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WebinArt Member Focus - Part 1

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

WebinArt is Creative Leicestershire’s flagship one-year Professional Development Programme for early-career creatives + artists in Leicestershire. We collaborate with experienced professionals online + in-person to help creative start-ups navigate their way to confidence and success.


Meet three of our members below and gain an insight into their work, their creative journey so far, and their plans for the future. Many thanks to Hannah, Jennie and Marcia!



Hannah Miles

Hannah Miles Paperart


Tell us about your creative business and how you got in to it.

Hand cut paper art inspired by nature, for a little piece of outside framed inside, as well as greetings cards, DIY projects and papery Workshops. I studied Graphic Design at university, but in my final year I realised I did not enjoy working on the screen all day, which was when craft and paper became my obsession.



How does your work fit in with other life responsibilities?

Currently I am working along side my part time job, using my holiday, free time and evenings to paper cut and create.



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

To grow my business in the long run, offer more wholesale work and relationships with nature based venues, companies and charities.


Tell us about your biggest challenges and successes up to this point.

Bringing the business from something small and a side project, up to building something that could be bigger and sustainable. Successes to this point, would be working with large companies for projects and art work such as the Barbican in London and Excel Blades. Tell us how the WebinArt Programme is benefitting your business journey so far.

The 1-2-1 mentorship is invaluable, for someone to bounce ideas off, someone to get honest and experienced advice from and someone to be accountable to for my do to list. See more of Hannah's work here:

Website: https://hannahmilespaperart.com

Etsy: https://etsy.com/uk/shop/hannahmilespaperart Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hannahmilespaperart/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HannahMilesPaperart/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/hmilespaperart


Jennie Sergeant

Jennie Sergeant Designs


Tell us about your creative business and how you got in to it.

I have drawn for family and friends my whole life but, following a chance encounter with a ceramic printing company in Cornwalll, I sent them some of my drawings. They were so positive and keen to use my artwork on their china mugs, it was the push I needed to start selling my work. I am now working almost full time as an illustrator – working on private commissions, designing and making fabric products and I am planning my first picture

book.


How does your work fit in with other life responsibilities?

When my business was in its infancy, I was working as a full time teacher. I used weekends

and evenings (and the odd moment in school!) to sketch, draw and make. I found the time to

do it – but retrospectively, it was pretty intense and exhausting. It was a huge risk leaving a

salaried job and profession but I am so glad I made the leap. I now work a couple of shifts a

week in a local café and the rest of the time, I am busy trying to work out how to run a

business and realise all of my ideas!



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

In the short term, I am focusing on my commission work: I do lots of family and pet portraits. I am continuing to develop the products that I sell on Etsy, in a couple of local shops and at markets. I currently have greetings cards, prints, notebooks, china mugs and badges in my product range, alongside my illustrations printed onto fabric that I sew into cushions,

garlands and lavender bags. In the long term, I am planning to self publish a picture book. I have an idea and a huge collection of sketches and am dedicating time each week to complete this. Once published, I would like to find an agent so that I can really focus on book illustration.


Tell us about your biggest challenges and successes up to this point.

Excel spreadsheets are not my forte so I am having to learn how to book-keep properly.

Running a business on my own is a huge challenge. My greatest challenge, however, is my

imposter syndrome. I have no formal qualifications in art and this still has the power to hold

me back. So my greatest success is probably getting my work out there! And creating an

identifiable style and brand. I am getting much better at selling my work and enjoy meeting

customers at markets. I am proud of my website, Etsy shop and Instagram account; all of

which have taken many, many hours to create and curate.



Tell us how the WebinArt Programme is benefitting your business journey so far.

Getting accepted onto the WebinArt programme was an important step to feeling validated as an artist, especially when I decided to leave teaching to pursue it as a career. I have enjoyed meeting other members and seeing how their businesses are growing. My mentor,

Chloe Hardisty, has been so positive about my work and has challenged me to do things I thought were out of my league. It is really reassuring to feel part of a supportive creative community.


See more of Jennie's work here:


Wesbite: www.jenniesergeantdesigns.co.uk Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JennieSergeantDesign

Instagra: https://www.instagram.com/jenniesergeantdesigns/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JennieSergeantDesigns/



Marcia Blagg


Tell us about your creative business and how you got in to it.

I am a photographic artist – with a background in printing and a need to teach myself Graphic Design, I love experimenting with different medium and different graphic techniques. I am always trying something new and just giving things a go - there’s nothing more satisfying than a happy accident! Of course we all want our viewing public to think it’s what we intended all along but I’m not sure how true that can ever be as art is so subjective.


How does your work fit in with other life responsibilities?

My creative arts are my outlet from those real life responsibilities – my place to escape to.



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

Things never happen how you imagine so although it’s good to have a broad aim, a ‘plan’ is something that I have long since given up on – you’ll never get those happy accidents if you rigidly follow some grand plan.


Tell us about your biggest challenges and successes up to this point.

I have been lucky enough to have lots of recognition and opportunities with my work thus far – my biggest successes on paper have to have been exhibiting in Cork Street and on The Mall, in London.  



Tell us how the WebinArt Programme is benefitting your business journey so far. 

I lost my way a few years ago, and although I am sure WebinArt is aimed at the younger emerging talents, it has undoubtedly re-ignited my enthusiasm, imagination and creative drive!


See more of Marcia's work here:


Website: www.marciablagg.co.uk

Instagram: http://instagram.com/artyblagger