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IInpsiration’ everywhere

FINDING inspiration everywhere is the key to Devon-based Genna Byrne’s work as the artist and illustrator loves incorporating little details from the world around into her designs.

“Whether it’s the colour of a building,” she said, “patterns on clothing, the shape of trees or clouds, graffi ti, people’s expressions, everyday scenes, even discarded tickets or fl yers. “I’m also fascinated by phrases and sayings that people use in everyday life, and it’s these which inspired me to create my fi rst card range Topsy Turvy – I’m almost childlike in my approach to the world! “

Genna developed her love for greetings while working in an independent card

shop for two years after graduating from University College Falmouth with a degree in illustration in 2007.

She now illustrates and publishes her

own card ranges alongside various part-time jobs and added: “My dream is to grow as a business and I would love to sell my designs through art licensing as well as illustrate cards and stationery for greetings card companies.

At the moment I’m having fun with surface pattern ideas which I’d love to see on wrapping paper or


npsiration’s beginnings everywher

I always feel that agents work to the same principles as retailers, we’re in effect a mobile shop. We can’t stock everything, the space in our car or sample case needs to be used to a maximum and be as profi table and worthwhile as possible.

stationery in the future.

“When developing ideas for an illustration or design I like to fl ow with the subject, producing lots of doodles and thumbnail sketches to almost squeeze out all the images I have in my head.

“I like to push an idea to see how far I can take it and, most importantly, give it a quirky edge for me to be satisfi ed with it. Hopefully people could describe my style as fun, quirky and colourful! “My creation process is almost like colouring-in. After drawing the illustration out in pencil, I use black water-resistant ink with a dip pen and stick to create the uneven outlines, then simply colour-in with coloured inks. I fi nish off the illustration in Photoshop adding other colours, textures and backgrounds. “I don’t like to restrict myself to particular subject matter, I enjoy the variety that greetings cards and illustration provide. “I feel lucky to have developed a style that can be adapted to a variety of genres including cute, children’s, humorous, adult etc. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored! “ T: 07813 253911

If you’re an artist or illustrator who’d like to be considered for inclusion in Artists’ Quarter please email


It sounds simple but can often mean making diffi cult choices. What should we look for when making these diffi cult decisions – for who and what should we sell? There are various points we must consider, some are more

New beginnings

Heading into January, retailers are keen to have fresh stock so it’s up to North-West agent Alina Powell and her ilk to come up with the goods – how do they do it?

THE start of the New Year brings with it new beginnings, not only on a personal level, but also in our businesses. As an agent visiting retailers after Christmas the phrase I often hear is “what have you got that’s new?” as retailers are desperate to see what their existing suppliers have brought out for the new season. They fancy having a revamp, they want to ring the changes, go for a fresh start by buying something new, different and exciting. So the pressure is on for agents and our companies to come up with new and exciting ranges.

● Wrapping up Xmas – Alina with Danuta Johnson of The Olive Branch at Addingham

obvious than others. Firstly we have to think, does it fi t in with our customers; can we imagine the shops who’d stock it? The new range needs to complement what we already carry but be signifi cantly different, or perhaps a twist on an old favourite. Is the commission rate competitive with other ranges we carry and does the rate refl ect the amount of work needed to promote and sell it? Are the minimum and carriage-paid order values competitive with our other ranges and realistic enough to meet? Also, does the company insist on an agency agreement?

Agreements are good and one which reads “responsibilities towards our agents” always wins with me, as I fi nd these are companies who understand that it’s a two-way relationship. Agents too have their own business so we have to decide if

they are a helpful company, will they support us as well as our customers? Will we all work as a team and will the agent feel part of that team?

And, most importantly, there’s good old-fashioned gut instinct. This never fails me. It might seem like some mysterious inner source but it’s actually a form of unconscious reasoning, gleaned from my accumulated knowledge and experience and something that rarely fails, especially in sales. What feels right often is, which is always helpful when making those diffi cult decisions. T: 07908 792420

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