Every year hundreds of people look for advice from The North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) about starting their own business. Some do it because they feel it’s time for a change, others like Helen Wardropper have spotted a gap in the market and turn to the BIC to support them in getting their business up and running. Helen will feature in their newsletter early in the new year showing the support the BIC gave her to get set up. We’ll post a link of the article when it is available.
Being an artist, Helen provides hand drawn caricatures at events and shows, and her business has now been running for around six months. The events she works at can be so varied. She’s worked as part of a live nativity at a local Christmas light switch on, sharing the room with two donkeys and a sheep, and has been filmed for a slot on Chatty Lasses, part of Made in Tyne and Wear, which will air on TV in March, where she takes part in a quick drawing competition with the panel.
The variety in Helen’s job is so wide that she never knows what will come next. She’s worked at the opening of a Prosecco bar, at various carnivals, and was invited to a Primary school to draw all of their teachers. The drawings will be used to create a huge collage, involving the children of Dubmire Primary School.
Different to most other artists, her work being caricatures means that Helen’s audience tends to primarily be children, and as you can imagine young girls especially, are often wary of how they look, and can often be unhappy at the way that a caricature portrays them. Helen has had to learn how to encourage them to look at all aspects of a person, and that it really is okay to be yourself and it’s not a bad thing to be different from others. Helen’s work tends to be fast moving with around 5-10 minutes with each person, so managing peoples expectations and encouraging positivity in a very short space of time is something that she has also had to master.