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Working From Home – Sam Dunn

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#workingfromhome is a way of helping out newcomers to the home studio life and hopefully reassuring people that it’s possible to be productive while everything around you is up in the air.


The first in a new series of self isolation insights, we spoke to one of our favourite artists, makers & customers Sam Dunn about how this is kinda business as usual for her.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do…
Im an illustrator originally from Hartlepool right up on the north east coast. Ive lived in London since 2008 but still sound as northern as ever. I work on a range of stuff from music projects to advertising, I started out as an illustrator in an advertising agency and have been freelance full time for the last 7 years. I also sell my own products and original drawings when I can!
2. How are you doing? It’s an odd time right now…
It is really a strange time and it probably hasn’t sunk just how massive this is yet, I’m shocked daily by the news and new developments. As I’ve worked from home exclusively for the last 4 years (before that I switched between working from home and in agencies), the ‘staying indoors part of this isnt too different to my normal routine, so my day hasnt changed much, other than my days off when I’d usually get out the house as much as possible.

3. How are you adapting to this new normality?
Jobs have slowed down so I’m feeling grateful when I receive new projects. I’ve had to stop sending mail via the post office as I feel like it’s an unnecessary trip, so my store has taken a hit, though I have just started selling A5 original art which I can drop in the post box near to my house without coming into contact with anyone, so I feel like this is a great way to adapt my products to the current situation. I think illustrators can try to adapt in different ways to help keep their work going, there could be lots of opportunities for editorial jobs with all of the online news going on, or information graphics if that works with your style.
4. What attracted you to our Mercht platform?

I love making merch and since closing my store I’ve had to put my plans on hold. I tried out Mercht again after seeing it pop up in my feed and thought it would be a great idea to make some shirts without having the problems of personally posting them out at this time. It’s also great to have no costs and only taking the profit percentage, it means that I can offer lots of products and let people decide their favourite without the risk of ordering and sitting on boxes of shirts for a long time.

5. Do you have any productivity or organisation tips for people who are new to working from home?

Ive worked from my office under the stairs for just under 4 years now, I love the hermit life and work better when I can get on with stuff alone but I know this can be hard for lots of people and they might have been pushed into this situation unwillingly at the moment. I think it’s great to keep a designated working space, where it’s all organised and you know where everything is when you need it. It doesn’t have to be a full room or anything crazy, I don’t have a lot of space so my office is in my living room. Try and keep work time separate from play, I donhave set hours and some days I work more than others but make sure youre switching off each day and taking some time to do normal activities too. Be kind to yourself if you cant get as much done as youre used to in an office, it might be hard for various reasons, as long as youre doing what you can and keeping up with your schedule, its ok if you dont start a huge project, write a book, learn something new whilst were in quarantine.

It might seem like we have more time than usual to do stuff and I think there’s a pressure to come out of this all redeveloped and renewed, but it can also be a very challenging time and it’s something we haven’t faced before. I’m being kind to myself and allowing myself more time than usual to relax, speak to family and process all of the news.

6. Who is inspiring you right now?
Lots of artists on insta who I chat with who’re always making lovely stuff, Iain Macarthur (Fortnite party buddy), Pedro Oyarbide, Lola Beltran, Grveyardshift (Aaron Givens), Liane Plant and loads more. My family and friends as we’re all going through this time together, we share what we’re making and always help each other out with decisions and opinions.
7. Where can people find you?

Under the stairs and online at sam-dunn.com / insta @xsamdunnx

Sam currently has two tee designs up on Mercht, check them out here.  To upload your own design, head to Mercht now.

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