Commercialise Without Compromise

Are you a creative business, artist or designer-maker and want to make the most of the opportunities to sell your work? Do you struggle to find the balance between making and selling?

Commercialise without Compromise is a new fully funded programme that will empower artists, designer-makers and creatives to create a more financially sustainable practice without compromising their personal and artistic values.

The programme will commence with an introductory workshop where you will explore the following questions:

  • What does commercialising your practice mean to you?
  • How are you commercialising your practice already?
  • What are your non-negotiables when it comes to commercialising your practice?
  • Will relying solely on grant funding hold you back?
  • What barriers do you face in the way of commercialising your practice?
  • How do you visualise a working day if you had multiple revenue streams from your creative practice? 

Following this introductory workshop, you will have the opportunity (subject to eligibility criteria) to apply for a fully-funded personal and business development programme. The programme will assist you to commercialise your practice without compromise - giving you the self-confidence and tangible skills, tools and assets to help you generate income from selling your work.

If selected for the full programme, you will be part of a small cohort of other creative businesses. The workshops will be delivered by local business owners who will share their wisdom, experience and some tricks of the trade that they have learnt on their business journey.

Full programme: workshop line up

The full programme workshops will be a mix of online and face-to-face sessions. The following is a brief overview of each session and what you will achieve in each session. The workshops are designed to be highly experiential and interactive so you will be working on your own business/practice in the sessions. We know your time is precious, but this is time spent on your business not away from your business.

Communicating your practice (Tuesday May 9th, 9.30 - 12.30, in-person @ Newcastle University Business School)

You will work with a copywriter to create a ‘script’ for an ‘About Us/Me’ section for your website or artist statement. This will be combined with an ‘Introduction to Video’ workshop to help you increase your self-confidence with using video to promote your work..

Mini professional portrait image shoot (Various slots 15th and 16th May, the Helix site, Newcastle)

Our brand photographer will work with you to unlock your personality through images. Many makers lack the confidence to put themselves out there. However, people buy from people and having professional portraiture will help you overcome this barrier and enable you to engage more effectively with your audiences.

Product photography and Getting started with social media and flyers using Canva (Monday 22nd May, 9.30 - 3, in-person @ The Urban Sciences Building, Newcastle University Helix)

Photography of your products may well be the first introduction that prospective customers see, so it needs to make the right impression. Through this workshop you will obtain, and put into practice, a host of ideas and tips for creating better imagery for promoting your business.

After lunch and equipped with portrait and product photography and video skills, you will move on to a workshop looking at social media strategy. You’ll create a mission and vision for your brand; considering social media content and strategy; and use Canva to create posts and flyers.

Five-star visual marketing success and Pop-up shop solutions (Monday 12th June, 9.30 - 12.30, Online by Zoom)

Visual marketing is the cost-effective, silent salesperson all the big brands use. In this workshop, you will learn the fundamental visual marketing principles based on traditional visual merchandising techniques. You will be taken on a visual journey from table-top to pop-up shop, by presenting real life examples, success stories and creative solutions. This will equip you to maximise the benefits of opportunities to trade at fairs, markets, and collective pop-up spaces.

Selling online (Monday 19th June, 9.30 - 12.30, Online by Zoom)

Your online shop gives 24 hour, 7 days a week, access to your work. This workshop will look at the mechanics and options for maximising the effectiveness of online shops such as Etsy and Shopify. You will explore how to create effective listings and how to optimise your imagery for use online.

Creating a sales and marketing plan (Monday 26th June, 9.30 - 12.30,  in-person @Newcastle University Business School)

During this final workshop you will explore the benefits of creating a 6–12-month sales and marketing plan. This workshop will cover how to preschedule and produce marketing content, thereby maximising the time you have to spend on your creative practice. You will consider key holidays/selling opportunities and get to grips with time management, workflow, and the creative production of new products/services.

More details

The running of the workshops provides multiple opportunities for networking with peers. The way we run workshops allows plenty of time, and an appropriate atmosphere, for the sharing of experiences.

The workshops will be a mixture of online and in-person and the first cohort will run between May and June 2023. The in-person events will be held at Newcastle University Business School.

We are also offering a trading opportunity within the Grainger Market for those who have taken part in the full workshop programme. This will take place in November 2023.

This project has been supported by the Newcastle Culture and Creative Zone programme, funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Newcastle City Council. It is available to businesses based in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area.


Selection Criteria

To qualify for a place on the programme you must:

  • Live or work in the North of Tyne area (Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland)
  • Be a creative business, artist, or designer-maker
  • Already sell your work either face to face or online or have a desire to start selling


Apply Now:

Deadline for the first cohort: *** Extended to Wednesday 19th April 11.59pm 

If you have any questions, please contact


Logos for the Commercialise without compromise programme