Kate and I started our Shop in Afflecks, Manchester over ten months ago - right smack bang in the middle of the top floor.
For those of you that don't know Afflecks, it is a treasure trove building of independent retailers right in the City Centre. A bit like an indoor market, each trader is pays weekly rent for their shop space. Some of the traders have been in Afflecks for years and there are always new and exciting shops popping up. It's independent, creative and we love working there and being part of it. Why go to the overpriced, generic Christmas Markets when you can come and see us?
It only seems right to give shout outs to our fellow Afflecks Traders on our blog to let you know about all the great businesses run here.
Simon, who runs Notonyourskin Glass Engraving is one of our favourite Neighbours. His work has been exhibited for the Amy Winehouse foundation at Proud Galleries, London and is quite frankly, brilliant. Check it out yourself....
We decided to grab him to let us know a bit more about his Art and also so we could showcase some of his work to you. With Christmas just around the corner, Simon is able to create bespoke commissions on any subject - pet and family portraits or personalised pieces from as little as £100, plus all sorts of other pieces from as little as £30. We aren't getting any commission or kickback for letting you know about Simon's business - we just believe in supporting great Artists. With the holidays coming up thought it as good a time as any to share his work with you.
All Simon's contact details can be found at the end of the Interview.
So, What made you become a Glass Engraver?
Simon - I have always had an interest in art and this developed into realising I wanted to be an artist around 29 yrs old at the time I was doing a lot of tattoo conventions for my tattoo artist Gary (owner of Bolton tattoo shop) showing the work he had done for me. I couldn't get into tattooing so I decided to start engraving glass. I started with a simple Disney vase which over 15 yrs has developed into my own style of engraving of portrait and realism.
What kind of music do you like to listen to when you work?
If it is fine art then something chilling maybe some acid jazz or reggae. If I am working on a portrait or pet commission I tend to listen to some old school rock : AC/DC, Black Sabbath or The Doors. I think I am an old rocker at heart!
What kind of advice would you give anyone wanting to become a full time Artist?
I think the best advice is to always be learning. Don't think that you know everything! I encourage any artist of any ability to make sure that they price fairly for any work. Under pricing yourself makes things harder no matter what genre you sell. But mainly you should enjoy what you do!
Any other words?
I would just like to add that as a commission portrait Artist the biggest reward is when your Client sheds a tear and thanks you for your work. Knowing that you have captured a loved ones character and spirit as well as a true likeness,
So, simply said - Support Art, Buy Local and Listen to Rock. That's some rules we are happy to live by :)