What was an idea to fill up blank walls during lockdown has now raised welcome funds for an end-of-life charity through one Salford artists online business, and a recent exhibition set up to showcase her art.

Harriet Butler, 22, used her lifelong passion for art to host an exhibition at the Salford X1 campus on November 26th. The event helped raise money for Compton Care, a charity that means a lot to her and her family.

Just over five years ago Harriet’s auntie passed away, and the charity which helps with end-of-life support was there to help her and her family throughout the journey.

CC: Harrietbtlrdesigns

Harriet’s family have worked closely with the charity since then. She said: “My mum and other aunties would put on a memorial ball in Wolverhampton and all ticket funds would go to charity, each year it was such a success.

“Due to Covid, they were unable to run the ball and like many charities, Compton suffered.”

Harriet decided she could do something to help out.

“My ticket sales alone raised over £300, which all goes to my family’s memorial fund dedicated to my auntie within Compton Care.”

Harriet’s auntie has always been a huge inspiration for her art and was the person who helped Harriet in finding her love for creating.

“During the summertime, she would look after me and my sister. I loved going to see her because she would always get this art and crafts box out. We would always be colouring in and painting, 100% that is where I got my artistic flare from. Mum and dad are always saying ‘it’s not from us it’s definitely from your auntie’”.

“It’s quite nice to do a fundraiser in honour of her. I got my sense of creativity from her as well. Even the way she would dress, everything, she was so unusual in the way she would piece things together. I take a lot of inspiration from that.”

What started as a way to fill up the walls during lockdown eventually turned into a small business venture for Harriet, who is originally from Wolverhampton.

“I started off making stuff for my bedroom and my boyfriend’s bedroom. I started posting them on my Instagram page and a lot of people were asking ‘are you selling these?’”

Eventually, Harriet began a small business selling her paintings to people all around England and now venturing out to Wales and Ireland.

CC: harrietbtlrdesigns

Her inspiration comes from all around her “Other artists that I see work with a lot of colours, looking at some of my stuff I love colour and my inspiration mainly comes from wanting to add some of my sense of life into my apartment and that reflects through my art.”

Harriet, who has a job as a letting’s agent at X1 in Salford, has only recently discovered how much she wants to do art full time.

“I think with self-employment comes fear and I hadn’t thought just to take the plunge yet, I think I need something to fall back on. You see art as a bit of a luxury, not a necessity.”

However, the success of the exhibition, the increase in sales and reactions to her work has helped push Harriet into really wanting to pursue her passion for art full-time.

“It’s causing a discussion for me, the fact that people were even looking at my painting and had something to say about it whether they liked it, even a reaction that’s part of the whole creator and audience relationship.”

For any inspiring artists, Harriet’s message is simple: “Just do it, even if you’re hesitant, whether it’s a clothing brand or singing, just post it. You never know who’s going to stumble across it, you never know who you’ll meet. Bite the bullet and just do it because you are never going to know if you don’t.”

To contact Harriet and see more of her work, her Instagram page is @harrietbtlrdesgins.

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