It was a pleasure to speak with Local Library of Etsy fame! I am in love with the simply gorgeous work she makes.
Can you describe yr art and process? Tell us a bit about yrself?
My creation process is somewhat spontaneous and heavily visually inspired. I start by searching for materials that I appreciate. When something grabs my attention I start to see shapes and colors, and ideas come
flowing into my head and out through my hands. I rarely ever sketch out a design – it’s more of a jump-in and-try-it-out technique. Which, as you might imagine, has its flaws. I’ve learned over the years that sometimes it is good to get something on paper first. This helps figuring out the technical side jewelry; will it lie flat, straight, be sturdy and of good quality?
It is very important to me that the jewelry I create is the jewelry I would want to wear. It needs to be beautiful and stand out but also comfortable, classic, versatile, and of the best quality at an affordable price point. And when you’re wearing a piece, I want you feel like you could conquer the world. On some level anyway.
So- Can you just tell me a few things that inspire you and how you work- yr process?
Colors, shapes, and textures inspire me. My favorite designs have a classic, simplified structure with a burst of something unexpected and appealing. Walking through my neighborhood I’m fortunate to be surrounded by people, fashion, art, nature, architecture, etc. This provides more than enough visual inspiration. I enjoy watching people and seeing what they wear, how they carry themselves and what they are doing. I like thinking about the neckline (or wherever the jewelry is suited) as a sort of puzzle; what shape or structure would best compliment that spot? Sometimes after I’ve created a new piece I can almost picture someone I saw days, weeks, or months ago. And in my head, I put the necklace on them and they are happy.
I want to know some things about what is it really like to be a working artist…the good and the bad? What are the three top things you wish you would have known before you started this art/etsyjourney?
Oh, the ups and downs!
Right after I wrote that line I actually googled the well known, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. Full text available here: http://www.teamhope.com/seuss.htm
Heavily gifted for graduations it actually applies really well to how I feel about my business and being self-employed. It can be amazing and frustrating simultaneously.
The most important things I have learned are time management and staying motivated. I try to plan my weeks out and develop a schedule of work based on a triage system. Through trial and error I’ve found out what methods work best for me. But the same might not be true for everyone. For example, it is easy for me to get distracted working in front of my computer, but at the same time, that’s what makes my work fun and interesting (since I don’t have any coworkers to chat with). And I’ve accepted that a 4 hour production work load might turn into 5 hours. That’s one of the positives; I can make my own schedule. I just have to make compromises. I can take a two hour lunch, but I’ll still be working at 11pm.
Staying motivated takes a little more finesse but when I sit down and think about it, I am so grateful to be at this point in my life. It is truly unbelievable sometimes and to not give it my all would be complete self-sabotage. If I have a bad day, I scoop myself up and try again tomorrow. Chances are I was just feeling tired or overworked. When I give myself some time off I come back fresh: inspired and motivated.
What are yr five top blogs/shops/etc on web?
I love so many places online – I’m not sure where to start!
1) Can I say iTunes? I couldn’t get through a day with listening to podcasts from The Moth, This American Life, The Splendid Table and Ted Talks.
2) I check the Gothamist multiple times a day for little mix of local and national news.
3) I’m also obsessed with packaging design so The Dieline is serious favorite.
4) The Apartment Therapy family of blogs including Unplggd and The Kitchn.
5) And Cake Wrecks because it makes me laugh out loud, even when I’m home alone.
Who would you love to meet online?
That’s another tough question but I think in keeping with the theme of small business and craft and I would answer Emily from The Black Apple. She’s seemingly always creating something new and wonderful and I would love to hear about how she structures her business and daily schedule.
Thanks so much – We love the beautiful art you create! Congrats on all yr success!
Check out Local Library on Etsy!
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Please contact me at my blog or Etsy or email me at amytsharp (at) gmail (dot) com or twitter to give me scoop on cool things that you find or make! I want to hear from you!