Copenhagen printmaker, Monika Petersen
Danish artist Monika Petersen studied illustration at St Martins College of Art and Design UK. Following her graduation, she worked in London for several years before returning to Copenhagen where she is now based.
Her work has been featured in many magazines including Elle, Cover and Rum. Her designs have also been used on products: wallpaper, cups, pillows and recently a billboard campaign for BIC.
Today Monika works as a printmaker. Working on a large printing press she produces open and limited edition Lino Prints depicting large bold shapes like; a giant yellow lemon or a single gold leaf.
I sent my pictures to the magazines at first and was lucky to get featured in one of the best interior editorials here in Denmark. So I had exposure there. Then I think a lot of it had to do with me being in a shop in Copenhagen called STILLEBEN, that is a very good showroom for Nordic design. I was lucky to know the guys from that shop from previous work but I think I has to do mainly with me being featured in a good magazine.
From that magazine and showroom I got noticed by others. All these interior magazines took my pictures for publication. Many little shops that deal with Nordic design around the world saw me there, went to my Instagram and from there contacted me. Our Instagram profile worked very good for me.
But I still do it – send pictures to magazines and shops around the world. How do I find the right shops? We go and steal stockists. You find someone whose work you can imagine in a shop like that. And they have been in the game for longer. We look at their stockists and we think that those shops might like our work as well. That’s a good tip.
For me it is very important to let people understand that it’s not a poster. It’s a handmade object. We made a catalog for that purpose. It explains what we are doing and provides samples.
And obviously a very important thing is to have an agent. I have one here locally and in Norway. They find all the shops for me for 15% of my sales to the shops. It gives me time to produce the work, and this is what I really should be doing.
Commissions and collaborations
I make works for brands also. One advertising company in England found me and asked to create a logo for Parisian café. And I did the same for this Swedish skin product. But when I work on such projects I always ask them if it is possible for me to then sell these prints. And they are really nice and say yes. So it doubles up the profit.
If you are in this interior world you need really good photographs inside interiors. So if some interior photographers or stylists need my artwork to use in their projects, I'm usually open to that. They need good art to put into nice big flats that need to be sold and they need to do them up. So when I give them my prints they would have a very nice interior photograph that they will put on Instagram to sell the flat. But they will also help me sell my print because I would use that picture and they tag my Instagram in their promotions.
It's a good theme: don't be afraid to give your product away to get photos and promotion instead.
I have also invested a great deal in a webshop. All my shops can buy pictures directly from there for wholesale prices. The prices for shops are 60% cheaper than retail.
And we send a newsmail with nice photographs. And we are totally on Instagram. We make giveaways there.
A waste of time
I think sometimes we spent too much time on the tubes and additional stuff, when the only thing that matters if the product is good.
A few words for entrepreneurs
Basically it’s all about making the little rings on the water. That’s what it is about!
And then obviously being organized. Being organized with saying: today I’m packing, today I’m printing, so you’re not doing a little thing here and there.
Some artists are afraid someone will copy the work. That is a decision you have to take: is it going to be easy for designers to use your prints or not. I decided not to be so scared of copying. And it is hard to copy too. You cannot make such golden color with just a print.