LISA MALTBY
LONDON BASED ILLUSTRATOR & LETTERING ARTIST

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Welcome to my blog where I post about all things creative, from my latest food illustrations, design work and hand lettering doodles, to articles about freelancing and creativity. I hope you like my posts.

So… just a little update from my exhibition! So far it’s going really well and I’ve sold 5 exhibition pieces and lots of cards, all raising money for The Snowdrop Project, which I’m really excited about! If you’re interested in any of the pieces on display they are now available on my website and if you haven’t had chance to see them in person get down to The Showroom in Sheffield before the 15th to take a peek.

I’ve found it a bit weird having my first exhibition to be honest. It sounds like it should be something I’m really used to by now and I’m not sure why I haven’t done this before, other than my degree show. I guess maybe it’s a confidence thing - do people really want to see my work? Really? Then it’s all the promotion and trying to sell my work (when I’d rather be sat at my desk drawing). As an artist you need to believe in yourself… but too much makes you a bit of a nob head. You can’t win. I almost find it easier to approach big publishers than my own friends -  you don’t want people to feel they have to come and see your art; you want them to be real with you and tell you if something’s not working or if you’re barking up the wrong tree. 

Another thing I’ve found hard is pricing my work. I’m used to selling my work commercially but I’ve only just started to sell actual prints and this has proved tricky, especially as I work digitally. I work digitally because it helps me to try new things on the same piece of work, then move things around or delete them if necessary - I like the freedom of it. I also like the fact that my house isn’t full of old dusty canvasses, just neat files on my computer (okay, maybe not so neat if you’ve seen my desktop!). A lot of people don’t understand the concept of ‘original’ digital art because, in theory, it can be printed out hundreds of times. This, of course, would be pretty bad practice for an artist, which is why my prints are in editions of 10. I’ve had some very helpful advice on pricing my work from framers and art dealers but it still feels like a minefield.  

Another thing I’ve found hard is trying to gauge public and professional opinion of my work - friends will always tell you they like something, professionals will always tell you what sells or what’s popular. Some people are very snooty with you. I’m used to this, of course, but I hate that some people are so 'highbrow’ that they don’t have time to speak to you about your work because you are a 'new’ artist on the scene. I hope that when I am famous (when being the operative word!) I will always treat people with the same respect. I remember meeting Quentin Blake in his gallery years ago and he treated me like a fellow artist and I’ve always hailed him as one of the greats, not only because of his amazing work but because he has time for people who share the same passion. He didn’t look down on me (actually, he did a bit, but only because I’m 5ft 2).

If you’ve been to my exhibition, what did you think? And if you’re an artist, what’s your experience of exhibiting your work?