The corporate world has never been detached from the art arena. Many art deals and partnerships have been made with a shake of hands and exchange of goods and services: on the other hand some are made over a simple breakfast in a cozy cafe.
Last week the privilege was mine to visit Look mum no hands! café on Old Street, London. The owner Lewin Chalkley and partners have been in business for eight years managing food, arts and mechanics while in the process of merchandising their product.
Chalkley talked with the 2017/2018 MAFA students of Chelsea College of Arts last Tuesday morning and gave us a template of his humble beginnings and marketing strategies that was developed into a family unit of friends, visitors and bikers who frequent the café for food, wine, tea, coffee and maybe mechanical repairs or advise.
Decorating the walls of the shop are photography, printmaking images of bicycles and bicycle parts, suspended from above and along the show windows. The bike theme created an inviting ambiance for relaxation and art inspiration.
I began to comprehend that within my field the need to liaise with other artists and network with business entities can sustain a long lasting career as an artist. Merchandising your product and having time out to sit around a table for tea and conversation with company, can produce a strong collaborative team ethic and a desire to go to work.