Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi there! My name's Hanaé Meyer, I'm 23, and I started the Sponthanaeity stall in early 2015. I have a background in fine art, a BA in Creative Writing (yes, not only is that a real degree, but it's also one I'm very passionate about), and presently I'm undertaking honours at Curtin. I grew up in a very arty household, and have helped out with my parents' market stall, mthreeidea, for the past five years. I've lived in most of the states at some point, but for the past thirteen years I've called Perth home, and I absolutely love it.
Where did your business name come from?
Clearly I put my degree in creative writing to good use when I decided on my business name, combining my first name with the word "spontaneity."
I'm always having new ideas pop into my head at the most inconvenient of moments (you wouldn't believe the number of times I've left a room mid-sentence to find a scrap of paper to write some of them down), so that's where the spontaneity part comes from! There's a bit of irony in the name though, as most of my art actually takes a really long time to produce.
What sort of items do you make and sell?
I do a bit of everything really, but I love to work with paper and books. Most of my work will either be about books or made from books.
The collage pieces are a labour of love. I love old books, reading, and collecting novels to add to the ever-growing "to-read" pile, so when I see a beautiful antique or vintage book that has been battered about and damaged, I love giving it a new life as a work of art when it can no longer be enjoyed or appreciated for its intended purpose. I particularly enjoy working with paper from the 1800's and early 1900's. The paper is so thick and textured, and the golds and browns which evolve as the paper ages look beautiful against the white backgrounds. If I have some gold gilt-edged pages to play with, even better! The gilt will just glow when light hits it.
I use vintage atlases to create fun pinwheels (even if there's no breeze, they're an interesting abstract geography lesson).
I also create what I call Literary Prints. These are designs which look like the covers of popular book titles from a distance, but up close, you'll see they're composed of quotes and lines from that particular title.
At the moment I'm creating a series of watercolour drawings of vintage typewriters, cameras, and various objects that have captured my attention.
What do you find is the biggest challenge when starting to sell your art?
The biggest challenge has been trying to value my time and work! I'm so used to creating art just for myself, my parents, or giving things away to friends, so when it comes to markets I have complete strangers tell me to value my time and skills more! I've got my head around it now, but it's something I have to keep reminding myself because I really enjoy what I do and sometimes forget that it's also my only income!
What do you find is the best form of marketing for your business?
Meeting people face to face at markets is fantastic, and I enjoy being able to communicate my ideas on the spot and actually have a conversation with customers or get feedback.
As for marketing my business from home, even though I was late to the party, and only joined this year, I love Instagram! I really enjoy photographing close-up details of the antique and vintage paper pieces, so it's a great way for me to share the joy of these beautiful old books. I'm also on Facebook, which works really well for connecting with customers, taking orders from all over the place, and sharing market details with Perth locals.
What are your hopes for Sponthanaeity in the future?
I want to create large-scale works using the salvaged book paper and hopefully have a small exhibition, but until then, I hope to get out to lots of markets around Perth and continue meeting fellow book/art/typewriter lovers! A long-term goal is to take a working holiday adventure on the high seas with a sketch pad, water colours, and a camera, combining my art and writing to document my journey, turning it into a big creative project!
Where can we find you on the net?
You can follow me on Instagram, I'm @sponthanaeity
I can be contacted for orders, market details, or just to say hi on the Sponthanaeity Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sponthanaeity
Top five tips for young artists who are thinking of starting to sell their art:
1. Embrace your individuality! Trends will come and go, and you might feel really, really, REALLY tempted to join the bandwagon, but just remember that no one will draw, paint, sculpt, build, write, or create in the exact same way as you, so use that to your advantage.
2. If you're going to join the market scene, be prepared for late nights, early mornings, and minimal sleep. And never run your market stall on an empty stomach... you will get cranky.
3. Value your talent! Some days it will seem like no one you know appreciates the effort you put into your work, then a stranger will come along and say the most lovely things about your art, and you'll be on cloud nine all day.
4. Engage with your customers/audience. I find it so disappointing if I'm looking at a stall and the person there is more interested in their phone than telling me about their awesome artwork!
5. Keep track of your ideas, notes, and plans as you go (even if it's on little scraps of paper!). There's nothing worse than having a great idea get away from you!