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Shop Talk: Alison Deegan

by Camilla

Alison Deegan photographed in her studio by India Hobson

Alison Deegan is an archeologist who makes beautiful prints. She has been selling her work on Folksy for five years, and was one of the 13 makers photographed for our Revealing Craft project. We talked to Alison about how her shop has developed over the years, and what she thinks about social media and blogging…

When did you start selling your work, and what kind of things did you think about before choosing to open your Folksy shop?
Folksy was my first selling outlet back in 2009. I didn’t really believe anyone would buy my work but I thought it would be fun to try. I gave absolutely no consideration to promotion, presentation or pricing, so it can only be thanks to Folksy that anyone found my work, let alone bought it.

Cowichan bay, print, linoCowichan Bay III,  original lino print, £25

How do you sell your work? 
I mainly sell online, with occasional small wholesale orders to galleries around the country. I have work in two exhibitions until the end of June, at Stillingfleet Lodge near York and Cannon Hall near Barnsley. I love taking part in art and craft markets – they are a great place to meet fellow makers, network with gallery curators and to talk to potential buyers about my processes and inspirations, but they require a lot of time and organisation so I only commit to one or two a year.

How do you calculate your prices?
That’s a tricky one and I’m not sure I can share my highly complex time/materials/optimum edition size algorithm with you ;-)

How do you promote your work, and what do you think work best?

I blog and I tweet. I try to keep it interesting, with lots of insight into subject choices, technical information and work in progress. I try to keep the direct sales promotion to a minimum. It’s a difficult line to tread.

alison deegan, lino cut, chinese lanterns,  physalis, print, original print, yorkshire artist, interview
Physalis Original Lino Print, £43

Which social media channel is your favourite and why? 
I like Twitter or at least the little bit of it that I inhabit. I’ve not yet fully engaged with Pinterest, and Facebook just isn’t for me.

What do you enjoy about writing your blog?
My blog posts are never quite as I plan them. I usually draft witty and effusive posts in my head in the small hours but by the time I get to the keyboard they’ve been reduced down to a quick few lines.

Do you think blogging can have a positive effect on your shop or sales?
I do like the longevity of blog posts and it’s very encouraging to see traffic travelling from two- or three-year-old posts over to my Folksy shop.

Up through the trees, lino cut printUp Through the Trees, lino cut print, £28

Is there anything you have learned along the way that you wish you’d known at the start?
Not really, it would have spoilt the journey!

• Read more about Alison and what inspires her work in our Meet the Maker interview
• Visit Alison’s Folksy Shop Handprinted by A. Deegan



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