I've been down at the studio this week shifting everything around and making a start on rejigging the space. I pulled the shop area apart and removed the shelving and gallery wall from behind where my desk used to be. I've opened up the kitchen area and spent today creating a new space for my desk to live in front of the mural I painted when I moved in. I'm actually quite pleased with the progress despite the mess.
A few people have asked about the locations for these. This collection was created to inspire some hope for what's to come once lockdown has lifted and we can all travel again, locally or abroad. The photo on the left was shot at sunset in Yosemite National Park, USA. The photo on the right was shot on a road trip around Iceland.
At first, I was pretty lost. I felt that my purpose was gone. No adventure to inspire me, no roaming with my camera. It took me quite a few weeks to realise that there was an opportunity to create a collection that would inspire hope of life after lockdown. The collection was a direct result of how I was personally feeling.
So many of you have been getting in touch to ask about them. I'm very, very short on stock and my manufacturer has temporarily closed their factory. So, once they're gone, it could be quite a while before they're back in stock. Possibly months.
When I posted this artwork as a concept last month, I was closing my website to orders. That post became my most liked, most engaged with ever here on Instagram. A month on and I've re-opened the website to greeting card orders. You guys were so supportive when I asked for your opinion on re-opening, so thank you!!
This concept has been in the back of my mind for ages. I've hummed and hawed over it, put it on the back burner, concluded it wasn't going to work and then finally said it out loud to someone else and suddenly, it seemed tangible. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and it became more important than ever to cherish my loyal customers and fans of Neon Gray.
So many of you have been getting in touch with well wishes and asking how I'm doing. In the grand scheme of things, I'm doing good, thank you. I'm healthy, my friends and family are healthy. I'm safely 'working' from home, sharing a makeshift office with Mr Gray. I have someone there every day to get through this with and I feel very fortunate right now.
If you've been following along for a while, you'll know that I'm an outdoor photographer. Lockdown is tough on everyone, even tougher on the most vulnerable in society. So while I can't get out with my camera, I have a backlog of several thousand images to process from previous trips around Scotland and abroad.
I've taken the decision today to close the website to all but gift voucher orders. I've done this to avoid unnecessary travel to and from the studio and trips to the post office. The post offices are essential life lines for a lot of people and going in to even drop orders off just feels wrong right now for me.
Neon Gray started out as an online only business and taking on the studio has only boosted that and allowed my business to grow so much over the last 6 months in particular. So, the website will remain open for orders for now and so long as the post office and Royal Mail continue to operate. I'm taking this day by day, just like everyone else.