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Working as a Wildlife Artist

Perthshire Artisan Lynsey Isles was featured in The Courier's Business Q&A (2.1.24). Lynsey shares her experience of setting up and running her creative practice as a pastel wildlife artist. Sourcing opportunities to share Artisans stories and their work is one of the benefits of being a member of Perthshire Artisans.

Getting started

Lynsey has always had a passion for art, wildlife and the outdoors. So it was natural that eventually she would look to try and make an income from her work, get it seen by more people, and grow her Wildlife Art range. 

Lynsey started by testing different craft markets — finding her footfall and working out the most cost-effective strategy for making sales, discovering that her art prints, framed prints, coasters and greeting card range sold well.

“With a lot of hard work, perseverance, learning from mistakes (some costly ones!), and a pandemic to get through, I finally feel like I may be getting there now,” she says.

“I have some regular markets now, such as Teagreen Events at Bowhouse. It is a fantastic, well run market with a great selection of creatives, food and drink traders. It's always busy and well supported.”

The Enterprise Journey

Lynsey is especially proud of exhibiting her original work at Fortingall Art, an exhibition of local artists’ work that runs for 2 weeks every year, from the end of July to the beginning of August.

Not all events are a success of course, and she has learnt some expensive lessons around choosing the right ones for her business. She has also noticed a difference in footfall and sales with the cost of living crisis. “ I fully understand my art is not an essential item so you do see a change. However, it is important to adapt and find your footfall/audience always,” she explains.

The pandemic also presented challenges, but Lynsey used the time to teach herself how to use photoshop so that she can now print and design her own greeting cards and fine art prints.

“I studied Art, Design & Graphics at college many years ago,” she explains. “At the time I realised graphic design wasn't for me. Fine art was definitely what I wanted to do but these skills still helped me years down the line with designing my card range.

Support along the way

Lynsey calls on help from her daughter and fiancé in getting set up for her events. She also says: “Becoming a member of the Perthshire Artisans in 2022 has been invaluable. It's been great networking, making friends, sharing ideas with other creatives there."

Looking to the future

In the future I am focusing on getting my original art out to a wider audience on my social media platforms,” says Lynsey. “Not an easy task, and it's hard work. Marketing takes up a lot of time but in the current climate, it is super important.”

She also wants to expand her use of biodegradable wrap on her greeting cards to her print range.

My advice to any entrepreneur is to never give up on your passion. You will make mistakes, there will be hurdles to overcome. What's important is what we can learn from them and take forward to make our business grow. It's so important to evolve as you go.”

Find out more about Lynsey and her work on her Perthshire Artisans Profile page.

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