Diversification is key to survival

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Artist Sarah Nelson at work in her studio.

Survival is the name of the game at the moment as our lives have been turned upside down, particularly our working lives. Businesses have closed and many jobs have gone, at least for now – but the bills still need to be paid. Diversification and thinking outside of the box is a means of survival and before lock down, local artist Sarah Nelson, had been building a studio next to her house, which, fortunately, she works in now.

Her paintings were showing as part of Lamb House’s spring exhibition, she was managing her holiday cottage, ‘The Nook’ in Rye Harbour and worked part time at ‘Concepts’ in Rye – and her teenage sons were due to sit their GCSEs and A levels this summer.

The Nook in Rye Harbour.

“We were in shock the day the government announced the cancellation of exams. It is such an extraordinary outcome for all the young people who had been working towards this end goal to have it removed. We were in limbo.” Within a few days bookings at ‘The Nook’ were cancelled, Concepts closed temporarily, Lamb House shut its doors and her income dwindled. She was time rich though, with plenty of opportunity to follow her passion and draw.

Lamb House, steeped in history and star of stage and screen.

“One day, on the dog walk, I took a few photos of neighbours’ houses here in the harbour, drew them up and posted them to my Instagram account”.

There was unprecedented interest in these pen and ink drawings, and she received requests and started thinking that she might generate more income from drawing buildings to commission.

“The home’s status has elevated during this time of Covid, as everyone is spending so much time in their homes, for better or worse, and that’s maybe why the subject is particularly significant at the moment, ” she said.

Sarah bought a domain name and a web template, and with help from a local website designer launched the website ‘Sketch a Street’ this week and so far everyone involved in this innovative start up has been local.

Essentially, “Sketch a Street” is an online portfolio of her current pen and ink work and will hopefully help to inspire people to order a commission. The original drawing is produced on high quality watercolour paper and sold together with a double white mount, framing is optional.

Once the original art work is completed a high resolution scan is taken, enabling prints, greetings cards and post cards to be ordered, a lovely idea if you are moving house or have a building or business premises to promote.

If you are interested in Sarah’s work and would like an original drawing of your home, holiday cottage or favourite pub you can contact Sarah directly or on Instagram or email to info@sketchastreet.com

Sarah will donate 10% of the purchase price of all new pen and ink buildings commissions to the ‘Hub on Rye Hill’ until August 31 2020.

Image Credits: Sarah Nelson .

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