Halloween as a Spooky Artist- the Best and most Difficult time of year

I know it’s gonna surprise some of you guys when I say that spooky season can be tough for spooky artists. I know that others of you might be thinking ‘it’s early September why is she talking about Halloween?’ Halloween comes to the UK the moment the first Code Orange siren sounds as far as I’m concerned. For those of you who might not know about code orange, it’s the moment that high street stores start to sell their halloween range each year. In 2020 it came as early as July and some stores seem to be wrapping up their Halloween offerings already. This isn’t the norm though. It’s definitely a symptom of a corona code orange.

What won’t be a suprise is how much I love halloween. Scary films, spooky decorations, amazing haunted events. I’m still hopeful that there will be something wonderful to experience this year. Even if it is an online event or a socially distanced drive in cinema. This will be my first Halloween in a couple of years that I don’t have to work too. My pumpkin carving time is back, woohoo!

Get to the point Sian, why is it TOUGH?

In short it’s tough because all the non-spooky folk jump on the spooky wagon. It’s weird to spend all year as a bit of an outsider only to have that month or two where everyone gets on board. That goes for artists, crafters, shoppers and the high street. A lot of whom are happy to put their spooky back in the closet on November 1st and not think about it again for a year. So in essence, not my typical customer. The art I create is very much for people who have embraced the spooky lifestyle. I don’t think that there are too many other people interested enough in just their halloween to be following an account for spooks 365 days a year. 

So as well as it not being super likely I will find too many new customers, my existing customers are suddenly kids in candy shops. I know this, because I am too! There is a short window where spooky is normal and you can fill up on halloween treats from a range of high street stores. People wait all year for it, and some save up especially too. October is definitely a month to stretch the bank account if spooky shopping is your deal. So it’s understandable that a lot of customers are focused more on buying what they can only buy at this time of year, as opposed to their favourite all year round halloween stores.

From Halloween is Everyday to Halloween is Everywhere 

Ultimately though it is my absolute favourite time of year. Maybe next year I’ll embrace the drop in custom as a chance for me to take the time off. So I can enjoy all the spooky things I love about Halloween! As some shops are already winding down their halloween stock it might even be possible for small spooky businesses to get a bit of a surge again this year. At the end of the day though, that’s not what matters. Enjoying the holiday and all it has to offer is something I have been doing long long before I had my business and I intend to keep it up.

If you have good suggestions for halloween plans this year, including online events or films to watch let me know!

Halloween Hauls 2020 So Far

It will surprise approximately none of you that I am in Halloween shopping mode already. I dig spooky all year round! August is about the time that I am ready for Autumn. Generally I am sick of being too warm, I miss wearing jumpers. I want to drink gingerbread lattes. Usually I am looking for an excuse to stay inside on an evening and watch telly but I think I’ve had enough of that in 2020! Finding the first Code Orange is the sign of the season to come. 

Happily, it is becoming the second sign. The first quickly becoming lots of enquiries for Halloween collabs. I can’t wait to share them with you over the coming weeks too 🙂 But this thread is for shopping. I am going to share with you some of my spooky finds so far. Both in the British Halloween shoppers haven of homesense and small business too!

October 31st

First a shout out goes to www.october31st.co.uk who are my number one go to for spooky treats throughout the year. Their brand new vintage themed collection was surely the first pumpkin of the year and I bought it in July! A brand new trick or treat sign and an awesome two sided mug to match. I had to wait for a restock to get my hands on the vintage spooky coasters! I also grabbed a ‘To Boo List’ notepad that I loved so much I have already had to buy a second. Plus this time I got the ‘Spooky Notes’ one to match.

My favourite October 31st adoption has to be my adorable little tinsel ghost! He is by Bethany Lowe designs and his little bat stick and tiny vintage cat bucket melt my heart! My studio’s ghost shelf is well and truly stuffed full now. It doesn’t mean I will stop buying ghosts of course, just that the second shelf needs clearing now too!

My next shout out is for Stella Box Designs. I have placed her A5 ‘Stay Spooky’ print in front of my work desk. It’s there all year one to remind me to keep spooky no matter what time of year. The pinky/white background and orange pumpkin pop perfectly on my petrol blue wall. I even got a free vinyl sticker too!

TK Maxximum Excitement

I heard the phrase ‘TK Maxx Cult’ today with regards to their halloween merch. Boy are they not wrong! The UK halloween loving community spend July with eagle eyes, popping in every chance they get. Now that my studio is a mere five minutes walk from one of these stores I am in the danger zone daily. It’s a shame that there aren’t more shops like it in the UK. There are other shops with halloween merch but not so long lasting. The quality is better. They are made with the idea that someone might want to keep them out for more than just one night. I have added a great many items to this years shopping list. Discovered by trawling facebooks groups and photos of people’s find there. 

Gnomes seem to be a new theme with them this year. I picked up a couple even though they aren’t completely on brand for me. They are adorable though! There’s no harm in finding a friend for last year’s man eating plant Audrey 2 knock off find. My favourite is a little gnome on a pumpkin who lives in the studio with my monstera plant. His name is Frankenstein’s Monstera which I thought you guys might like! 

I’ve snagged a few salt and pepper shakers too. All ghost themed but my favourite is a little ghost dog with a pumpkin bucket. How could I not? I grabbed a black cat patterned hot drinks flask as well. The pattern is brilliant, it’s a really expressive and slightly demented looking cat pattern but the vintage quirky style had me sold. Dot has done well too since whenever I pop in I seem to come out with a new toy for her aswell!

There are a few more items I have my eye on and I am awaiting a parcel from a lovely lady who picked up a matching ghost couple for me. I am committed to making discerning purchases from here on out. The last thing I want is to fill the studio too quickly. Adding things I am not totally in love with. Struggling to find room for more. The goal is to have a spooky garden display on my window sill. That’s the main thing I am looking for. Think Audrey 2, plants and ceramics. I am making some ceramics for myself for the occasion too. The goal is that it is reminiscent of my Spectral flower shop print. I am sure that a few more halloween shopping trips will have it all well under way soon!