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WebinArt Emerge Member Focus - September 2020

In this Emerge member focus blog post for the 2020/21 WebinArt programme, we are proud to introduce two up-and-coming creatives - Jade Webb and Beth Holton.

WebinArt is Creative Leicestershire's year-long professional development programme for creative businesses. Our Emerge members are early in their career and benefit from one-to-one tailored business mentoring sessions alongside a whole host of live online events and resources.

Click here to find out more about the WebinArt Programme. WebinArt 2020/21 is generously subsidised by our funding partners - Leicestershire County Council, Arts Council England, Derbyshire County Council, Hinckley + Bosworth Borough Council, North West Leicestershire District Council, Blaby District Council + Rutland County Council. 


Jade Webb

Jade Leigh Textiles

Tell us a little about your creative business and how you got into it.

I am a Leicester based textile artist mainly creating woven textiles, I use sustainable natural fibres and yarns that would otherwise become waste.

I come from a very creative family, as children me and my brothers would always be making things and drawing. My mum taught me how to sew when I was little and I loved it, so I went on to study fashion and textiles at college, where I had a go on my first loom and found weaving fascinating.

Taking a different direction at Uni, I studied fine art at DMU, which was great and made me play about with different mediums, I created sculpture out of felt and knit. Alongside this, I started making little rickety frame looms out of wood and having a play with weave, eventually studying an MA on the subject and looking more at suitability under fashion and textiles.

Now I have a little home studio where I create work with the frames that have stayed together,

experimenting with texture and more freehand work, not really knowing how it will turn out until

the end. Though I always try and stick to a rough plan.

How does your practice and business fit in with other life responsibilities?

Weave takes a longs time, you really need patience for it, which can test me sometimes. I work full time, so all my creativeness is at the weekends and evening. I have found working from home a little blessing in disguise, as now I have what would be my commute to sit down and be creative or update social media.

I do find weave to be very therapeutic, especially after a stressful day. I pop on some music or a podcast and just crack on. I would love to eventually get a fancier loom so I can work a little quicker, but there is something about my little handmade heddle loom and frames that feel charming.

What has been your main challenge and biggest success up to this point?

There have been a few challenges along the way, work life balance is defiantly one of them, though I am getting a lot better. I make sure I create more ‘me time’ and put aside time to weave. Lists and not putting too much on your plate for one day helps a lot and you don’t feel so swamped.

Social media and promoting yourself can sometimes be a struggle. Especially when your practice takes time, I don’t have new completed work to share weekly, as it is very process driven. However, I am looking at sharing the process with my followers, which will be a lot of fun.

One of my biggest successes would have to be completing my masters, it was something I have always wanted to do, and it was such a positive experience, which allowed me and gave me the resources to grow artistically.

I have taken part in a few exhibitions in Leicester and have had commissions with We Are Primary in Nottingham, which were wonderful to be a part of. I have also completed commissions with dancers and have had the opportunity to work alongside some great artists.

What do you have planned for your business in the short and long term?

Short term I am focusing on making, working towards a collection, and really experimenting with my processes. Promoting my work more and approaching some potential galleries for opportunities. Long term is to continue researching more sustainable ways of making, I would love to look at being part of artist residencies and concentrate on more commission-based work.

How is the WebinArt Programme is benefitting your business journey so far?

WebinArt has given me a platform to connect with other creatives, which has been amazing, and you really get a sense of community with it. I am more confident with social media now and I feel I have the support to ask questions and gain confidence.

I have really enjoyed working with my mentor, Jane from Junction Arts. She has really helped me to think what I want out of a creative business and the different elements that go into creating one.

What has inspired you recently?

Abstract: The Art of Design is a documentary series on Netflix, which I really recommend. It follows one artist per episode and is great to get an insight into their artistic practices and different ways of working. I have just finished Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo which was amazing, a must read. Also, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is such a wonderful book.

You can see more of Jade's work here -


Beth Holton

Tell us a little about your creative business and how you got into it:

From a young age, I have absolutely loved drawing and I was constantly covered in marker pen and paint. I remember I used to spend hours making up crazy stories with accompanying illustrations just for fun! So, when it came to deciding what to do with my life, I was immediately drawn to doing something creative. Though I studied both fine art and graphics, I chose illustration. I want to do something I love and I love drawing!

How do your practice and business fit in with other life responsibilities?

I am currently studying my final year of Graphic Communication and Illustration at Loughborough University, so my practice is pretty engrained in with my other responsibilities. I make sure I have a nice balance.

What has been your main challenge and biggest success up to this point?

I think the main challenge I must overcome is my lack of confidence in my skills. It hampers my ability to create work or to put myself out there and try something new, though WebinArt has helped me reconnect with my confidence and I’m so grateful for that.

My biggest success is having my work displayed in bus shelters to advertise an exhibition for International Women’s Day. I’m still so proud of myself, even now!

What do you have planned for your business in the short and long term?

I’m hoping to open a shop where I can sell my illustrations as prints, though I’ve got a fair bit of planning to do first. Long term, I want to expand this shop to sell a range of products with the hope it will support me financially.

How is the WebinArt Programme is benefitting your business journey so far?

WebinArt has helped my confidence by allowing me to connect with other creatives in similar positions to me. It helped me realise that I’m not alone and that has been so invaluable to me.

What has inspired you recently? 

Ancient Greece has provided a lot of inspiration for me lately. I have always loved Greek Mythology but drawing out my favourite legends has been fun and helped me fall back in love with illustration again.

Back in July, Taylor Swift released Folklore, an album I absolutely adore. The songs have such beautiful imagery and I just can’t stop listening to them! I’m currently illustrating a short comic inspired by the song ‘August’.

Another source of inspiration has been Saul Bass’ work. I could not possibly pick a favourite piece, but I love the chunky illustrations and limited colour of his posters. His work has helped me develop a style that I enjoy!

You can see more of Beth's work here -


Want to join the WebinArt community? We are now inviting creatives across the UK to join our Evolve membership initiative. Click here for more details.

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