“I really felt passionate about taking control of my own life,” says Faye Greenman who started her artwork business in the middle of her fashion communication degree and a year on, she has her own studio, and the success has only just begun.
Not many students can manage to build a successful business whilst completing university but Faye Greenman, 21, from Sunderland is currently in her final year of her fashion communication degree at Northumbria university whilst building her own art business, Faye Greenman Studio.
Fashion North had the opportunity to speak to the young woman behind her self-entitled creative design business.
Faye started her e-commerce business just over a year ago, on the 21st November 2019, whilst managing her university assignments and her part time job as a retail assistant at Aphrodite Clothing in Sunderland. “I loved working there and they often let me paint the windows for their promotions which I’d never been given the opportunity to do before. They really supported me when I left to start my own business.”
Her growing business has just celebrated its first anniversary and the success has led her to move into her own studio in Sunderland.
Faye Greenman Studio’s prints are designed in house using traditional line drawing, stippling and digital design methods to create her art-work, “My stippling technique is something I’ve been passionate about since seeing a tattoo artist use this style when I was in school. I’ve been experimenting with my creativity since then always drawing and briefly trying my hand at fashion design” said Faye.
Faye is due to complete her Fashion Communication degree at Northumbria university next summer and she believes that her course has been successful in helping her grow her business and her skill set, “My Fashion Communication course has been amazing at helping me build my business, giving me photography, graphic design and website creation experience. The course has given me the freedom to be creatively diverse which has led me to where I am now.”
Throughout her degree she has built her business and website showcasing her portfolio including branding, photography and videography. These are skills she has developed throughout her three-year degree which are all helping her grow Faye Greenman Studio.
“Currently most of my customers are people who follow me on Instagram from the North East, I’ve had a few orders sent to Australia and America but I would say that my audience is based where I live.
“I want to target people who are interested in art and fellow creatives, people who like what I do basically.”
In Faye’s first year of her studio, she has sold around 100 prints and says: “ I’m so happy with the success of my first year in business.” Her prints ranging in prices from £10 to £40, all of which are available online at fayegreenman.com.
Her artwork business did not start overnight, producing art has been something she has been passionate about since the age of 14 when she purchased her first print. “ The first print I purchased was a Jurrasic park print by artist Paul Jackson, I bought it about six years ago and it’s going up in my studio alongside another print from him too.
“I’ve always thought there is something special about physically holding someone’s art in your hands and presenting it on your wall.
“The first print I sold was the F is for Fierce print of the tigers, I still really love that design and I now sell it in just a black and white colourway. However, when I first started my shop all my prints were in cream and pink which I’ve moved away from now as I feel like my previous branding didn’t reflect my message as an artist.”
Faye takes a lot of inspiration from other artists, “I really love CJ Hendry, her work and exhibitions are at another level! She inspires me as she’s built her reputation through Instagram and is a strong female artist like I aspire to be too. “I also love Paul Jackson and have always love tattoo artist Hannah Snowdon, I wanted to be her when I was younger and her work got me into drawing.”
But it wasn’t until she lost interest in her retail job at Aphrodite Clothing and was “really felt passionate about taking control of my own life” that she decided to build her online platforms and website where she could present and sell her artwork.
“I’m really felt passionate about taking control of my own life.”
Faye used the skills she had acquired at university and built her own website as well as opening a dedicated Instagram page, as a young business owner the use of social media is a vital tool to gain attraction. Faye used her personal Instagram page and promoted her illustrations to 4,000 followers in hopes they click through to her business page.
Faye Greenman’s successful social media presences give her customers a personal shopping experience when they come to purchasing a print, all of which are designed by Faye and printed inhouse. As well as a range of prints available to buy online, she always takes commissions for personalised pieces, one of which being a hand drawn illustration of American rapper Kanye West.
Faye believes that the most rewarding thing about having her own independent business is “having the creative freedom to experiment and be constantly working on my craft to make the quality of my designs better.” Faye’s artwork as quoted on her website as a “portrayal emotions which words cannot express. Her art is about deep feeling, love, modern society and a hint of sexuality. “
Faye has been in a two year long relationship with DJ Sorley, “we really push each other creatively and give each other the space to get our work done as we’re both work orientated.”
“He is destined for big things and I can’t wait to see his career take off when the clubs are back open. He was meant to be on an Australian tour a couple of months ago and had a lot of big gigs lined up but hopefully they will all go ahead when Covids gone.”
Her inspiration comes from art itself and those who create it, she admires their work and their business ethos which “challenges the ‘starving artist’ narrative” Faye says. She is focused on her niche business and wants to illustrate her wildest thoughts with the world.