Shop Local: Hoxton artists found new ways to make and sell art during the coronavirus lockdown

The artists created their illustrations by finishing off each others drawings, comparing the collaborative project to an...

The artists created their illustrations by finishing off each others drawings, comparing the collaborative project to an "informal game of consequences". Picture: Tanya Peixoto - Credit: Tanya Peixoto

As creative spaces suffer from coronavirus lockdowns and painting jobs dry up due to the crisis, resilient Hackney artists are selling their work online and in shop windows.

The artists feel lucky they can carry on making art when so many performance-based artists can't during the coronavirus...

The artists feel lucky they can carry on making art when so many performance-based artists can't during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Tanya Peixoto - Credit: Tanya Peixoto

Hoxton friends and illustrators Francesco Ghersina and Samuel Webster set up an exhibition in a local Hoxton bookshop’s front window as a means of advertising their drawings for sale during lockdown.

Samuel told the Gazette: “Its all for sale and there’s definitely a financial motivation - hopefully we can sell a few.”

READ MORE: Shop Local: Hoxton bookshop owner praises Hackney people for shopping local

Samuel was working in a theatre doing sign-writing and says the crisis has affected his livelihood “quite badly”.

Sam and Francesco's art will be exhibited at Bookartbookshop until the end of December. Picture: Tanya Peixoto

Sam and Francesco's art will be exhibited at Bookartbookshop until the end of December. Picture: Tanya Peixoto - Credit: Tanya Peixoto

“I’ve got no work coming in from that now, so I have gone back to doing decorating and things like that and obviously have had a lot more time to do drawing - but it has had quite an intense effect on me.”


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Samuel and Francesco used to work together at a specialist decorators doing “murals and things in quite high end houses” and now, Francesco paints for distinguished conceptual artist Yinka Shonibare CBE as well as being a chef at the pair’s local, The Pub Prince Arthur pub on Brunswick Place.

“Francesco was staying with me for a while in between flats and, at night we would start drawing and would just hand the paper over to each other when we got stuck or just thought the other one might be able to add something to it.

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“So, it’s a bit like an informal game of consequences,” Samuel explained

The artists created their illustrations by finishing off each others drawings, comparing the collaborative project to an...

The artists created their illustrations by finishing off each others drawings, comparing the collaborative project to an "informal game of consequences". Picture: Tanya Peixoto - Credit: Tanya Peixoto

The artists have created an Instagram to help sell their work but feel “terribly sorry” for artists reliant on performance-based work.

READ MORE: Thousands of stolen art prints returned to Hackney residents

Samuel said: “At least as an artist you can keep drawing and you can find ways on the internet to show your work off but, if you’re an actor you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.

“Everything has stopped and you can’t really just act for yourself – you have to have an audience.”

“I’m sure its going to have a terrible knock on effect for the arts generally but I suppose I can just keep drawing.

“In a way, I have done more drawing now then I would have done if I had been working. So it has actually been quite good personally but obviously, for other people its awful.”

READ MORE: ‘Open-air gallery’ lets artists exhibit through lockdown

Their illustrations are being exhibited till the end of December at Bookartbookshop in Hoxton with details on how to buy them displayed in the shop front.

To buy or browse the Hoxton artists’ illustrations visit their instagram @samfrancoart or click here

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