Spotlight On: Ed Povey
Every so often, The Study Room catches up with our favourite freelancers, creatives & fellow business owners to find out what really makes them tick (and jump out of bed everyday)
Today, we speak to Ed Povey of Place in Print a design studio and retailer, who make locally themed prints and homeware. He talks about a normal day, his to-do lists and getting used to using social media!
What does a typical day look like to you?
Most weekdays involve a mixture of new design work, for our own collection and commissions for private clients liaising with customers and fulfilling orders. There is always a fair amount of management to be done too – booking markets and events, sending invoices to stockists etc.
I’m working hard to be better at my social media marketing. Mondays tend to be my social media day – scheduling tweets and Facebook posts for the week ahead. I’m not disciplined enough to take time out each day to share something new, so planning ahead seems to be the best way to manage!
Depending on whether or not we are attending a market at the weekend, at some point in the week we will do a fair amount of printing and preparation for those events. As all of our products are tied to a particular location, it’s important to make sure that we have the right products for the particular location we are visiting!
Where do you call your ‘office’?
I am lucky to have two workspaces on a small cobbled mews in Forest Hill, South East London. Havelock Walk is home to about 20 different artists and makers. I’ve had a studio here since the end of 2013, and can be found there every weekday. It’s a great community, and we all open our studios three weekends a year, two of which are part of the Dulwich Open House event, the third is the Havelock Walk Winter Weekend, on the 26th and 27th November.
How did you end up in your line of work?
I never formally trained as a graphic designer.
After university I spent a few years working as an urban designer; designing public spaces. I left the company I was working for and started doing more freelance work. At that time, a friend and I first had the idea to start designing and selling modern illustrations that focus on neighbourhood landmarks.
We tested the water at a market. From day one, our work went down really well with the public. Over the next 6 months or so, what started out as an experiment turned into a full time job, and it hasn’t stopped since!
What is the one thing you wish you had known at the beginning?
When you start working for yourself, you need to do as much as you can to help yourself stay motivated and focused. One mistake I made in the early days was having a workplace that was too far from home – I found that I wasn’t going there often enough, and just wasting money on a workspace I wasn’t using. I found myself working from home a lot, but I soon found out that I wasn't the ‘work from home’ type – too easily distracted!
I was fortunate to find a studio walking distance from home, and found that as soon as I had a proper, separate place to work, I could be a lot more productive. I think there is a lot to be said for shared workspaces, where you can get that separation from home, but also have other people around who may have expertise that might come in handy.
What is the best part of your day?
Each day I go in to the studio, I try to write myself a to-do list of tasks to achieve during the day. There is nothing more satisfying than ticking the last one off that list, and going home feeling that I’ve accomplished something!
I’m also lucky to have my studio hound Johnny with me every day. I find that walking him at lunch time is a great way to refresh my mind after a morning of work, and sometimes it’s when I’m out walking him that I have the best ideas.
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re heading into Christmas season, which is my busiest time of the year. There is a lot of preparation to be done, both in terms of working on new designs, but also making sure everything is in place to fulfil online orders and take part in the various Christmas events.
In the background I am also doing bits and pieces of organisation for our next Open Studios event, which should be good!
In an effort to keep us all motivated and inspired for work, Place in Print have provided us with a gorgeous desktop download of South London landmark, Tooting Lido for free!
A gift to inspire all of you budding entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Download the bright and inspiring image here!