Big Issue vendors have a wide variety of skills and experience, so we bring you the best of their knowledge each week. This week, London vendor Dave Martin, who has sold his art at exhibitions in the city, provides some tips on how you can get started with a side hustle of your own.
I got into art through The Big Issue. Back in 2016 The Big Issue got me a placement in Northern Trust bank at Canary Wharf [in London], which is where I started doing my art.
Years ago I worked in Bancroft motor factors in Derby mixing colours, and the colour combination ideas come from there. As for the designs, I just thought of them one day. I didn’t realise how popular they would be.
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I’ve done exhibitions and once sold an original piece for £200. I had an exhibition planned recently but it never happened because of lockdown. So the guy who’d arranged it created a website for me to sell my prints. When I first saw it I thought, he’s done me proud. The site echoes my style, but when my prints come out they’re even more vibrant.
I like to think I’ve found a gap in the market
I’ve got 50 designs on there at the moment and I’ve done one or two more through lockdown. I’d never sold this way before so I had to think about packaging. We tried tubing but because of the ink I was worried the print could get damaged so we decided on padded envelopes with foam board to protect it. We use 189gsm archival matte paper, which is thick, quality paper, and we did a trial postage run to make sure they arrive in pristine condition.