Building on the success of showing Lizzie Donegan in a tiny cardboard box/aka My Tiny Gallery I’ve set up a new improved version.

My Tiny Cat Gallery is now taking submissions for week long shows.

Each show starts on Sunday with a Private View and will be documented through the week.

The first exhibition features “A Feast for Your Eyes” by Susan Plover –

Susan said “The piece was created as a response to the scale of the gallery and as an image that would attract the resident audience of cats. The subject is deliberately riffing upon a cat who plays poker for FISH !”

The artist has requested a gallery set up with a richly coloured draped back cloth and lit from above. The tiny cats can look up at the art as if it was one of their ancestors. I’m going to try to source an ornate frame today but that may prove difficult.

You can attend the private view on Sunday 12th July on Instagram –


“A great practical guide⁣
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 December 2020⁣
Verified Purchase⁣
“This is a great guide. Even as a gallery owner myself, I’ve already learned so much from Lisa’s experience, particularly around social media and the practical side, some of the stuff you just don’t really think about, so it’s great to have it all spelled out. It would be nice to see all the images in their lovely colours, but it didn’t really take away from it. I would love to see some digital packs of related worksheets, Docs or guides or something from Lisa next! :) It’s a lovely project to start a mini, pop up or guerrilla gallery or as promotion for your own ⁣
artwork, I highly recommend it particularly during any pandemics that happen to occur during your lifetime – art must fill any corner, window, or online space it can!”⁣
The Tiny Art Gallery Manual:
How to Set up and Promote your Own Tiny Art Gallery

It can be hard for very established artists to get into galleries. It sometimes feels impossible for new and emerging artists.

As an artist, running your own gallery will allow you to get an idea of how your work could look in a gallery setting. It will also give you an insight into what a gallery needs from creatives, which will make working with them easier in the future.

If you are interested in curating exhibitions, a no risk step towards renting space is to run a miniature version of a gallery!
Book writing logistics
Writing environment
The actual bare bones writing of the book came pretty easily. I use Google Docs because it can be set to work on or offline, which means I can sit in the garden with no WiFi and write, it will update in the cloud when I’m next near a signal.

It helps me to start with a rough outline. Make the headings first and you can see the table of contents start to rack up on the left of the screen. This really helps with navigation and to get a sense of flow through the book. Use headings in order, Heading 1, Heading 2 etc, to denote chapters and sections within the chapters. I often write random chunks of wisdom and leave them floating at the end of the document in case they come in handy, but usually I just start with a section and get writing. Breaking it down into chunks makes life a lot easier.
Layout and publishing
I used InDesign to lay the book out. I am new to the programme and it was a very steep learning curve but the end result looks pretty good. I had help from the amazing Sally Eldars who meticulously proof read for me! Open source software Scribus works just as well as InDesign and is just as steep a learning curve.

Your publisher will dictate what page sizes you can have. My book is about tiny galleries so I went for the smallest size. Everything (including the cover) is uploaded as a PDF.

This book is self published via Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). It is printed on demand so I don’t need to pay for any stock to be made in advance. I know that Amazon is evil and I feel bad about using it, but this is a no risk way of publishing. There is a good list of other companies here. I’m going to try Barnes and Nobel next time. Be careful about signing away any exclusivity rights on Amazon, that will mean you can only sell through them.

You should be able to buy author copies which you can sell yourself if you have an exhibition or a show. Don’t expect to make a fortune. For each book sold on Amazon I make a couple of quid. They cost me a few quid to buy as author copies plus postage.

Finding people to include in your book helps with content, it can stretch a topic into more viewpoints and areas and people who are featured in a book tend to promote it, so it helps with marketing.

The Tiny Art Gallery Manual has case studies from all these wonderful small galleries: @groocksgallery @acardboardmonkey @thedollshouseartgallery @dogandbonegallery #beyondscalegallery @tiffany_struwig_fine_art @minigallery_dontcry
Buy the book
If you want to see the book for yourself you can get it from Amazon or from my website. 


This week’s solo show is by Amy J Wilson.

Instagram @amy_j_wilson

In her application for the open call she said “Within the context of your Tiny Gallery the small intimate plates will blur between large commemorative merchandise and religious icons.”

That is just the kind of thing I want in the gallery. I’ve been thinking about who the viewer is. Is the tiny cat the primary audience with us humans as voyeurs looking in on them? Or are we still the primary audience and indulging in romantic anthropomorphism of small plastic cats.


This week in the Tiny Cat Gallery we have a solo show by Jo Coffey.

Her drawings are exquisite and show the joy and sadness that comes with cats.

I’m struggling with this week’s exhibition for a couple of reasons. Firstly they are huge, too big for the space and secondly I preferred them unframed. I think the frames distract from the artwork. But, it is how the artist sent them and I’ve closed off one side of the door to make them fit.

Taking photos in this now very cramped space is not easy. I’ve changed to a glittery floor which does look great with the work, but again, is hard to photograph. I’ve made things difficult for myself.

So, what have I learned?

  1. check artwork and framing at every step of the way
  2. check and recheck sizes of artwork
  3. be strong and reduce the size of the exhibition if it will look better

I’ve updated the terms for the Tiny Cat Gallery and I will be tougher next time. There is a fine line between wanting to be welcoming and accommodating and showing the work in a way that lets it be seen.


Representing artists

The current exhibition (Philip Ryland – Retrospective) has had some sales.

I’ve not been pushing to sell work but I have been promoting it like a larger gallery would. I have a Shopify Lite store attached to my WordPress site and that lets me embed shop pages anywhere I want. It is a cheaper and easier option than an actual Shopify store but has it’s limitations.

As a commercial gallery, I take 50% of the sales price. I’m part of #artistsupportpledge so when I make £500 I’ll spend £100 on another artist’s work.

But I’m also upgrading things when money comes in.

Things to make life easier

From the first sale of a bird and wind drawing I invested in Shopify Lite at $9 a month. WordPress has a free shopping plugin called Woo Commerce but it is clunky and horrible for the customer to use without loads of work. Shopify lite is swishy and smooth. Mmmm.

This month I’m putting money back in by getting a paid version of Later, the app and desktop programme I’m using to schedule posts on Instagram. I did a possibly foolish thing here and got a whole year upfront because it is cheaper long term. That means the accounts do not look good overall but they are ok for the month.

Sales – £80

Payment to artist – £40
Shopify Lite – £8 (wild guess at exchange rate)
Later – £12

Total expenditure £60

Profit £20!

That does not take the cost of running my website into account or the hours and hours spent taking photos, researching hashtags, responding to comments, answering questions, checking things with the artist……….

So I am celebrating my £20 but not really thinking about it a viable income. Although it will be declared on my tax return next year.

And the very best thing is that I could put HUGE dots next to the paintings in the gallery!




This week has worked well with the artist ( writing about his full sized work on his Instagram feed. I can repost with an app and refer to the smaller sized counterpart in the Tiny Cat Gallery.

This was the first time I’d tried to run a workshop and it went pretty well. We used our families and friends to start the submissions off but did get a couple of entries from followers too. I wasn’t expecting much engagement at all so I’m overjoyed that this went so well.

I’m falling into a pattern of work with the gallery now. It is still very time intensive but having it closed on Wednesday means I can start to think about the set up for the next artist. There is time to change things if needed.