This blog post was written by Geoff Lee, previous Product Development Director at Gibsons. Geoff has spent over 23 years in the wonderful world of jigsaw puzzles. He now owns the website Everything Jigsaw.
It was 5th February 2020. Time to take a break from the Gibsons stand and start my annual scouting trip along the aisles of the Spring Fair trade show.
Hunting amongst the 1000 exhibitors and 2 million sq. ft of floor space was always something I looked forward to – meeting new & existing artists. The search was on for next year’s best-selling jigsaw puzzle!
The search hadn’t gone well, with fewer artists exhibiting, but entering the final aisle, something caught my eye. Was that a lovely vintage car I just saw? I must step onto the stand and have a closer look - it was indeed some beautiful nostalgic vintage cars. Although displayed separately on a white background and looking nothing like a jigsaw puzzle, I knew they, and more importantly, the artist had hidden potential. Unfortunately, nobody was around, and time was short. I needed to get back to the Gibsons stand, so started to walk back.
Then an excited lady jumped out in front of me!
It turned out this would be my first meeting with the artist Janice Daughters.
“I had always fancied having a go at illustrating jigsaws but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be possible. We arranged a meeting at Gibsons stand the following day, and as they say, the rest is history. One of the best days of my life.”
It was lovely to meet Janice and her husband Ken - who was meant to be helping on the stand but had gone off for a chat! I showed her around the Gibsons stand, the best-selling paintings and described what would make the perfect puzzle. Your painting should ‘tell a story’ (as Michael Gibson taught me 23 years ago). Be bright, colourful and fill your painting with tiny little details that puzzlers love. Janice listened intently and enthusiastically.
Janice is now one of Gibsons most successful artists, and ready to paint her sixth jigsaw puzzle!
There is a saying - the flap of the wings of a butterfly can change the weather halfway around the world. In this case, Janice returned to her stand at precisely the right time, and her art career changed forever.
Have you ever dreamt about becoming a jigsaw puzzle artist?
I know so much potential exists in so many artists, but it can remain undiscovered. Take the next step, or jump as Janice did. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to display your art on jigsaw puzzles in places such as Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty and John Lewis?
Geoff Lee was previously Product Development & IT Director at Gibsons, and is an expert in jigsaw puzzles. Below are some articles you might like to explore: