Creative Crafters- Maddy Bennett Creative

Image: Maddy Bennett 

Tell me more about your craft? What is it?

I’m an artist and illustrator. My work takes me down all sorts of creative avenues, from drawing, painting and book illustration, to lino cutting and surface design. I also love doing miniature drawings – postage stamp sized! Much of my art is used by Helena Handcart, the greetings card company I run with a friend.

When did you find out you were good at it?

I’ve been creative since childhood and have studied art at different points during my life including doing a Foundation Degree in Art in my mid-twenties and a Diploma in Illustration more recently. Whatever twists and turns life has taken me down, I’ve always returned to art in its many forms.

Why did you decide to turn into a business?

Art is something I’ve fitted in around other aspects of my life and I’ve shared my creative output on social media for several years. The decision to make Maddy Bennett Creative into a business came gradually when people approached me with projects.

Helena Handcart has a rather different story – it’s a greetings card business I dreamt up with one of my oldest friends, Sus Jeffries, back in 2016 when the various political and social situations around the world made us want to do something positive. To that end, fifty pence of each individual card we sell goes to grassroots charities close to our hearts. You can read more about Helena on my blog – she has a character all of her own!

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Image: Maddy Bennett 

Tell us more about the process, the step by step process of your craft-From the concept to the final product.

The creative process differs depending on the project – a book illustration assignment, for example, involves working with an author to bring their manuscript to life, whereas other types of art are entirely dependent on what I fancy doing that day! Linocutting is a major focus of mine at the moment – it involves drawing a design, transferring it to lino (I use pencil and tracing paper) and then cutting out the pattern before inking up the lino and printing it onto paper.

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Image: Maddy Bennett 

For Helena Handcart, I think about what people want to express when they send greetings cards and often work with themes in mind such as love, support and celebration of particular events. I experiment with a lot of different styles along the way, scanning the artworks into my computer and altering them digitally before sending them to the printers.

I’m also currently putting a selection of my art onto mugs which involves surface pattern design along with various other artistic styles. I’ve created mug patterns with lino prints, detailed pen and ink illustrations, watercolours and simple line drawings.

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Image: Maddy Bennett 

Where do you sell your product?

I sell online, so far from my website and word of mouth mostly via social media. I’ve also just opened new Etsy and Redbubble stores.

I also have a range of my work in the Northumberland Gallery, ‘Creative Artist Studios’.

Have you noticed a rise in crafters and people buying creations?

I think there’s quite a buzz around handmade ‘artisan’ creations these days. The rise of the digital world has left us longing for anything authentic. Lack of disposable income is the main barrier at the moment – it doesn’t always marry well with the price tag of handmade goods – but there is definitely interest and passion out there.

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Image: Maddy Bennett 

What is the crafting industry like?

Vibrant and inspirational – I’m so impressed by the variety of work on display. It can be tough too as the internet has made it possible to get whatever we want, whenever we want it, from anywhere in the world so competition is everywhere! I’m always impressed by the warmth of the creative community though, it’s a supportive one and lovely to be a part of.

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Image: Maddy Bennett 

Do you recommend people starting up their own crafting creations and turning it into a business?

The dreamer in me says you should always follow your heart…. but my pragmatic side says don’t give up the day job too soon! If you’ve always wanted to do something creative though, let nothing and no one stand in your way. Who knows where a little creativity might lead?

 

  Check out her online shop here 

She has just opened an Etsy shop for her mugs

She also has a new Red Bubble store where you can buy her designs on all sorts of products including cushions, phone cases, notebooks, bags and clothing:

You can find and follow her on social media:

Instagram

Facebook 

Twitter 

 

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