Ben Fisher only recently made the move to Bristol and into his studio at Deben House. From his space he creates contemporary, minimalist digital art designs of sports stadia. Here, he tells us a little about his journey.
Hey Ben, lovely to meet you! Can you tell us a little about Turf Football Art and
how it came about?
Turf Football Art makes digital art designs of sports stadia in a minimalist, contemporary style and sell them as prints for customers to frame and give as gifts.
It started in October 2016 when I decided to quit my old job as a Legionella Risk Assessor, and take up an opportunity to do a 6 month house-sit in Vienna. This gave me the time and the financial freedom to try and set-up my own business. Although when I started the 6 months in Vienna I didn’t have the idea to begin with, all I knew was that I wanted to set-up some kind of graphic design/illustration based business. Everything was a bit trial and error to begin with, but I think I have stumbled upon a little bit of a niche, and in the end it was a risk that has paid off.
Vienna sounds like a wonderful opportunity and just what you needed to kickstart your freelance career! We’re very happy to welcome you into the Meanwhile community. Tell us a little about your studio – what has it meant for you?
This will be my first studio space. I have just bought my first home, which is just a 1 bedroom flat, so it will be fantastic to separate out home and work life once I get to Bristol in the next few weeks, as I have been running this from home for the past 2 and a half years.
And can you tell us one interesting fact about your business?
A week doesn’t go by without getting a request from a customer for a stadium that I haven’t previously made, and the demand always surprises me. I remember a customer in one transaction requested designs for the Slovenian national stadium and Cheltenham Town’s stadium.
Anything big coming up in the next 6 months? What’s new?
I think just moving into my studio in Deben House is going to be the big thing for me in the next 6 months.
Work-wise I have a list of goals, including developing a range of stadium designs for other sports too, such as cricket grounds, perhaps racecourses, maybe even tennis arenas. I would also like to sell the designs as a greetings card range on the websites that I currently sell on.
As well as the stadia designs, I am looking to launch a range of map designs, showing where a stadium is located.
Any big clients or projects that you can tell us about?
I have recently managed to get my designs into the official Arsenal FC club shop. That is a big, big leap, because if the sales figures with them are good, it will be a good platform for me to approach other professional clubs and say ‘hey, I am doing this with Arsenal, how about it here too?’.
I am also a selling partner on Not on the High Street since August 2017, which has been a massive springboard for me. I would urge any small business making unique gifts to apply to get on there!
What are the best bits of your job?
Getting the positive customer reviews is the best bit, or even the recipient sharing a photo of it framed and on the wall in their house on social media.
And the toughest?
Christmas! The 7-8 weeks before Christmas in the past couple of years has been nuts. This is the period that I take in over half of the business’s annual income and so it involves long hours each day of printing, packaging, constant communication with customers and making sure orders are ready to go out each day to meet the advertised delivery times.
Looking back at your journey/career, is there any
advice you would have given yourself at the beginning?
Perhaps to have given this a crack earlier on in my 20s, and not waited until I was 28 after doing a full-time job that I really had no interest in up until that point.
At Meanwhile Creative we take a creative approach to ‘meanwhile’ space. We can find flexible, affordable and practical workspace for your project whether this be office space, studio space or desk space. We have something for everyone.