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Johnnyx – Artist and Printmaker – The Case Study that Redefined my Creative Pride

Our business coaches have helped hundreds of businesses as part of our ERDF Digital Futures programme. Here we hear from Jane Longrigg who helped an artist and printmaker based here in Newcastle.

I write this piece against the ever-more exhausting backdrop of Brexit and all that that means to currently be both British and be working in the UK creative industries, such as music and the arts. I reflect that 10 years ago whilst in New York and LA on a UKTI export mission to market UK artists, I felt a genuine sense of pride in what I was doing – a belief that we did pretty much rock the creative agenda (here & there!) with our kooky, distinctive and always forward-thinking people and projects we endorsed. In comparison if I’d been at the LA British Consulate for that same creative export mission this month (Nov 2018), I can’t help but note I would be feeling nothing but a loss of pride in a way unimaginable those 10 years prior.

My cousin, also UK based doing a more corporate yet still communications role, recently said something quite poignant in my view: ‘in the current world turmoil, whilst not forgetting the bigger picture, we need to focus on the smaller, manageable collaborative achievements in our lives’. As I attempted this summer to stay positive in my business coach/marketing roles, it was a real blessing to come across a client case study like Johnnyx – Artist and Printmaker, who I felt helped redefine my creative pride. In the words of Heather Small ‘What have you done today to make you feel proud?’ (been wanting to reference that track for years, ha!), this client experience summed up my cousin’s thought – Johnnyx was so refreshing and talented, and with his dedication to his art and my little bit of steering, I feel we made a great leap forward for his art and his brand both on and offline. It seemed truly collaborative and because we both worked hard at getting results I think we were more than happy with the success.

I believe that without the Generator Business Coach Programme, this just wouldn’t have been possible – the nature of the project means we can simply sit down with clients to talk properly and dissect what and where they want to go in very much a ‘blue sky’ manner.  Time these days seems so tight, and we are all seemingly ‘busy being busy’, and even though in business where we know that the old fashioned face-to-face meeting (even the handshake!) is still the true basis of how deals in many industries move forward, it still seems a luxury to me almost to meet to discuss creative problems/issues in real time to come up with possible best solutions.

Johnnyx’s hopes for the Generator Business Coach Programme were to essentially understand and start employing some basic marketing.  To date his artwork had been generally well received, however getting the word ‘out there’ he felt was a mystical dark art. So our main aims were to enhance his self-belief/confidence, help with some contacts/networking, and of course set up a few basic marketing tools to make his ‘art’ into his ‘business’. Some of the results following our few months together include some prestigious national press in the Financial Times ‘How to Spend It’ magazine, sales & social media following increases based on brand enhancement work and successful digital marketing campaigns, plus exhibitions numbers and sales increases due to confidence & trust in brand personality.

He kindly commented “Jane – thanks for these tips – like gold dust, and very encouraging… Working with you has been brilliant, you have gently pushed me along, and certainly helped me understand the need for marketing to bring art sales! I can’t thank you enough.”

Case closed – pride restored and I thank him as much in return…now to turn my eye briefly back to the bigger picture!

Further information on Johnnyx please see his Instagram page and
https://howtospendit.ft.com/art-philanthropy/204286-concrete-artworks-that-will-give-philanthropists-a-kick
(See featured ‘Send Money’ rabbit artwork)

Blog by Jane Longrigg – Generator Business Coach/Freelance Marketing Consultant for Creative Industries:
jane@loftmusic.co.uk 07949 129 489

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