THIS WEEKEND IN COBALT'S BACKYARD
Ernest seeks out and interviews independent thinkers, companies and individuals who MAKE and DO things that make a difference and bring colour to our city. We talk to the prolific Robbie Seneschall who organise Cropped Up Market, that provides a platform for North East creatives.
Who are you? What do you make or do?
I’m Robbie Seneschall and I run Cropped Up Market, an event for emerging creatives in the North East to showcase their work and network with other individuals at similar stages in their journey.
Why do you do this?
I started the market after I had a pop-up shop for my own vintage menswear brand Salvage Co and no one turned up. I knew then I had to get more people involved and decided to go for an artists market focusing on early career creatives because there’s nothing like that out there in Newcastle but it’s a really important thing to have so people can get their work recognised.
Where did you first get involved, where did the idea come from?
I work at Alphabetti where the markets have all been held so far and the owner Ali, gave me the opportunity to regularly host an event in the bar. It grew over the space of a month into the market and it’s just rolled from there. I’ve had lots of conversations over the years about the lack of opportunities facing emerging makers as they don’t fit in with Newcastle’s established system of markets or galleries so there was a space on the market (excuse the pun) for me to do this!
Give us an idea of the background detailed planning that goes with what you do.
It normally goes in stages, where I’ll finish a market and then take a day or two before posting the open call and starting to confirm stallholders as soon as I can. Once they’re confirmed it all goes towards marketing, making sure I’ve reached out to people as much as possible to come down to the market and then making sure in the build up to the week I’ve got tables sorted and everyone is well prepared for the day!
What does a typical day look like?
There isn’t a typical day; it changes depending on what stage I’m at. Often I can be found trawling Instagram looking for new talent or chasing up people. I like to have a new set of stallholders each time because it’s a small space and otherwise the idea may well gets stale quickly. I balance it with my work at Salvage Co and Alphabetti so if I’m not working on the market I’m probably doing one of those other things.
Who do you like working with?
Anyone who is really passionate about what they do and how far they want to push themselves. The Market isn’t just a shopping trip like Grainger or Quayside but rather a social event where you want to hang around and chat with the people showing their work. I also feel like I’ve been very lucky to have worked with Ali at Alphabetti and Kate & Mark at Cobalt who have all trusted me to build the market in my own vision and just offer moral and technical support whenever!
What is the most important thing that you have learned?
Everybody in the creative sector in Newcastle wants to build relationships and helps each other out, even if they get nothing back.
What does this bring to Newcastle?
Markets are not a new idea and Newcastle are pretty famous for ours, Grainger, Tynemouth and Quayside all offer something great but there’s nothing like Cropped Up. It’s a carefully curated and concentrated market with a handful of stallholders, brilliant music from local musicians and lovely food & drink on offer. People hang around a lot longer after they’re done browsing and it means a lot to me to have a heavy social atmosphere where people talk to each other!
How do you see your future?
There’s a market coming up on August 11th at Cobalt Studios. All the stallholders are now confirmed and it’s just down to making sure all the tables are set up and ready, I’ve never tackled anything this big under Cropped Up so its massively important I’m prepared! I run a little zine alongside the market and that’s become something I place more and more importance on so maybe in the long run Cropped Up will become a reputable print publication!
Where can people find out more about what you do?
You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for any details or an application form, on Facebook by searching Cropped Up Market or on Instagram @croppedupmarket!