Firstly would you like to introduce yourself, tell us a bit about your business ?
Hi! My name is Sarah Goodwin, I’m an artist based in Middlesbrough and I created a small business called The Northern Creator. It specialises in commissioned artwork and design, mainly focusing on prints, wall art and cards; with each piece handmade and unique in design.
What the story behind your business how did it start?
I created The Northern Creator in 2019, after graduating in Fine Art in the summer. Starting my own business had been a dream since a young age, but building up the confidence took a lot longer than expected. I began on Instagram, uploading the work I’d done for close family and friends, and thankfully it has gained momentum from there. Over the last year I began to develop my business and branch out, and although it’s still a work in progress, I’m excited to see where it takes my little business.
What type of products do you offer to your customers?
My business mainly runs from commission based work, ranging from prints, cards and wall art. Some of my favourite pieces are of local landscapes, hand painted onto wooden planks, finished with ink detailing to capture the best the North East has to offer. I also sell my handmade prints on Etsy, and plan to broaden my range as I go. My proudest commission is wall art in Barbs Pizza on Bedford Street, which I completed over lockdown!
How’s Covid affected your business? How are you planning on bouncing back?
Covid offered a new set of challenges, but also gave me the chance to really focus on my work. With a lot more time at home during lockdown, it allowed me to focus a lot more on the direction of my business and the work I wanted to pursue. The main struggle was finding a balance between raising my son and family time, while starting up my business and trying to keep a working drive to create.
Why do you think independent artists and businesses are so important for an area like Teesside?
Independent businesses in Teesside are so important as they reflect the town’s true talent and interpretation from it’s own residents. I think the art movement and business talent in Teesside has been slowly but surely changing the town for the better, and I feel especially through these tough times the passion and pride for the town, and the creative minds in it will bring the town into the next generation.
Where can people find your products?
Commissions are taken through both my Facebook and Instagram pages, with one off pieces normally advertised through these platforms. Handmade prints and crafts are also sold through my Etsy page.
What’s it like being an artist and living in the north east?
The North East has so much to offer in terms of inspiration, and the people of the North East are so eager to share their pride for their communities and towns; with hidden gems and beautiful landscapes perfect inspiration for creative minds in each respect. Being able to visit the variety of places and have that support network of creative people has been essential to my development as an artist. The North East gets a pretty bad rep sometimes, but to be able to stand on Saltburn beach, and in no time be stood on top of the moors is pretty special, and for that inspiration to be so easily accessed is amazing.
Interview by Chloe Tempestoso