Chainy, and some questions, answered.
I usually take 10 shots of my jewelry pieces and then find the best 5. I try to take a good overall shot, a shot with a prop, a close up of the focal, a close up of the clasp, and a pic of the piece on my body. You can see more about my process on the video tutorial that I did for the Art Bead Scene here.
2. Where would you like to see your beading success take you in one year? five years? ten years?
I imagine that my beading business will be quite similar to how it is now (in 1 year) with maybe a few more blog followers and sales under by belt, maybe a few more publications accomplished, and maybe a book idea forming. In Five years, I hope I have a baby by THEN, at which point I probably will be beading during my small amounts of free time, doing less publication stuff, less shop updates, less sales. In 10 years... I have no idea. I probably will have to buy a bigger house to accomodate my very large bead stash at that point!
What is the one tool that you cannot live without? What is the one tool that you wish you had? I love my Lindstrom Flush Cutters and couldn't make jewelry without it. It's an essential tool, and so good at what it does! Right now, I am coveting a Swanstrom Disc Cutter from Fundametals.net. I am slowly saving my pennies.... hoping that it's not completely discontinued by the time I can buy it!
If you were suddenly told that you would only be able to work with one type of bead (i.e., glass, pearls, gemstones, etc) for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I would definitely work with ceramic beads. I know, you didn't mention artbeads. But Ceramic beads are my favorite bead to work with. Something about the texture, the smoothness of the glaze, the possibilities of color, the way it feels in a piece, how it warms to the skin. I have always loved pottery so this is the most logical favorite.
3. You have a very unique style. How would you describe it? How did it develop? Were your early pieces similar in style or has your style changed a lot? Did you expect to get so well known in the bead world? What is that like?
My style has developed over a period of almost 4 years. It certainly didn't happen overnight. In the beginning, I was very inspired and easily influenced by what I saw in the beading magazines. I'd say my style was all over the place in the first year of my beading career, not really focusing on any one style or technique. I tried all kinds of different styles and techniques. I would describe my style now as whimsical, and it wouldn't feel right if it was asymmetrical in some way. I did not expect to become this well known in the bead world. I think the reason for that is the blog, but still to this day, I wonder how so many people find me, and why they stick around to see what I have to say. It's very surreal, I have no idea how I got to this point. But I'm pretty comfortable here, in my bubble!
4. I'm curious to know how and why your beading jewelery journey started. What other crafts have you done in the past and did they lead you to where you are now?
I started creating jewelry one year around Christmas time, with a desire to save a little money and try to make my family and friends handmade gifts. I picked up a Stringing magazine, taught myself the basic techniques, and I haven't looked back since! Stringing is still my favorite beading publication to this day. In the past, I had tried all sorts of things to find that one creative outlet. I grew up playing the flute, and enjoying art class. I have always been inspired by art, and my love of it continued as I went to college and started my Museum Studies journey. I poured over my art history books and dreamt about travelling to see some of my favorites. I supposed this love of art, has transferred into my love of artist made beads, and I become easily inspired by looking at my old art books.
5. Any tips on photographing would be soooooo welcome, angles,closeups,lighting. Lighting especially you are so imaginative and gifted with. Please tell!!
Please refer to question #1- but as for lighting, I take all of my photographs by a North facing window in my house. Natural, in-direct sunlight is my favorite light to take pictures in. I never use my flash, and I avoid taking photos in direct sun to avoid shadows in the photographs.
6. Do your design ideas come to you as "visions", and then you get to work on it. Or do your jewelry pieces sort of evolve by selecting beads you want to use and arrange and rearrange. Do you know almost exactly what you're going to make before you start?
Beading for me is always a guessing game. I usually go up to the studio and pick an art bead out of my stash to design a piece around. At that point I don't know if I'm making a necklace, or a bracelet or earrings. I have changed my mind at the last minute many many times. I pull out beads that correlate with the color theme from the focal bead, sometimes 5-6 different choices. I sit down and start putting something together. I usually do not have any vision at that point! It's completely random and not premeditated. I usually get lucky with the overall outcome, and so I roll with it. I normally always follow my initial gut feeling. There have been times when I wasn't feeling a design, and the best thing for me at that point is, take it all apart, and work on something else entirely different. Very rarely do I ever go back to that original thought.
7. I too am curious what other arty things you have done or are doing besides jewelry.
Not a whole heck of a lot. When it finally decides to warm up, I'll work on my flower garden, I suppose that's artsy. I do also enjoy decorating my home, which counts too right?