Spring is finally here everyone! And what better way to welcome the pleasant breeze than by opening the windows and taking a deep breath in. Yes the skies were cloudy but our minds were crystal clear, which is just as well, because today was a big day for the team to discuss the development of our project.
We have learned a lot from the ‘artFix Experience’ event and are making sure to implement all the changes necessary to provide you with an improved experience of art in the April pop-up store. So it’s all about affordability, accessibility and quality, the latter of which will even extend to the coffee we serve (of course). 4 hours later, George myself, Jilke, Ioanna and Sophie emerged from the meeting room wondering where the sunlight had gone but happy that we have definitely made several strides forward in the right direction. Hopefully you will also follow in our footsteps to meet us in April!
So today the office has been busy as the team have been busy working on their responsibilities to the April store. This currently involves liaising with a variety of organisations and writing a lot of e-mails. So fingertips have been pattering at the keyboards like light rain pretty much all day.
This morning we welcomed the bright sunshine with a team meeting – our first one since the event on Friday. So this was a great opportunity to throw around a few ideas with things that we could add to the mix and improve to make the overall experience better. The Starbucks break in between was a brilliant interval and really boosted our energy to match that of the lovely weather. Look forward to some great caffeine-enriched additions to our next store!
Hope you are all well and enjoyed the weekend. And what a fantastic start to the weekend it was with the launch of our first event on Friday!
Thank you to all our talented visual and performance artists for taking part to showcase their work and for being patient when a few things did go wrong – we did say there would be a bit of trial and error!
It was great to meet you all in person and a lot of you also stayed behind for a while afterwards to talk to us more about what we are doing and to tell us more about yourselves. It was lovely to hear your positive comments about the evening and hopefully now that you have become acquainted with artFix, you understand a bit more about our aims and objectives. More than just that we provide brilliant wine-and-cupcake-filled evenings!
So now that you have experienced a small taster of what we’re offering we hope that you are looking forward to April showers of everything art as our pop-up store opens in little over a month. Not long to go now but there’s still time to hop on to the artFix express.
Make sure that you support us via our social media channels and by following this blog, which will provide you with the latest artFix updates, including information about when we’re opening our doors to welcome artists to join in our April store.
Yesterday I told you about some fantastic visual artists who are taking part on Friday so today I am going to tell you about 4 performance artists who will be showcasing a variety of different performances throughout the night. I can guarantee that they will keep you talking long after the event has passed.
Anne-Sophie Cochevelou – A performance/ design artist whose work is both visual and performance (see yesterday’s entry for her complete biography)
Jordan Birch – As a stand-up comedian, Jordan has performed in literally some locations, entertaining crowds of up to 40. At 26 years old, his withered cynicism and misplaced anger make him a refreshing change from enjoying yourself. Imagine Russell Brand having a baby with Stephen Fry. That’s not the kind of comedian Jordan Birch is, but wouldn’t that make a great sitcom? http://www.jordanbirch.com/
Nate Maingard – Nate is into lyrics, sustainability, romance, photography, music, travelling, community, local and organic produce, hugs, writing, poetry, reading, listening, surfing. His songs are about the deeper journeys we all experience as humans trying to make sense of this life we have been given, this minuscule drop in the ocean which still feels so incredibly precious to us. He has been playing guitar, writing songs and appearing on stage since 1998 and has been playing as a professional musician since the beginning of 2011. http://natemaingard.com/
Shanara Ali – Shanara is a storywriter. The idea behind The Story of Alex came to her on a trip to Aberdeen in August ’13. Visiting the old city or town in her opinion was always a welcome relief from real life as everyone who has lived there or still lives there knows about the bubble, the bubble that protects you from the real world where everything is rather scary. Every Alex she has met has been ridiculously good looking but definitely aware of that. Her Alex is the opposite. Having grown up hideously ugly he has no social skills but his heart is perfect. Although God does eventually bless him with good looks, its his years of solitude through no fault of his own that define who he is. She thinks he might just be her favourite…..
So this morning, Monica and Zafeirenia were rehearsing in preparation for pitching at the Lion’s Den Competition at King’s College on Monday. We’re really excited about this competition; in fact the team are looking forward to taking part so much that we have decided to dress the part as well. Ioanna spent her lunch break buying white t-shirts for the whole gang and will print them with our artFix logo for the event – go team artFix!
Meanwhile, in the office, there have been intermittent ‘woops’ of excitement as artists have been confirming their participation in the ‘artFix Experience.’ In fact it’s been all GO GO GO – answering calls, writing e-mails, having more discussions about event technicalities and dealing with the sometimes temperamental Internet connection. And you know what – there wasn’t even one cup of coffee in the office to give us a kick start :O. There were chocolates bought by George and Zafeirenia from their trip to Brussels (I told you we’d be celebrating right?) but an office working happily without coffee definitely defies some kind of law. I guess the reason it works for us is just because we really have a vision to see this project succeed and with our first event literally around the corner, it is an exciting, busy and crucial time to make sure everything is planned perfectly. For this only genuine determination and dedication will do.
So we have become the finalists of another competition – yay! The Lion’s Den Challenge is a business programme which is supported by the King’s Graduate School. This year, artFix London entered and now we are due to take part in the final on the 24th February! As part of this we have to pitch the artFix London project to an audience – hopefully it will go well!
Outside the office Nadia and Jilke enjoyed an evening at the Superbolt Theatre at the Vaults by Waterloo station yesterday. The show was called ‘Uncanny Valley’ and as well as being invited to watch the performance they had a meeting with the cast regarding their potential participation in the artFix venture.
Jilke said that the play was really fun and definitely something she would recommend to others. It is set in the future and tells the story of a boy falling in love with his robot. She said she was literally under her chair laughing most of the time – especially when they did a robot dance together and played the future play-station 25. However, it had an interesting underlying message as well (don’t worry I’m not going to spoil it for you!) The three actors were incredible, both individually and together – they kept her on the edge of her seat for the full hour. So make sure you get down to see it too – the weekend is coming!
So today has been a great day for progress which means that the team can go home happy – just in time for the weekend.
Longlong has been working on applications to True Start and the Big Venture Challenge, both of which help start-up companies in the retail business sector, like artFix to develop faster. If we succeed to the final stage then they will not only provide us with funding but also space and mentoring which will allow us to develop a complex and accurate financial strategy for our venture, which would be fantastic! Wish us luck!
On the other side of the office Jilke and Sophie are continuing their work to get more artists on board. In addition to receiving a lot of positive feedback from artists they also have a lot of meetings scheduled in the next week so the office is looking to get very busy! I had a conversation with them this morning about how they were doing and they were really excited by the energy in some of your replies. Sophie said that she really liked it when artists said that the concept of artFix is something which is really needed in society.
Sam also arrived at the office today and met with George to discuss the need for projectors at the ‘artFix Experience.’ He is going to help us to locate projectors and install the pop-up and is also thinking of inviting some friends who are video-artists, to the event on the 27th. They will not only be able to film the event in its entirety but also individual artists which is great for you who are participating. So things are looking very good for the end of February.
Finally for today, Ingrid came over to discuss the technical design of the event space with George, Jilke and Sophie. From exhibition areas to drinks at the bar, they bounced around lots of ideas – a very good meeting and a nice way to close the day.
So we took the metaphorical form of busy bees in the office today. With the ‘artFix Experience’ just around the corner on the 27th to the 28th February, the pressure is on to develop videos and engage the interests of artists and the public – we knew we all had a long day ahead. As a result, it was great to come in to the office and discover that George had developed the final edited version of the Outtake Video from the filming we did on the 24th of January! Needless to say, it was a pleasant way to start the morning – laughter and coffee will always be the best combination.
So sit back, relax and enjoy watching the team work – and mess up.
So, artFix gossip of the day – Longlong and Zafeirenia discovered that they go to the same gym as David Beckham (!) which I must say is an added incentive for me to re-start that New Year’s resolution.
Having spent most of Saturday at the UCL Student Enterprise Hub event, however, Longlong needed some time to relax, with or without the presence of David Beckham. The busy one-day event hosted several pitches and discussions held by eminent business individuals in the morning and two interactive workshops in the afternoon. Particularly, the Finance workshop proved to present some useful information on important tools which we will definitely be looking to implement in our own business plan.
This morning, the team were continuing our good work on engaging the interests of artists and investors by meeting up with a representative from London Fusion. George, Sophie and Jilke met with Vanesa Sánchez to discuss further funding opportunities to boost the development of the artFix venture. As part of this, Vanesa has promoted the artFix blog to the London Fusion website so now I am probably also speaking to some of you who have arrived here along this alternative route! If so then hi – welcome to artFix.
So discussion is continuing and we are constantly reaching out to widen our circle and develop our network via business events, meetings with individuals and even by bumping into the odd celebrity, which is great.
With only a few members of the team in the office, today was a relatively quiet day, although that did not stop us from continuing our aim to send new rhythms through the art world.
This week has been a good one to engage the interests of new artists and investors at a variety of events. Not only have they been interested in what artFix is currently doing but also our plans for the future which is great! The mock pop-up store in February is an event which is capturing particular interest.
As a result, we have come up with a plan to send out a monthly newsletter to all our lovely subscribers. So if you are reading this blog and thinking, I am really interested to get to know more about what these guys are doing, then please add your name to the list via our website or contact me via the address below. The newsletter will be a fantastic way to keep up to date with our current and future plans but also the latest news about artFix’s position in the art and business world – something which is becoming increasingly important as it is more widely recognised.
We are also getting our creative hats on and working on the initial stages of scripting for videos to be screened at our first store. Cameraman, Sam, from Gro-up arrived to discuss our general concept so now it’s all about building this up into something special.
Have a brilliant art-filled weekend and speak to you all on Monday!