So today I walked into the office and it was a full house! And it was just as well because today was another one of those big meeting days. It was George, Jilke, Sophie, Longlong, Rashmi and Mario’s turn to perch around the a3 flipchart armed with ideas about the monetary aspect of the project but also to properly introduce Rashmi and Mario to the different stages of the artFix project, as the newest members of the team.
Across the 3-hours they discussed ideas about costs and revenues, as well as additional plans for funding towards the pop-up store, which is now due to open in June.
Otherwise, sunny Soho Square saw myself, Jilke and Sophie through our break, again, and reminded us that summer is on its way when we might even be able to take the office outside.
Ahoy there! Hope all my readers are having a pleasant evening.
Today in the office everyone was busy working on the internal deadlines we had made during discussion last week. In addition to the complex process of recruiting excellent visual and performance artists, other areas which the team are working on includ Marketing and Technology. The latter is particularly important when it comes to the way that art will be translated to the audience (all of you guys). So of course we want to make sure it is the best, in the sense that it provides you with the most interactive and immersive experience. If our aim is to bring the arts to the high street then this is a massive part of meeting this aim, I’m sure you will agree.
As well as this, Jilke and Sophie have been artistically sketching more possible designs for the store in May. Much of these designs have issued from their inspired trips across London. Last week both of them spent their field day exploring the eastern arts scene. As well as attending a number of commercial galleries they took time out to go to some quirky smaller café galleries. Needless to say, they came back brimming with ideas about how to make the artFix store a fresh and inviting sight for casual shoppers and art lovers across the city.
So make sure you stay tuned for more information about design developments – maybe I’ll even allow you a sneak peek into some of their work.
Hope you guys have all been celebrating smiling and laughing today. If not then make sure you check out the work of the artists, who came to our first event, on our Facebook page and inject some feel-good art into your life!
Following on from Sophie’s successful excursion to the ballet, she and Jilke took time out after work (can’t have too much fun), to go to the Saatchi gallery and attend a private viewing of the Jealous Prize 2013/14 on Tuesday. It was great for them to take in some show-stopping pieces as well as watch the event unfold from the side-lines.
For the team, experiencing the arts around London is a way to research what works well but also gain inspiration for alternative ideas which might strike well with the audience – particularly regarding the design of our store. As a result of their travels so far Jilke and Sophie have come up with some brilliant ideas for how they would like the store to look. We’re really looking forward to spreading the happiness when you come and visit in May!
So today the office was busy updating press lists and sending e-mails to organisations. Meanwhile on the other side of the table, Longlong was preparing forms for another upcoming competition.
Having completed the majority of the discussions last week, we all have clear ideas of our individual and collective targets ahead of the April/ May store. As well as this, it means that we can also make detailed and thorough plans which is great to strengthen our vision for the pop-up but also our first permanent store.
So this week has been productive – not least because everyone returned recharged from the weekend. Sophie went to the Royal Opera House on Friday to watch the Royal Ballet perform Sleeping Beauty. For those of you who have seen it you will know that the part of Aurora is considered amongst ballet dancers as one of the most demanding roles. The music of Tchaikovsky is also beautifully iconic and makes ‘Sleeping Beauty’ a part of the core repertoire of most ballet companies.
For Sophie it was a mesmerising evening. Sarah Lamb as Princess Aurora, along with her partner Steven McRae, gave a stunning performance, sincere in emotion and great vivacity in movement. Loud cries of ‘Bravo’ sealed the success of the performance. Sounds like it’s something we all need to see!
So this afternoon we conducted the second half of the meeting. Topics featured included design and technology, two hugely important categories which need to be thoroughly explored ahead of the April store . (I’m sure you will agree.) Zafeirenia replaced Ioanna to contribute towards the discussion and I can tell you that we definitely had a fair few exciting ideas bouncing around!
Too many options to choose from in fact – but I guess that is what happens when you are working in such a creative team. I’m sure that in the next couple of weeks we will be able to sift and sift again to finalise the cream of the crop and select those ideas that we know you will love!
So today we had guests in the office as production company Klein & Sons came to film a commercial about the ‘artFix Experience.’ Having already filmed across the Covent Garden area in the morning the team were welcomed to the studio space on the 6th floor to take the final part of the film before editing. And the work went well – energy was high and the floor was flooded with the brightest sunshine. We hope you are as excited as we are to see the finished product!
The opportunity to make this video about the company was received as part of the reward for winning the London Entrepreneur’s Challenge in 2013 at UCL. This is great particularly as it gives us another opportunity to show you more about what we do and give you a greater reason to become involved, if you are not already.
So see you guys next week! Keep a look out for that happy row in your e-mail Inbox which says that you have a new update from me delivering your daily fix of artFix delciousness.
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!
As a present to themselves for working so hard on Friday Jilke and Sophie went to Art14, a contemporary art fair in Olympia, London. They definitely got their weekend fix of art here as the event was packed to the brim with a variety of inspirational contemporary pieces – just what they needed to recharge their batteries before the week began.
And what a week it is. Preparations for the April store are well on their way and the office is busy endeavouring to divert the course of pesky April showers and deliver sunshine to all – yay. As well as updating our press lists and our coffee supplies we are working hard towards the launch of our first pop-up – make sure you take part in our journey!
So, hope you guys all enjoyed the sunshine that graced us with its presence today. Apparently we are due for some good weather in the next couple of days so prepare to keep those coats at home! Hopefully…
However, some good news, which is more reliable than the British weather, is that we are having our first event, the ‘artFix Experience’ on Friday!!
Today’s selection of artists, who are due to showcase their work at the event, express themselves through a variety of artistic forms. All are visual artists.
Johannes Sailer – Johannes is an Italo-Austrian artist who lives and works in Edinburgh. He has a degree in sculpture, an MA in fine art and also in Engineering. He was recently described by The Scotsman as “a shining new addition to the Scottish art scene”. He is an award-winning sculptor and a master craftsmen in metal fabrications. Aside from creating his unique brand of engineered art, Johannes runs Austria based architectural practice Arch Sailer and works in collaboration with Konishi-Gaffney architects. He has shown work at the Royal Scottish Academy, Brave, Talbot Rice Gallery, Heartwood, ADBK Galerie and Sierra Metro. https://twitter.com/ELX_art
Ella Prakash– Ella’s professional art career started in the early 1982s. She has worked in various medium. Her acrylic paintings present the world as if seen through a prism, with bold colours parcelled out into geometric forms that offer fleeting. Her work as a painter takes her to the figure as it moves in space. The gesture is important to her and taking out the details and trying to capture the rhythm. The lines are what she tries to achieve as she draws and feels what the pose is about. www.ellagallery.com
Jamie H. Scrutton – Jamie creates short films. His film, “His Haunted Laughter”-screened at “Making Tracks”, Whirlygig Cinema in London and “Gilmmer Film Festival 2011” in Hull and was also shortlisted for “The Yorkshire Award.” He is currently filming a new short film called “A Midnight Momentum.” https://www.facebook.com/jamieh.scrutton
Jennifer Morrison – Jennifer’s work deals predominantly with colour and shape. She uses these elements to explore juxtaposition, repetition, movement and rhythm. Whether it is a plant or clouds or smudges on a wall, these can all serve as inspiration for her and act as a starting point for a painting. She has always loved the stuff of paint, whether it be oils, watercolours or enamels, and loves working with their different qualities. Although she has lived in London for two decades, the colours of South Africa have never left her and remain a central influence in her work. www.jennifermorrison.co.uk
Jesus Vidal Cortes – For Jesus, his painting below, “represents the woman some time in a past, a present … in the future? It was the enslaved woman, the housewife, the woman had no right to speak, to think, to decide anything in the house that she raised. She could not even choose the name of any of her seven children, children for whom she sacrificed her entire life. Children she never opted or not to have.”
Jill Meager – For Jill, the open gaze of animals and children reflects the vitality, innocence and integrity of an instinctive way of being. As an artist I think about how I can capture that spirit in my work and reflect the intense attachment to being alive. My latest series is images of birds in charcoal 85x60cms. I am concerned with the vulnerability of birds and how they reflect the precarious balance of nature in the hands of heedless human activity. www.jillmeager.com
Lookout for information about more artists tomorrow – meanwhile make sure to let all your family and friends know about the best way to spend the evening this Friday. It’s the least you can do after they have worked so hard during the week.
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…..