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  • Writer's pictureHannah Balogun

0602 Collective x Backyard Market

A few weeks ago, the 0602 Collective decided to take part in selling our work for 2 Saturday's at the Backyard Market in Brick Lane! We began by thinking of products we could sell, what dates we would be selling, and when we should go on a tour of the market to see what it's like.

This whole idea was about getting our name out there, and being able to sell our work, but first we had to start coming up with ideas of what we wanted to sell at the Market. We brainstormed ideas like postcards, stickers, prints of illustrations, DIY jewellery, tote bags and t-shirts, and we only had a month to do produce things, since we wanted to sell before uni started so we wouldn't have too much to do at the same time. Of course, a month sounds like a long time, but we all had other priorities like work. I didn't want to stress myself with something like a t-shirt or a tote bag so I decided to start off simple and make some postcards, the problem was that I didn't have a design to put on it. I've done a lot of self initiated illustrations, but I didn't think any of them were worth putting on a postcard so I decided to try creating something new and a little different than my usual portraits, something with a bit more detail and context. In addition, during our first collective meeting concerning the Market, I was trying to think of what to draw and one of girls mentioned that I should try picking 5 of my favourite illustrations, writing what I liked about them, and whether I would want to take it further. This process actually helped me to think about the type of illustrations I want to move forward with. Below are some pictures from the process that I posted on my Instagram story to keep my followers engaged!

I ended up using Procreate to draw two girls crouching down, both images were completely separate, but I was going with the idea of 'collaging my reference images' to make one uniformed image - I also added an image of Oxford Circus in the background to create a sense of familiarity for my audience. I also scaled up the girls within the scene so it didn't look to realistic, but hopefully makes you look at the image for a few extra seconds. Additionally, I wanted to move away from copying the colours in the photo, so I decided to try a monochromatic colour scheme to make it more interesting and bring the whole image together. I experimented with different colours, but also asked my followers of their opinions - I ended up using purple, pink and blue.

During our second 0602 collective meeting I brought my illustrations to show my peers, they thought my illustrations worked well and suggested that I should also use my illustrations from one of our previous group projects - when we all drew a cartoon character we admired when we were younger in our own style. I wasn't sure at first, but after making some poll's and asking my followers on Instagram, I decided to sell them as stickers! Below are images of the sticker designs, I drew Numbuh 5 and Numbuh 3 from the show Codename Kids Next Door.

Moving on, we also decided to give out business cards at the Market, and at first we thought that it might be nice if each of us put our illustrations on the front of the business cards with our personal Instagram @, and then have all of our @'s at the back of the card, below are some examples I came up with showing how we could add our personal illustrations to the business cards.

Once we started checking websites and looking into the details we realised that this would be costlier, so, we decided that we would all try coming up with a generic design or pattern for the front of the card, so all our @'s can be at the back. Below are a few of designs one of the girls in the group came up with, along with the final design for the business card - we decided on the final design by voting through a poll we made. I personally think the design works well as its colourful, simple, and I think the hand drawn shapes joining together kind of represents the different components and people of us that have joint together to make a collective.

The date for the selling at the market began approaching and we began considering more things:  Packaging DIY 0602 stamp for packaging Easels for prints on display  Layout and props Frames for art work Buying a card reader for payment  Banner for stand  Cloths/fabrics for the stand Lights Price list, stickers, tags Packaging - splitting the cost We had one more meeting a week before the market to discuss some of the things above, and although only 3 out of 6 of us could attend, we still managed to buy bags for packaging and clarify our plans for the day of selling in terms of what to bring and set up. At the time, I still felt as if we hadn't refined all our plans, but all our scattered but constant communicating through our group chat resulted in everything falling into place on the day! Below are some images of the printed business cards, my postcards and my stickers.

Here are some pictures from the set-up process - we were assigned a stall when we got there, and one of the girls brought 2 cloths to dress up the stall table that she found last minute which were absolutely beautiful! We layered them both and the intricate patterns and neutral colours worked so well! She also hand painted our logo onto some brown card for us to use as a sign, which I really loved! She gave the logo more of a handmade aesthetic rather than sharp lines to better associate to the work we've all drawn and made.

In the spirit of showing off how handmade we are - one of the girls in the collective made a stamp by cutting out logo out of Lino, and she brought a stamp pad on the day of the market to stamp our logo on the stripy gold and white bags we bought as packaging. This was a cost effective solution and definitely a fun 10 minutes and we also got compliments on the bags!

We then began to arrange our work on the stalls.

We then added the white cloth on the top of the stall to act as a background, hung up our sign with some fairy lights, and was officially open for business!

One of the sellers behind our stall at the market gave us some advice, and told us a few times that a big light on the top of stall would help our work stand out. We did consider buying lighting since the market didn't provide any, however we didn't think it was necessary since we were only selling for 2 weeks, but once we set up we noticed that the white cloth we hung over the stall blocked the ceiling light slightly, and that everyone else had some sort of lighting to assist their stalls. After 3 hours of standing by our stall, we decided to see if we could find an affordable light – no harm in trying, right? – 2 of the girls went on the search for a light and came back successful! It definitely made a difference and helped our work appear more vibrant.

Below are close ups of each artist's section - 5/7 of us were able to showcase our work the first week, and we had 6/7 the second week. Even though everyone couldn't be there, I think we did such a good job of curating our work on the stall, we all had our own sections on the table, but our work also came together, and all the colours in our work coincidentally matched across the table, along with the table cloths and our signage being neutral and tying everything together.

Overall, I really enjoyed the 2 days of selling. It was a completely new experience and I think getting to do it as part of the collective made it even better. Having the support of the others, even when we weren't selling much, or people would just come by our stall to observe and walk away, wasn't as hard as it would have been by myself. The market was also a nice and calm environment to sell in, especially for our first time! Some of the other sellers were very welcoming and came to say hi/introduce themselves which was lovely. It was also encouraging to see people walk past our stall with interest, but it seemed as if most of the people weren't a suitable target audience for the kind of things we were selling, the market was a very versatile place – there were all sorts being sold like clothes, bags, jewellery, accessories, skin care, etc. In terms of selling, I ordered a lot of my prints and stickers because it was cheaper to buy in bulk, and though I only sold 9 things in total, I wasn't once discouraged because it was such an enriching experience, I feel as if I've become more confident in myself as an illustrator, and we all agreed as a collective that we will be trying to do another market by the end of the year.

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