Establish Member Focus - January 2021

Every month we feature some of our Establish members and ask them to interview each other about their work. This month Sophia Kyprianou (aka The Curator-Educator) and Sharon Everest (aka Modflowers) focus on marketing and how they get their work out there. They do very different types of work so have contrasting ways of sharing their work to their specific audiences. Our Establish members often get together to discuss marketing and sharing their work as this is one of the most challenging and important aspects of running a successful creative business.

The Curator-Educator, interviewed by Modflowers


1. Tell me about what you do, why you do it and who it is aimed at


My name is Sophia and I am the Director and founder of The Curator-Educator, a small creative business which is all about developing creative opportunities that are accessible, inclusive and diverse for individuals and communities and aims to encourage people to engage creatively on their own level through workshops, community projects and exhibitions. There are lots of creative things we do as a company, but our key focus presently is around providing creative opportunities that aim to improve people’s and community’s mental health and wellbeing, our biggest initiative being our Crafternoon: Creative wellbeing project.

The reason I do what I do, is that I genuinely believe in the power of art and being creative. I think it can break down barriers, provide opportunities, support people and for me can be accessible and inclusive for all, which is what we’re all about at The Curator-Educator.



2. Have you had to adapt your practice and marketing during lockdown restrictions - what have you done / are you doing at the moment marketing-wise that you might not have done in the past? For example, I notice that you've been doing Facebook Lives recently - how do you plan and prepare for these and do they take a lot of courage to do?


Since the outbreak of Covid-19 things have looked a little different for us at Curator-Educator HQ, as prior to the pandemic majority of our work was done face to face with the community and individuals, so we have had to become adaptive that's for sure. We have moved all our workshops online, and have learnt new technological things that definitely keep us on our toes!

It definitely has meant that our marketing has changed and evolved a lot since March, we have been more visible in the digital world and as you mentioned we have been running Facebook live videos for our crafternoon sessions. There is a fair bit of planning for the sessions behind the scenes, with planning what crafts we are going to make, materials needed and social media content for each session as we like to share our programme beforehand to give people time to get resources or for us to send resources to them. It was a little nerve wracking to begin with, but now running the sessions feels part of our work now. It can feel a little odd sometimes, as you are talking to yourself or to people you cannot see, and the challenges of internet connections can be frustrating, but we do our best and hopefully our sessions help people practice some creative self care in a small way.

3. What type or aspect of marketing do you enjoy most and what do you dislike about marketing - and why?


I actually really enjoy the design aspect and creating content as part of our marketing strategy. I feel it's an opportunity to be creative in a different way and try different visuals and content with our followers online. Though, I must admit sometimes, I can get a little carried away and several hours can pass in the designing of things.


I think with marketing, the time it takes to put together and keep up with everything can sometimes be a frustration for me, but I’m always looking at new ways to create marketing and have found scheduling platforms to be really helpful and planning out content 1-2 weeks at a time can save a lot of time.


Check out The Curator-Educator here -

https://www.sophiakyprianou.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheCuratorEducatorLtd

https://www.instagram.com/thecuratoreducator/

modflowers interviewed The Curator-Educator


1. What do you do/ create/ make and do you use social media to share your practice?

As modflowers I design and make art dolls and quirky decorative creatures from cloth and clay, often in miniature, using mainly vintage or upcycled fabrics. I've worked with designers to produce art dolls from their own fabrics and recently I've started making small bears, modelled on vintage teddy bears.


I share my work on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

I love Instagram, because of its focus on beautiful images. I also like the feeling of community between fellow makers. I post to Facebook regularly, as I have a small but committed band of followers there. I use Pinterest more for pleasure than business, but it does help get more eyes on my work.

2. Have you tried any new marketing techniques / strategies for 2021?

I have been trying to build my following and interaction on Instagram. I've been posting more regularly and researching useful hashtags by looking at what popular makers use in their posts.


I also started a mailing list last year and have been promoting this via a link in my Instagram bio and elsewhere. My work output is relatively small and I don't always have items on sale, so I ask people interested in buying from me to join my mailing list to be notified of when new work is available. Eventually I'd like to try using Patreon - but I need to develop what I can offer to supporters before I launch into it.



3. Have you got anything creative coming up soon and how are you sharing it with people? (e.g. social media, newsletter, videos etc)

I'm aiming to start a newsletter for my mailing list subscribers. I've been signing up to other makers' lists, to see the kinds of things they send out. I want people to feel that by signing up they'll get something from me other than just promotions!


I also have a blog on my website, which I used to write daily until I ran out of steam! I'm aiming to resurrect it and post weekly. I like writing stories, I just ran out of ideas for what to write about - time for some research to find out what people want to read!


Check out Modflowers here -

https://www.modflowers.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/modflowersUK

https://www.instagram.com/modflowers/


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