Starting a creative business in Sunderland

Some snippets of advice from artist Jo Howell

My first attempt at a vlog.

The video above has come about after quite a few people had contacted me about starting their own creative business in the City. This is purely my opinion and only covers the very basics of where you should start. If you go to the video in Youtube there are links to the contacts mentioned in the video. Enjoy!

A bit of background

Photographic artist Jo Howell was born in Sunderland and has been creating collaborative artworks with the population of the City since 2011. Her recent projects include Look & Inspire (2015-2017), a pinhole photography project, supported by The Cultural Spring and Sunderland City Council, through which Jo worked with residents of Sunderland and members of the Sunderland Art Studio to create an exhibition of works shown at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and the Artrium Gallery in Hartlepool.

Other commissioned projects include working with the British Institute of Human Rights and Arcadea to explore the Human Rights Act, creating a series of three mixed-media works for display in an exhibition at The Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne and The Big Picture, a project developed with fellow artists Criss Chaney and Liz Shaw which culminated in a permanent public art work for Sunderland Aquatic Centre as part of the Cultural Olympiad 2012.

As a commercial artist, Jo has produced several moving image pieces for the National Glass Centre, Creative Cohesion, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and Arcadea.

Sunderland is a unique City. In fact, it was only a large town when I was born, and in my lifetime it has gained City status. That to me, feels like a town with great ambition. A great part of our identity and our culture is still firmly rooted in the jobs that our grandfathers had. We are from grafters, engineers, scientists, miners, ship builders and fishermen; masculine trades where roles were clearly defined. Those uprisings in the 1980’s of socialist miners against Thatcher’s sweeping de-nationalisation, and the closing of the mines; whilst so real to my dad, and the older generation of my family, is only viewed by me through the lensing effect of those around me. Times have, and are changing extensively. I am glad that I am of the time that I am.

Jo Howell 2019

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