Monday, 22 August 2011

A little bit about us....

Welcome web guys!

Me and Wife on wedding day, where the trouble started.

Find us on Twitter (@magigab), Ebay (dansbarn) and, erm.. here!

Hi everyone! After years of pontificating we (my wife and I) have decided to let you all in to our little world. Fashion and Art are our main passions and we've got some amazing little tips and tricks for all of you interested in these wonderful worlds within worlds.

Many years ago my wife toyed with the idea of becoming a professional artist and so decided to attend art college. Now, 5 years after graduation, she is still plugging away trying to get recognised by the powers that be. Her work has received many and raving reviews but the business is simply too saturated by big names to be able to break into the scene without inside connections.

The world of fashion, especially in the design and marketing areas can be equally cutthroat. Newbies beware!

However, it's not all doom and gloom, thanks to the amazing tools and resources available on and offline. For example, a designer in a small village in our area recently gave up trying to 'arrive' and set to work creating her wonderful bespoke dresses for sale to the public via a little shop front she rented. Charging over £200 a piece, the idea initially seemed doomed to fail. Within a few months she had sold enough dresses and accessories (all created by her fair hand) to begin producing larger, more intricate designs. With these new designs came a higher price tag and so, within a year, her client base not only grew but so did her reputation as well. The store has been open now for 18 months, and has stayed open through the worst of the current UK recession so it just goes to show, if you can keep plugging and plugging away, just holding your head above water, eventually you will be spotted, as she was.

Now to us. We have both played with the entrepreneurial and have headed in slightly different directions in doing so. Myself, a keen gardener and landscape designer, found a small niche in this market for a couple of years and managed to support us through 2 moves, a rebuild and a business start-up. Well, that's not entirely true... without my wife's support I would have crashed and burned many many times before but, as with the small shop mentioned above, she gave me the confidence to push on and we did very well for a while... then the big boys moved in. My prices were suddenly sky high compared to other quotes, my customers were being cold called within an hour of me leaving their property. I was being targeted. And that targeting was unfortunately successful. After 2 good years trading, I had to close shop and move from the area.

Now onto my wife. Her passion has always been towards the more creative arts and she realised her dream, or so she thought, when she graduated from art college. Her teachers, although perfectly well qualified, shared the view of many a teacher at the time that if you want a student to be good at something, hammer them over the head with it over and over until they can do it in their sleep. The latter became true for my wife as she can copy an old master almost from memory and her copies of famous landscape painters are wonderful.... to me. My wife's passion for her own art slowly faded into the back ground as her teachers continued to force her down artistic paths she was not comfortable with. Sure the concepts were there, the techniques too, but not her, not her own thoughts and feelings.

So, many years later she decided that the genre to paint in was abstract, and so she did. She ignored the naysayers... 'abstract artists aren't artists', 'those who can, paint, those who can't, paint abstract', etc. She simply wanted to find a way of expressing herself through canvas and she did it.

Last year one of her pieces, 'Is there a way out?' was sold and given to a local celebrity as a thank you gift. It is now in a private collection in Hull.

This small token of appreciation, this justification for those years of repetition and stifling boundaries reignited her inner artistic fire and she has gone on to create some of the most wonderful pieces of abstract art I have been priveledged to see. We even have some hung on our own walls! How's that for progress? That slight success has really helped her confidence. And it feels good to see her working on her art again. Her own art.

My wife's art is available for viewing and for sale (via prints) on the FineArtAmerica website;

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