I have been in Mauritius for almost two months now and it has been amazing. My main aim is to establish the L’Atelier du Dodo( Dodo gallery) and get a stream of visitors coming through my studio. In the two weeks that I have been open, I have had only one group of tourists that came through. They were happy to buy a stack of my art.

My observations about the local market have been challenged. I ran an Instagram add with a competition. A simple challenge, tag 5 people and share the post and then follow me. The competition was slow in getting off the ground. In the end, I had 12 people that complied. There was only 1 prize, but good old me decided to hand out 1 prize and 11 consolation prizes. Of the 11 winners of the consolation prize, only one has come to collect the prize. It really made me think. The idea was to get these followers through the gallery so that they can spread the word. I understand that if you live in the center you don’t often come to the North. The Island has its own dynamics. It might be small but people do not really travel often. People living in Mauritius will understand that.

I dropped my prices by 50% before I left for SA and they are still the same. You can pick up a Bronn painting for a really good price. So I expect the word to spread and more and more people to come through. This has not happened yet. I had a good start and am not complaining. I am just rambling on about Island dynamics.

I got a Mauritian firm to design a sign for me. It is a beautiful sign but we forgot to add my phone number. I then printed an added section with my phone number and attached it to the sign. It was cut off by someone a day after attaching it. And then someone vandalized my sign. I was then absconded by the owner of the abandoned property and asked me why I have not asked permission to put up my small sign there. Humble apologies from me placated him. It is rather difficult to navigate the language barrier.

I also told him that it is in the road servitude and not actually on his property. He allowed me to have it up for a while. It is as if the forces of Mauritius don’t want me to succeed. I now have to find other ways to get people to my studio and will be reaching out to the tourist taxis. Any advice will be appreciated. The work that I now do is very suitable for Mauritius and it will be a shame to leave here because I failed to establish my market.