Taking the Next Step

June 17, 2011 § 6 Comments

I’ve always loved making things. When I was little I made a mess, then I made cards and drawings, then paintings. I started cross stitching and knitting, then sewing, and then making my own clothes. I’ve done screen-printing, ceramics, accessories, home furnishings, glass painting, baking, and all manner of other things. I can’t imagine my life without it being chock full of hobbies and creative endeavours going on all around me.

Although I’d always been interested in jewellery making and re-purposing broken pieces, it wasn’t until I started working in a bead shop that what was a hobby then became a near obsession. It isn’t just the jewellery I like, it’s the objects themselves: the beads, chain and findings, the glass, ceramic, acrylic and metal materials, the textures and colours and when it’s put all together to create something wearable and beautiful. Now, beading and jewellery making are a huge and wonderful part of my life.

I have lots of other things going on in my life at the moment (including university, freelance writing, blogging and moving house) but sometimes you need to kick yourself into taking something you love a step further. I’ve started an Etsy shop but haven’t felt inclined to market and publicise myself terribly much – I’m not sure why, maybe because there’s so much work involved, and because right now, I haven’t got that time. There’s a few shops and galleries in our area, though, that I’ve seen and thought…’Could my work go there?’

Often I dismiss these thoughts, but a while ago a friend sent me a text saying ‘Have you seen this gallery X? And have you tried to get your work in there?’ It was only after I read this that I realised: people thought my work was interesting. Not everyone, and maybe just a few, but people thought it was interesting enough to go for those opportunities. Without that first nudge, I might not have started to think differently.

So this is the next step for me. I can’t commit to huge things now (like diving straight in to approaching a shop) but I can plan for the future. In August a fantastic photographer, Anthony Farrimond, and I will be working together in shooting my jewellery collection, so I can put together a portfolio to approach shops and craft venues, as well as (possibly) trying again online. Anthony wants to increase his fashion and jewellery portfolio, and I want to develop working relationships with photographers and get my portfolio off the ground – so it’s an ideal opportunity. It also means that I have two months to develop my body of work, create new pieces, and finally make those collections that have been rushing round in my head for so long.

I’m really excited about taking the next steps in something that has changed from a hobby into a passion, and feel lucky and honoured to have friends who tell me the right thing when I needed to hear it, even if they didn’t know I did (thank you Emily), and have met professionals who I know will take my work and create something wonderful with it (thank you Anthony). Watch this space!

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