I find it really, really challenging to put my time, effort and energy into trying to get my small business off the ground whilst I see so many images and sad stories of things close to my heart that I know I could be doing much more to help prevent or at least raise awareness of.
So, I’ve come up with a compromise to satisfy both requirements – today I paid a visit to Merseyside Dogs Home and (with their permission) took a few photos which I’m going to work from to create a piece of, what I call ‘hybrid art’ but this piece of work will be designed to help convey a message as well as raise valuable funds for the cause in question.
Out of the numerous shots I took, this is the photo I have chosen to work from…
Once the piece is finished, I will be getting prints and other merchandise made which will go on sale through all of my regular outlets (Etsy.com, local shops, art/craft markets etc.) with 25% of EVERY SALE being donated to Merseyside Dogs Home! They do such amazing work with the many abandoned dogs across merseyside and are COMPLETELY RELIANT ON DONATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC to sustain their efforts, so this is just one thing I can do to help, not just as a one off but for as long as I continue to produce the piece in question.
10/01/17: “Dogue One” completed after an estimated 25 hours or so – the theme relates to the newest Star Wars spin-off film, “Rogue One”, which features a new version of the AT-AT walker made famous in the iconic 1980 Star Wars film “The Empire Strikes Back” (disregard the fact that “Rogue One” is set BEFORE “Empire Strikes Back”). The implied metaphor here is that the older AT-AT model, which is the version I’ve painted, is forgotten about (abandoned) as all attention turns to the newer version – not unlike what happens to older dogs in many similar heartbreaking scenarios…
20/02/17: I’m now in possession of the first small run of prints, the very first of which is 30x40cm in size with a unique white mount which I will frame, sign on the front and give to Merseyside Dogs Home as a gift (all other 30x40cm “Dogue One” prints will be black mounted so this one is unique!)…
The next step will be to pop in to Merseyside Dogs Home sometime this week, drop off their specially framed print and then I will be able to start selling “Dogue One” prints online and at events. Every month, I’ll release the sales figures (beginning 1st April 2017) which will break down all the individual sales details and revenue generated, including documentation showing the total donated to Merseyside Dogs Home each month.
21/02/17: The guys at Merseyside Dogs Home were great today, lovely people and really appreciative of the framed print I gave them and they’ve really got behind promoting the “Dogue One” campaign already, via Facebook and Instagram. As a result, prints have been made available NOW on Etsy (see screenshot below) with a couple of orders already in! The donation from any orders between now and the end of February will be attached to those in March, with the first payment to Merseyside Dogs Home scheduled for 1st April ’17.
(Click picture to enlarge)
For every small 18x24cm print sold (£8 each) then £2 gets donated. For every regular 30x40cm print that gets sold (£20 each) then £5 gets donated. Fridge magnets are due in soon too, which will be £4 each (£1 donation).
The first donation was made today, however it was only £15.00 from just 3 sales of 30x40cm £20 prints (between Feb-March 31st). All sales came online through Etsy (see screenshot) and no others anywhere else, unfortunately (although it’s still the quiet period of the year and I did only attend one art/craft event in March)
01/06/17: Two ‘Dogue One’ 18x24cm prints were sold for £8 each at the artisans market in St Hilda’s at the weekend but no other sales in May, sadly. However, I’ve topped up the £4 contribution from those sales to make it a £15 donation, which is now the minimum I’ll be donating every month regardless of sales.
(*Just to clarify, I’m not blogging this to say “look how great I am”, it’s more to do with reasons of trust – if you do buy a ‘Dogue One’ print, the promised donation to Merseyside Dogs Home is honoured every time and catalogued in this journal)…