Spice up your Monday morning with and interview from a lovely Etsy artist Marge, from Personal Desingz and Jewelry Findingz on Etsy, grab a cup of Joe or tea and enjoy this lovely interview!
What is the name of your Etsy shop and link? I have 2 shops, JewelryFindingz (www.Etys.com/people/JewelryFindingz) that is jewelry supplies and PersonalDesign(www.Etsy.com/people/PersonalDesignz) which has my jewelry designs.
How long have you been an artist? I have been designing jewelry for about 5 years now, and selling for 4 of them. I started after being invited to a jewelry party. I looked at some of the pieces and after thinking about it, realized that they couldn’t be that hard to make. So, a trip to the local jewelry supply and i started. i took one wire wrapping class but got very bored with that design fast and just went with what was in my mind. I am a retired hair colorist of 45 years and also I oil paint, so I guess I have arts in my blood…..
Who or what had the greatest influence on you as you developed as an artist? I would say that Cougar Armstrong had a lot to do with my love for wire wrapping. She does some beautiful work.
How would you characterize your work? My work is best described as my imagination at work. Everything I do comes from ideas in my mind. Things I see will trigger an idea, but most are just ideas that come to me when I see the stone I will be working with.
Describe your workshops for us: My workshop is on the second floor of our home. i have a loft area that is my private world. I have my computer section, my art section with my easel and paints, and then my jewelry design section. I have an old nail table from the shop I owned that I use and have equipted it with my ott lite magnified swivel glass. I am fortunate enough to have the space for my personal area.
What’s the hardest part of being an artist? The hardest part of being an artist is not knowing if someone is going to love your work as much as you do. It is that way with my paintings also, I am so afraid to let people see them and then if they love them it makes my day…
What’s next in your art career? My next project is to paint some Florida type paintings. Someone has requested that I do that, My problem is that I dont want to paint just the ordinary type pictures, I like to capture a feeling, or look, or color scheme. So, I have to take time to decide exactly what I want to paint. My next work as far as designing jewlelry is most likely going to be chain maille. To me it looks so uniform and neat and I love the way the rings join together to make a pattern. I havent done it yet, so that may be the next to tackle…..
How many hours a day do you create? I still do color work 2 days a week, just my older clients that I have known for over 20 years. Color is an art, especially if you are a colorist. I make up the formulas that I use to get the colors that they want to have. I spend the other days creating jewelry. I need to devote a few hours a day to the Team business and to my commitments to the other teams I am on. Then some time to family but the rest of the time is creating. Even when I am not sitting there physically working, I am designing in my mind. I have dozens of little pieces of paper where an idea has come to me and I put it down on paper so I wont forget it.
How does creating art make you feel? Creating art makes me feel energized. It makes me feel alive. Like I have done something that will leave my mark on the world, whether it is a painting or a piece of jewelry I have been commissioned to design, I feel as if it is my private contribution to the world.
How do you recharge when your creativity hits the wall? I make myself leave the table, go do something with a friend or family members and not think of it until I can do it calmly. Then when I go back to the table, I am relaxed and ready to solve the problems I was having with concentration.
“What is Art?” is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
What gives you hope in the world? Art is the way in which each person interprets what they feel inside. I had to paint wolves for a dear friend, I don’t do animals, so I dreaded it. I studied pictures of wolves, looked at statues of wolves. and finally I saw one that had a father, mother and baby wolf. The way the mother wolf was looking at the baby wolf was so inspiring. I painted a Male wolf standing majestically in a side view with the Female wolf laying over its back with a look of total adoration on her face. Wolves mate for life, I never knew it until Donna, my friend, told me. So that inspired me to paint the picture. Art is that inspiration, that interpretation of those feelings. In my jewelry, it comes from the same place.My favorite thing to do, and I do it quite often, is to redesign pieces for people. I take old gems, or pieces of jewelry and redesign them into new wire wrapped pieces. When they love that piece that I have created, that feeling that I get is what art is all about. I know that they will now have that gem that belonged to a mother, or grandmother, and be able to enjoy it because of a design that I created. That gives me hope in the world. That feeling of happiness for both the client and myself.
What are your artistic goals? My artistic goals are to learn everything that I can about every aspect of jewelry design. I see so many things I would like to do. I have so far done beading, wire wrapping, metal clay, polymer clay, chain-work, and something I invented called Free Form wire wrapping. There are still many types of jewelry design to try yet. In painting i have done watercolor, acrylic, and oils, but there are different ways to use each, so I want to explore each one in different ways other than the ones I have tried so far.
What has your experience as an artist been like on Etsy? My experience here on Etsy so far as an artist has been to see other artists designs that have inspired me to want to learn more….
What has been your most exciting moment as an artist here on Etsy? My most exciting moment as an artist was to see what a former team mate did with Chain Maille. Her shop is Metallace and she is the best I have ever seen at it. She made me want to learn how in a majorly big way.
How have you handled the business side of being an artist? I was in business over half of my life as manager and owner of a salon. So it carried over into my jewelry business. It comes naturally to me and even though some of the computer stuff was intimidating to begin with, I learn fast, so I will tackle it as it comes. I am still learning….
What advice can you give new artists on Etsy? My advice to new Etsy artists is to network. network, network. If you dont make yourself known on Etsy, you wont make it and the best way is to make friends, lots of friends. Make treasuries, promote others, it will come around full circle to you in time. If you dont network, you will be a little fish in a big pond and never ever get anywhere.
I have a Facebook page, a Blogger page, a Wix page and for those in my area, I have jewelry in a down town Melbourne shop called Karen and Friends. I also have a WordPress blog at personaldesignz.wordpress.com/
Where else on the internet can we find your work besides Etsy?
My work is featured on these sites besides Etsy
Thank you, Marge for this lovely interview! 🙂