Q&A with Composite Imaging
Enterprise Nation December 2008
Composite Imaging was founded in 2005 by professional artists and designers Paulette Bansal and Jackie Anderson. Inspired by the possibility of creating high-quality yet affordable artworks through digital technology, they decided to turn their passion for art into a full-time business.
How did you meet each other?
We met at De Montfort University on a BA Hons textile design course in 1979. We got talking in the queue for enrolment and have been friends ever since.
What were you doing before starting the business?
Jackie worked in national and International fashion buying for 10 years. This was followed by part-time teaching in Art & Design whilst starting a family. The teaching incorporated practical projects & lectures on the commercial aspects of design.
Paulette has worked in teaching in Art & Design for about 20 years, initially full-time then part-time, with a short spell in industry in a textile design studio.
Do your husbands/partners help out?
Our husbands have been very supportive and offered advice & help right from the business planning stage. Paulette’s husband works in commercial interior design so he has given us referrals & contacts whenever he can. Jackie’s husband is in marketing, so has advised in this area as well as sharing his general business experience.
How do you actually create the pieces?
All our designs have been created by us, from a variety of techniques including painting, textiles & photography. We then use our creative computer skills to tailor any piece to meet individual requirements – or produce a bespoke piece. By combining our extensive gallery of designs with innovative digital technology, we can create artworks on a range of different surfaces – from canvas to metal and even waterproof art. Our gallery of images includes everything from natural forms to architectural designs and abstracts.
Where do you store them?
All our images are stored in digital form on our computers and our finished products are created to order.
Are your home offices furnished with your own products?
Of course! We often experiment with new products for ourselves prior to launch, such as our waterproof acrylic, which has been tried & tested in Jackie’s courtyard. However, we always seem to be so busy developing Artwork for our clients – who include Bruntwood, Grant Thornton & Jamie Oliver (offices not home so far!) – that we don’t get as much time as we would like for decorating our own homes.
What are your plans for the next 6-12 months?
We are looking to raise our profile – both through our recently re-launched website, which we plan to develop further – and by taking some permanent exhibition space in a new Design centre in Manchester showcasing commercial interiors work.
We would also like to find sales agents who have an affinity with our products, to promote our work. In particular we want to promote our innovative new range of waterproof art & splash backs for bathrooms & spas.
What would be the one piece of advice you would offer to someone starting an art business from home?
If you are starting a business where you will be working alone at home, make sure you get out & meet as many new people as possible. Attending networking events in the area has proved beneficial for us in not only in bringing in new business but also by meeting people who we can employ for support services – you can’t do everything yourself. It is also useful to be able to bounce ideas off other business people; as well as giving you valuable feedback on your plans, these discussions often result in referrals.
Composite Imaging talk to Enterprise Nation