I’m about to have an uncharacteristically unguarded moment!

claire_leggett 1. teaset prep

Normally this is a place to show nice pictures and celebrate good things and as we all know, that is just one side of the prism of my life but I keep the mess, disappointment and thankless hard work out of the picture because self-editing is usually always a good thing. I know, you know that my life isn’t all flowers, nice colours and pretty patterns.

Like most creatives, I embarked on a public journey with my art in the hope that The Internet would find me opportunities that I would otherwise have missed. And sometimes that has been true.


I was totally stoaked last year, to be approached to design a teaset. A teaset for a franchise that runs tea-shops in three high-profile department stores, two of which are in London.

I couldn’t believe it – which was a good first reaction to have because it quickly became a ‘competition’ between me and some other un-named, undisclosed artists. My philosophy was to work hard for the two weeks we had on the project, over perform, feel satisfied I’d done my very best and wait and see.

Claire Leggett_Floret Collection design board

                                                © Claire Leggett

Roll on a few weeks and I was as surprised as anyone that not just one of my design collections was chosen, but three!

Still not celebrating till the ink had dried, I waited on getting a deposit payment which eventually I did after some tenacious emailing.

© Claire Leggett

© Claire Leggett

Amazing, it looked like I was going to have three sets of china in production in 3 high street stores.

And then it went all quiet, my contact became harder to get hold of gradually becoming uncommunicative until I had to call closure on it myself. Poo! It’s all come to nothing. And no, I didn’t get fairly paid for all the work I did but that’s the downside of pitching for jobs which isn’t an unusual practice with creative endeavours.

© Claire Leggett

                                                © Claire Leggett

It was lovely work too, which is partly why I’m putting it up here.

I guess the guy who approached me had just had a good idea which he didn’t think through in a practical and financial sense until way after he’d commissioned me to visualise it. I don’t blame him particularly but why is it that artwork is seen as such a free and easy thing to conjure up without an expectation that it’s fair to pay for all the hours of work involved. It’s so under valued in commercial terms and yet we all buy stuff because we like the design on it.

No design files exchanged hands but I wouldn’t be the first person to get ripped off- another reason to name and claim my work publicly.

And now that it doesn’t hurt to say that it didn’t happen, it seems a good time to enjoy the fact that it very nearly did.

I still like The Internet. Still happy to share my working life here, although times have changed as it’s not so much a community of artist friends as it once was. And I am still finding it brings goodness unexpectedly – take this lovely little package which Pat sent me out of the blue. Pat has bought a couple of my calendars in the past and is now using the patterns to craft brooches from.

pats gift

It all goes around and comes around.