Whenever a client calls at the house, the first thing they always comment on is the large (and I mean LARGE!) creative canvas hung on the wall in the dining room – it is 36″ x 24″ and is of my darling 5-year-old DD…
Its reason for being there is three-fold. Firstly, I love the canvas (in fact I love it so much it forms the basis of nearly all my advertising postcards and leaflets), secondly, it looks fabulous against the rich red walls, and thirdly, when clients visit me and are waiting for me to make them their tea/coffee, they casually walk around the dining room browsing the quirky paintings, drawings, photos, paper crafts and arty bits and pieces that are on display. The canvas always attracts attention. I have sold more creative canvases this way than any other form of advertising or marketing.
A neighbour was in our home for a BBQ last year and fell in love with it too; she booked a photo shoot with her 2 gorgeous kids, ordered an album, several prints, a framed montage, and this week, on the back-end of that initial enquiry, a creative canvas – this one is 30″ x 20″. Simply gorgeous.
Opening your home up to clients can be tricky, you always have to have it looking clean and tidy and smelling sweet for a start! (I was up at 6.30 this morning doing just that as I had a client meeting me at the house straight after the school run). But it also has huge advantages; being able to work around my kids’ timetables and my husband’s job, being able to dash upstairs to grab a client’s file and discuss their requirements whilst stirring a risotto also has its merits. More significantly, it allows me to adorn my home with my unique personalised pieces, whether it be photos, canvases, paper, photo and word art montages, paper crafts, hand-made books and ornaments – even knitted handbags (yes, I have been known to don a pair of knitting needles). It also allows my clients to view items ‘in situ’, not in some cold, white-walled, impersonal studio. Framed photos and prints line my walls, stairways and hall, canvases sit on shelves and are hung from walls, albums, WordArt, PaperArt and PhotoArt pieces are casually placed around the house along with handmade books and arty pieces. All are used and looked at and ‘lived in’ within my home – this, in my opinion, is why I get the response I do from clients.
To prove a point, my client (from the school run this morning), booked a photo shoot, placed an order for a 36″ x 24″ creative canvas and asked whether I would be interested in running a craft afternoon for her daughter’s forthcoming birthday bash – all this, before I had even passed her her coffee.