Logo White SquareFor this guest blog Sarah Halliday, owner of Sarah Halliday Art - which specialises in fine art, bespoke designs and luxury gifts and accesories, discusses how the brand new Maker_Space at AK Bell Library has benefitted her already. The Maker_Space, which is where the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre Accelerator powered by Elevator will be based, offers a range of state of the art creative equipment from 3d printers, professional A0 printing through to specialist software programmes in an engaging environment, all with the aim of driving forward local designers and creatives.

I was invited to the launch night of the Maker_Space in the AK Bell Library about a month ago. This space has proved a bit of a revelation for my business as I am reliant on the use of the Adobe Creative Cloud software for design work - and I also seem to print lots and lots and it doesn’t help that our house is printer-less! So you can imagine my excitement when I was introduced to this incredibly high-tech, very large printer on the opening night. Not only is the printing incredibly good quality (even if you have converted your files from RGB to CMYK), but it’s incredibly reasonably priced. I have taken full advantage of this equipment and printed a lot of my artwork already.

Adobe IllustratorBut it doesn’t stop there. This equipment also gives me the ability to be able to try things out before committing to a big print run, something, which was a major issue before I had access to the Maker_Space. Having experimented with lots of different printing firms, I found my cheapest solution was one of those print ready firms. However, it seemed that whilst they were print ready, I was not - any one who has done a lot of printing will know that trying to get something that resembles what you are seeing on your computer takes a lot of image adjusting in Photoshop. So the inability to be able to ‘proof ‘ my artwork with a single print was leading to a lot of dodgy print runs - not so cheap after all! Now I can adjust and print, all under one roof until my file is printed exactly as I want it.

PrinterThe Maker_Space also has access to the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite. Whilst I have this already on my laptop, there is a significant difference. My designs are very large and as such my laptop crashes frequently. I’ve even lost work before from not saving the file as I went along. However, having use of the specialised computers in the Maker_Space has solved this annoying issue, as they are very powerful and very fast. No more crashing, no more excuses for not meeting that deadline!

Printer Adobe IllustratorBut I think the best thing about the Maker_Space is being in an environment with other like-minded people. Working in your own business as a designer can be a bit solitary sometimes and being a hermit is not the best environment for me when trying to be creative. It’s great to bounce ideas off other people, and get chatting with people generally. I have met a lot of very talented creatives in the Maker_Space that have introduced me to software that I didn’t know existed, and also shown me a different way to do things. As a designer and a creative person, it’s very important to keep up to date with different trends, ideas and software. It’s great that this space can act as a hub for local artists/designers in this region of Scotland, where they can share their knowledge and perhaps collaborate on projects together. So if you haven’t used the Maker_Space yet, give it a visit and try it out!


The Famous Grouse Ideas Centre Accelerator powered by Elevator will be based at the Maker_Space, and will immerse your creative or design business in expert support and guidance to help you flourish. Applications are open now (closing date 15th January 2018). For more information and to apply now, click here.

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