Hi everyone – today we’re talking business with a husband and wife artist duo from Australia.
What led you to start your own business?
Gillie: Marc and I both come from a background of design and advertising, and we’ve always been very keen lovers of art. We’ve actually had our own design and advertising companies in the past. When we decided to start in art, we were able to bring both our design and advertising skills across into the art business.
Marc: Art is our absolute passion, and we wanted that to be our life, while still supporting ourselves financially. Having a business let us take our passion and try to make a living from it.
What has been most difficult?
Marc: The most difficult thing for us is probably the main problem for any business – cash flow. This is particularly important to us because of how huge some of our projects are. Sometimes we’ve had to take loans from our bank accounts to make the large scale sculptures. Obviously it’s tough, because there’s a lag between paying for the product and then selling the art. We always want to create something bigger and better, so money’s going out long before it’s coming in. So that’s a hard thing to juggle.
How do you get your work seen by customers and retailers?
Gillie: We have our own gallery where people can come and see our work, which we advertise on our social media. We also have galleries that represent us throughout Australia, as well as overseas. We sell and showcase a lot of our work on our website. We do a lot of promotional competitions and mail-outs, as well. For us, it’s about getting our work out there – whether that’s online or into interior spaces where it can be seen by customers.
Marc: And public sculptures are basically like billboards. Although it is a piece of art first and foremost, it’s also a great advertisement for us.
Do you have any tips or advice for people starting out?
Marc: I think we would say DON’T GIVE UP. It really takes a long time to succeed, but if you know that from the get-go then you won’t become defeated when you do have lows – and there really are plenty of lows. So keep your head high and know that the lows come with the highs, and hopefully there’ll be more highs than lows.
What has been some of your biggest successes?
Gillie: For us, it was creating public sculptures for Federation Square in Melbourne, and for a great cause. We had three life-size rhinos running for their life around Federation Square! The public could jump on the sculptures, and as there are 22 million people going through Federation Square every year, it’s amazing to know that so many people were enjoying our sculptures. All of our public works have been successes to us, but I also appreciate the little successes, like people just coming into the gallery on a daily basis. We hear nice things about our work every day and, to me, that’s a success.
Marc: We love what we do. You can’t live for success alone, because then it’s like a drug.