Introduce us to you and your brand!
Hello, I'm Chris and this is OBV Studio. OBV was born out of a desire to create art work for my flat, so with a background in graphic design, I set out to make my own. Once I made a few prints, I gained some interest on instagram and began to sell some of the work I made but also taking custom work on. As the years went on, the work I had began to dry up, that was until Lockdown 1 happened. Like most people In 2020, I had some time off through furlough and I didn't want to sit around doing nothing, so I focused all my time into the Studio.
I plowed a lot of my savings into developing new products, going through various online training courses to better my work and I'm pleased to say that it was worth the investment. Since starting in 2017 and thanks to lockdown, I've expanded my product range to include greetings cards, notepads, gift wrap, badges, key rings and stickers which are all available via my online shop (www.obvstudio.co.uk). My motto is simple, I offer beautifully functional stationery and gifts to help your navigate life.
How has your brand/work developed since you began?
I've rebranded once in the 5 years of running OBV. I started the business Obvious Prints as all I offered at that time was print work but in 2021 and the success 2020/21 gave me, I felt prints was now redundant. I now offer so much more, cards, notepads, gift wrap, badges, key rings etc, I felt that dropping prints and changing this to Studio gave me more room to grow but also sound a little more professional.
What are your main inspirations?
I'd love to run a successful online stationery shop. For the longest time I've loved stationery and I feel at home when I'm creating new products and pushing them live for the world to see. Having a physical shop would also be cool, but I think that'll be a dream for another life.
What do you consider to be your most popular product? Why do you think it resonates with people?
My most popular products is my Très Busy notepad. This notepad was made with a quote me and my best friend say to each other when we're up to our eyeballs with things we need to get done and I think that sense of humour resonates with so many other people.
"For the longest time I've loved stationery and I feel at home when I'm creating new products and pushing them live for the world to see."
What piece are you the proudest of?
I'm most proud of my 2022 calendar. I wanted to create something that spoke to the minimalist in me but also the bold and colourful side and I think with this product I managed to achieve this. To date it has been my fastest selling product and the most successful all within a 2 month span.
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist/designer?
Creative block. It's a thing and it's terrible.
Do you have any past accomplishments you wish to share?
I'm most proud of turning the business profitable. I started in 2017 with a limited product range and it did OK but there were times I didn't make a sale for months (literally). When I focused my attention fully to the business in 2020, I finally made a profit and it felt SO good.
How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?
I'd visited the shop a few times prior to applying and I'd connected with a few SDX artists online through finding their products in the shop. Keeping up this contact, they encouraged me to apply to sell with SDX.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect to your business since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020?
I always feel like I shouldn't say it, because it was such a terrible year for most people, but for me and OBV, it was the lifeline I needed to turn the business into something. I feel if it wasn't for the pandemic and not having the 4 months I had to work on the business, I wouldn't be here at SDX.
What do you hope to gain from working with SDX going forward?
Bringing my stationery to more people. The one thing I've always loved about SDX is the discovery process of a new artist and I hope the same feeling I get when I find someone new happens.
If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?
Persevere. I compared a lot of my business to people who we're seemingly doing well online for years and being disheartened when I didn't get an order for weeks. The perseverance will make things so much sweeter when it finally happens. Combine this with consistency and showing up - for me this was on social media.
"I feel if it wasn't for the pandemic and not having the 4 months I had to work on the business, I wouldn't be here at SDX."
And finally, help share some motivation with your favourite inspirational advise or quote!
When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. - This is an abstract from What If Money Was No Object by Alan Watts
Thank you to Chris for participating in our Meet The Maker blog post. You can find ObvStudio at our Glasgow, Buchanan Galleries shop