How did you come up with the idea for Artists in Law?
In reality, it was one of those brainwaves that comes from a happy colliding of life events. Peter Goodbody had taken wonderful images of the new Mowgli Streetfood restaurant in Liverpool, run by Helen Conway’s friend, former barrister, Nisha Katona. Those images were one of a couple of events which inspired Helen to begin to take photography more seriously. As a consequence she linked with Peter on Facebook. Peter Goodbody as a result had seen Helen Conway’s textile art online and had bought a couple of pieces, with proceeds going to charity. A short while later a friend of Helen’s in the US, textile artist Vivien Zepf, saw that she had taken up photography and asked if she had available a good photograph of London as she was trying to source one as a gift. Helen didn’t but, because of the recent connection with Peter, she referred the request to him and he sold an image, again for charity. One Saturday morning, Helen was happily puttering about her studio making art and thinking how nice it was that the Internet enabled this worldwide connection of artists and ….bang! … the idea for Artists in Law was in her head and would not leave! Steve Jobs said
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesise new things.”
Artists in Law is a classic example of that! Once the idea was approved as not being utterly stupid by Peter, the other artists were invited. Paul and Daren were known to Helen from her family law practice and Diane is a long standing textile art friend in the US. Since then there has been many planing meetings held over street food at Mowgli and after a last big push and frenzied activity, the project went live.
How did you choose the charities to benefit?
The UK lawyers amongst us see daily the effect of the lack of legal aid and the struggles which people have to access legal advice when they are on low incomes. The PSU and CAB work in the court in which the founder of this project is based and thus there was an assurance that the money was being well spent as it was possible to actually observe their services. The Downs Syndrome Association was chosen because a close family member of one of the artists lives with Down’s Syndrome.
How does the project work?
More precise details can be found in our T and C page but in essence, all five artists have contributed photographs to the project. The images are sold via a Pro Gallery at Photobox which, for a charge handles all of our printing and delivery for us. The mixed media/ textile art is made by Helen Conway and sold via an Esty shop. The profits from all sales will be collated and divided between the three charities.
Why are you not selling Printed cards?
As we all have day jobs the site is set up so that external companies provide the printing and shipping services for our photography services. We were unable to find a service that met our requirements to do that with cards. It was not logistically sensible to print cards estimating demand and ship ourselves. However, there are several print on demand services which individuals can use and so we have supplied our digital files for you to use. The advantage of that is that you can then design your own personal cards with your own messages in them and choose from ant different formats. In fact, we rather like the idea that we are encouraging you to be a little creative yourself!