I use is ridiculous. Um, financially, but it makes a difference. Like it really does. So once you take all of that off, you're not actually left with a vast amount of money. But for me this has been such a good pr stunts. You know, I've had so much attention from it and so are you able to share? For example, even if it's just ballpark, what kind of revenue that you would make in the course of this year, for example or what you're kind of projected to make in the course of a year, not considering like the profit side of things, but more like revenue. Um, it is a hard one because this year has been such an anomaly. I did not go into this year expecting the success that we've had. We have, I sat down and tried to work out some of the finances and I am expecting to turn over about 450 k in artwork sales. So if you add up the RRP, everything that I have made that will be sold in a 12 month period, we're looking about 450 k. Now, the way that trickles down, obviously some of its 85% profit, some of it's 20% profit. So it is very, very varied and I haven't yet sat down and worked out what that actually translates as in real money, but even just that, it's 450 K in sales of artwork for me is phenomenal. Like I never would have, I never would have even anticipated that at the beginning of this year, which is when I decided to really go for it. So yeah, it's been, it's been very unexpected and I'm having to sort of roll with it and see, see and make things up as I go along a lot of the time and make decisions on the hoof about what's next based on the successes of what's gone before. So yeah, I mean, it's very, very, it's very, very rollercoaster, but it is great and I'm loving it and it's all very interesting and fun and yeah, it's like any other business, you know, in 10 years time. Imagine where you'll be, if you stick with that consistency of creating and learning and iterating, you know, 10 years, just the knowledge, it would be amazing. I mean, obviously when you win things, when you're playing reactionary, it's very easy to get things wrong, um, that I should be looking at a bigger picture and I should be going with a bit more knowledge rather than gut feeling and even things like materials like I should, it's very clear now that I should be buying in massive bulk quantities. But the way that it's been presented itself is because I've been sort of guided by what's selling, what is that? I haven't felt able to do that even with a year under my belt, I think I'll be able to look back and think, right, what, where are my huge expenses and there are some of the materials to just have seen, how can I minimize that and maximize the profits. Um There's a lot of stuff that I could do a bit further down the line. Actually I could probably do it now if I just stopped long enough to do it where I could, I could get much more profit from what's going on, but it's been such a ride. Um but actually I'm sort of just enjoying it for what it is now there's plenty of time to get serious down the line right now, I'm just enjoying enjoying being part of it. That's amazing. And I read that you have, you know, some celebrity buyers of your art, most notably Margot Robbie Australian bombshell. So I, I was showing at the affordable art fair in battersea with a lovely gallery called the art Agency who do most of my affordable outfits specifically, but lots of other stuff too. And so we had a lovely stand and on the stand, I had this piece that was a barbie profile, so beautiful barbie with a big swishing ponytail side view and it was incredibly pink and in amongst the many, many thousands of pills, there were little tiny like jewels but really glowing jewels. It was just completely over the top pink barbie extravaganza. Um so it began with, I had a message on instagram from a guy who is a personal trainer who works with Margot Robbie. Margot Robbie was at Warner Brothers filming the barbie movie. So he's there with her every day, making sure she keeps in shape. Margot Robbie is actually used to try and keep in shape, but that's what he does. And he messaged me saying, I've just seen it, it's amazing. I'm in Warner Brothers, this is what I do. So we ended up having a dialogue. He was going to buy it and I was sort of, I was thinking how can we like, can you put it on your wall in Warner Brothers and then take some photos maybe. Get like Margot in the office walking in front of it. And so I had this dialogue with him going and then the gallery phoned me and said, oh it's just sold online via the website. So I went back to this guy, David Higgins, lovely guy and said, oh, I thought we were going to talk about maybe. And he was like, I didn't, I didn't by it. He said I did share it with Margo that I did share the real a bit with Margo. And Margo had swooped in and bought it just online. So we had it delivered Warner Brothers and it's going to her office in La, which is a beautiful Uh it was three about 3 grands. This is so cool. So you're going to have photos with her in The trouble is I think with David is that I was going to offer him a discount on the basis of not a massive discount but a discount to hang it in. Warner Brothers take some photos. Marco just paid full price for it. So I've got no negotiating tools whatsoever. Is after it happened, I was, I was actually driving back from London from, from the fair and thinking I can't think of a single person. I would rather buy my work than Margot Robbie. I still can't, you know, she's just such a goddess and she just epitomizes it so beautifully. It really was cool story. I love that. That's so amazing. Gosh, what does the future hold for you? What's next? Well, I think it's essential for me to ride this wave while it lasts. I mean, I would hope that my work has a long lasting appeal to people, but you never know. It's a funny industry. It's a fickle industry a lot of the time. So I'm going to make a while, the sun shines. I'm gonna, I've got a bunch of fairs coming up um, and art fairs have been great for me this year. I mean, I love an art fair. Just people on mass buying frenzy. They're brilliant. Just tap into all of that. So, I've got another affordable in october. I've got another Sochi, The other art fair also in october actually got a little cheeky one coming up at the very beginning of july, which is just gonna be popsicles. It's going to be a little sort of experience on a tiny scale. That's the king's Cross the very first weekend in july. Um otherwise my instagram keeps on track of everything that I'm doing my instagram. Emma Gibbons art and my website is Emma dash Gibbons code at UK um because it is, it is very uh of the moment. I tend to this show in Soho, I only had two and a bit months to plan that one and I'm envisaging something else for the end of the year as well, something that I will pick up and just run with. I think there's a little crowbar opening in sort of november, early december. So I'd like to plan something special for. So yeah, best, best way is to sort of keep track of me on the socials and on the website. Oh my gosh, that is so exciting, I'm so excited for you. I'll have to pop in and see the july exhibition for sure. Come and get along with me, come and get a popsicle, love that.
So question number one is, what's your, why? Why are you doing what you're doing? I can't not do it. I've tried not doing it and I stayed away and and came back. I can't not do it. It's in my blood. I think humans are creative people by nature. And if you've got it and if you want to flex that muscle you should be doing it. Absolutely. We might know the answer to this next question, but I'll ask it all the same. What has been your favorite marketing moment so far? It's got to be Margot hasn't, it's got a big queen Margot. I think mainly because it was completely accidental. I put zero effort, zero planning into that. It literally just unfolded in front of me. And so it was kind of uniquely special for that moment. But also because Margot, I mean 100%. I also just think in business, there's like, you know, you've obviously got to do all the hard work. You've got to persist. But then there are just these special moments that happened that just couldn't have been planned for that are just truly serendipitous or luck essentially. And those are the moments that you're working for and this is such a good one. Such a good one. Question. Number three, what's your go to business resource when it comes to podcast newsletter or book, Got out of the three podcast podcast because 8-10 hours every day. So anything that can go in my ears um is my preference. Do you have a specific, you know favorite. No I don't actually, I like to, I like to vary it and I like to get lots and lots of different views about what's going on because I think that as as an individual and as and running a creative business, there isn't a very good set model for it. You have to cherry pick, you have to listen. So lots of different views of how to do it and find your own way through because there is no blueprint on how to do what I do. Mhm. Very true. Question number four, how do you win the day? What are your am or PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and motivated and successful. I live with my daughter and our dog. So I do, she's 10. Um and I'm a single mom. So I do like to spend time with those two as much as I can probably, I leave the studio, leave the glitter, come home, cook dinner, watching tv with my daughter of my dog and really just try and leave into that family time because it's very, very difficult not to let it run your life otherwise. So yeah, family time at the end of the day. Love it. Question # five is what's been your worst money mistake in the business? And how much did it cost you? I think actually it's been not speculate to accumulate, I think not having the confidence in my work and its potential to do things like invest initially, just invest in really good framing, really good, you know, kind of finishing and let early probably with pr I waited a little bit thinking I needed to be more established or I needed to know more about what I was doing and actually the pr it's been so fun and I think that the success has come out of that because it's been such a, it's allowed people to get on to the crazy train of glitter artwork in a way that I could never have done on my own. So actually just being a bit braver and spending more money when your gut was telling you to rather than try and logic it out. Absolutely. And question number six, last question, what is just a crazy story that you can share? Good, bad or otherwise? Um, have you ever spilled any, you know, bucket loads of glitter? Oh my God. So I did do a, so the podcast is completely essential like in my ears all day. Otherwise I'd go mad. But occasionally you forget and I did have a phenomenal, my hands covered and I use full PPE but my hands covered in resin and managed to swipe my hand up through my hair in one go. But just, it was like, I just dipped the side of my head in a battle. It was everywhere, just completely over and the reason there is no way to get it out. There is no human way to get it out. You have to wait for it to dry. So it went sticky, sticky, sticky and then solid. And the only way that I had to cut it out, I had to cut out A good, Oh, I don't know, a good 20% of my hair just because just from one errand hand and wiped through the hair. Yeah, it was awful. I did. I contacted the other people that I know that work in resin and said what do I do, what I do? And they were all just like nothing. Oh my God, was it at least glittery resin? No, no, it was really horrible. And what is, it's so solid and like it's almost like what's it like? It's like just getting something like glass in your hair. It's so, it's just awful. There is nothing when it's dry. It is, there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing at all. So it was a very unfortunate accident. I haven't done again since just, hopefully it's a one off. Hopefully I get on my face sometimes, which is bad. It reacts really badly to skin and glitter. I mean I'm just walking, I'm just covered in glitter permanently school gates everywhere. Just glitter all over me, but not, not like a delicate bit into a festival, just like fully coated english woman, I love that. I'm a glitter girl. It's not glamorous at that point. It's really not a glamorous. There could be worse. They could be worse. Glitter's fun. Glitter promotes joy and brings the light of light out of everyone. Emma, this was so much fun. Thank you so much for taking the time to break down the world of art and money and how it all works. I really enjoyed chatting with you. Thank you so much.