Hot April weather attracted a host of sellers and buyers to the Lowry plazza at MediaCityUK for a four-day Makers Market that helps independent businesses grow.

Makers Market in front of the Lowry

Steve MacDonald, a Manchester artist and stallholder, said: “I’ve been doing this for five years. I enjoy being an artist and love to present my work. Markets like this one are a great place for people like me who are looking to get their crafts out there. I love what I do and it’s even better when it pays my bills as well along the way.”

Some of Steve MacDonald’s artwork

Former academic Andri Soteri-Proctor was there selling her artwork of animals, dances and life drawings. She has been gradually using her rediscovered talent for drawing to create a business.

She said: “I’ve been an artist for a few year now. So far animals seem to be what sells best for me. A lot of people say they can see character in them. Especially rabbits and hares, which is understandable by itself.

Ms Proctor’s artwork

“Markets like this one have helped me a lot in this endeavour. They are a good stepping stone. I mean I love doing them anyway. I’ve been doing this for four years and I think I’d like to continue to do it.

“But I also realised that for me to move ahead of my business I’m going to have to take another step. And markets like these are fantastic because you can actually see in person what people think about your work before they even say anything. So you can see it in their face. I’ve had people cringe at some of my work,especially at some of my life drawings. There’s a very quirky kind of a side to it. But then I see a lot of people, especially with my animal drawings, where they just smile, or giggle, or chuckle. You don’t get that if you’re selling in a shop.

“I just think it’s a good stepping stone. It’s not an easy one, there are high costs but the experience that you get balances it out.”

Polly, from Manchester, bought two drawings of a penguin and a hare from Ms Proctor. She said: “Markets like these are a very very good idea.It’s for small businesses who cannot afford to rent shops. Coming here, people can see what they do. And it’s not just that. The human interaction is a key factor too in places like this one. In an ordinary shop there’s just a queue of people that are waiting to get serviced, listening to cheery music. I like the response between people here. Like Ms Proctor for example. Lovely lady, so that’s why we supported her work”.

Ms Proctor and Mr MacDonald have a Twitter page and web page respectively. The Makers Market operates in front of the Lowry Outlet in MediaCityUK. The next market runs from May 25-27 over the Bank Holiday weekend.  Dates for further markets are on display on the Lowry’s website.

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