An interview with: Jordana Leighton, Open Studios Producer

Open Studios events are always a fantastic opportunity for artists to show off their work, make new connections with the community and buyers, let people have a look behind the scenes – and are a valid reason for the creatives to de-clutter their work space… At Peckham Festival, all this is made possible by Open Studios producer Jordana Leighton’s incredible knack for coordination, spreadsheet skills and years of experience heading the organisation of the Camberwell Arts Festival and Open Studios.

Hey Jordana. What is your job at the festival and the wider world?
I am the Open Studios producer for Peckham Festival.
I am also on the board of Camberwell Arts for the last 3 years, and I have just finished producing the 2016 Camberwell Arts Festival which includes Camberwell-wide Open Studios. I now have up to 120 artists across 10 venues taking part twice a year.  My “day job” is in licensing and consumer products for the art, film, TV and publishing industries.
Essentially, I turn brands into the products you want to buy, from a Jack Vettriano biscuit tin to a Doctor Who action figure!

Best piece of advice you could give to an artist?
Embrace every opportunity to promote yourself! Each medium reaches a slightly different audience; be that on social media, blogs, exhibits, markets or open studios. If people like what you do, they will spread the word.

What’s the best thing about Open Studios?
For the artist, maker or creator, it’s a chance to showcase your work, meet a new audience, make new contact and the opportunity to sell your work, or accept commissions.
For a member of the public, there is nothing as exciting as buying a piece of work direct from the artist in their studio. My first art purchase was a Battersea landscape direct from Paul Catherall at Artichoke Printmaking in Loughborough Junction. I treasure it because it felt so much more personal.

What has been the most exciting part of planning this year’s Peckham Open Studios?
I have spent the last couple of months zooming around SE15 on my bike visiting studios in the most surprising of places! They are quite literally everywhere and I get the chance to meet them all!
It can be a little intimidating walking into a studio where there is so much creative talent, but everyone has been so lovely.

Favourite place in or about Peckham?
I only discovered this last week, but I am beyond excited that Kaymet are based here in Peckham. They have been manufacturing trays and drinks trolleys since 1947, and with still so much finished created by hand. They are the very definition of a design icon.

What’s the best lunch in Peckham?
That is easy – it would have to be the Asian takeaway just off Rye Lane. I cannot get enough of the daal.
I also have a big soft spot for the people at Oi Spaghetti in Copeland Park.


It’s still not too late to sign up – but time is running out! Open Studios entries will be finalised by the end of this week – head to to get involved.

If you have any more questions about the Open Studios event or would like to invite the tireless Jordana round for tea and a chat (no milk, no sugar), drop her a line at [email protected].