Common Threads

How do artists turn doing something they love into something that supports their lifestyle?

by @debcaruso on Thursday, 17 Sep,2015

Local web developer, Gary Swanepoel from PixelPixel, has launched a unique collaborative space to help local artists, makers and creators build their brand and get noticed on the world stage.

“We’re all about bringing together a group of people with different skills, experiences and connections that can help take creative works to the next level so that it can operate as a business and not just a hobby,” he said. “Each new artist that we list brings their own community with them who then receive exposure to our other creators, and so the connections grow.

“There are a lot of barriers to entering the retail market but if we work together, these can be overcome.”

Participating artists can receive an online profile and account, professional photography, marketing advice, retail and exhibition space in theThreads Project concept store. The store also has the facilities in-store to print small runs of artist’s work on to T-Shirts, Cards, Canvas and other mediums so they can test small runs of their products before launching in to a costly full scale production run.

“We have a retail space where artists can exhibit their works and customers can purchase prints or have designs printed on a t-shirt while they wait,” he said. “We also have a large touchscreen display so that people can browse our full range of artists and order items to go.

“The online environment is one thing, but to offer a retail space where customers can view the artwork close up, maybe even meet the creator, and have their order created while they wait, is in another league altogether.”

Gary, who also runs a Digital Marketing Agency in Noosa, said there were a lot of talented artists making a lifestyle choice to live in Noosa and this project offered a way for them to build their business without having to spend a lot of time and money on marketing and promotion.

“We want to send the message that there’s no reason why you can’t live in Noosa and make a living in creative industries.”

Artists also have the opportunity to showcase their artwork in the increasingly popular, Junction Alley event and Noosa Junction Laneway – a collaboration of music, food and art in Noosa Junction.

The space is still a work in progress but already features an impressive display of several local artists including painters, sketch artists and photographers. Local jewellery, homewares and furniture designers, swimwear and clothing designers plus local tea blenders and coffee roasters make for a truly unique shopping experience.

Gary said the key to being able to create spaces such as this is to have a supportive landlord.

“The owner of this building, Dave, has been amazing in helping us with this movement,” he said. “He understands the vision of the Junction and what investment is needed from his end. This would never have been possible if he didn’t work with us to provide an organic and supportive environment for artisans to flourish.”

Threads Project currently represents more than 40 brands internationally with new people signing up regularly. They are also looking to launch a Makers Space as part of their Co-Retail movement and are always looking for more local artists, makers and creators to join the movement.

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Subscribe to the Threads Project Newsletter and you could win a limited edition pair of Dunlop Volley High Tops hand illustrated by a local artist. Visit for more information.

Terms &Conditions: Valid only for new subscriptions from October to December. Style of shoes may change depending on shoe size and choice of artist. Winner will be selected at random and notified by email.

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