Why do you create?
From a mighty young age, I’ve always loved making things (mainly a mess) and was always encouraged to draw, paint and play creatively throughout my life.
Not only does creative work bring joy, excitement and satisfaction to me personally (when it goes right that is!) but seeing my work put a smile on someone else’s face, help preserve a memory or enable them to give a special, personalised gift is priceless. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the warm and fuzzies that come with happy customers and their support.
Creativity can always be challenging and is SUPER HARD at times, especially when you’ve lost your mojo. Some days, I just don’t feel it, I can’t be bothered with it all and can’t even draw a stick man – true story. Creativity and emotions are so closely bound together and for me, if my brain isn’t in a happy place the work doesn’t flow happily either. This has been a huge thing for me to understand over time but I started to realise that looking after myself was vital to help with these feelings of frustration. Learning that I can’t force creativity or do all the things, all the time, (no matter how hard I try!) has been a valuable lesson too.
But no matter how hard it gets, how many times I ugly cry or things go wrong, I still wouldn’t change my job for the world!
Your making process
All of my jewellery designs start as scribbles and endless lists in sketchbooks, notepads and on post-it notes. Once I’m happy with an idea, I start neatening designs and tinkering with them on a computer to try and work out what shapes I need to laser cut and what materials might work best. I then either work with my gem of a laser cutter who brings all my crazy ideas to life or pop down to see if I can do it myself at the local Barclays Eagle Labs, where they have been training me to use their laser cutter (and not set fire to things!)
After sourcing jewellery findings and other materials needed (as locally as I can), I then pull all the laser cut bits together and spend some time in my home studio with the cats and plenty of tea, gluing, painting and making up each item of jewellery by hand before packaging everything up nicely, ready for their new homes.
Who inspires you?
Oh crikey, there are so many people in my life that I am grateful to for constantly inspiring me, from family and friends to fellow creative ‘phone friends’ in this crazy online community. I’d like to send A BIG shout out to my parents though, who have recently started their own business The Workbench Shop, creating custom displays for the creative community. After years of them helping me with everything from school projects to recent craft stall and trade show displays, it’s a pure joy to see them helping a lot of other creatives and small business owners now too! They have always inspired and encouraged me to chase my creative dreams and I couldn’t be more proud of them.
Which piece of work are you most proud of?
Ooft! This is tough, I’m so critical of my work all the time! Honestly though, I think it might be the ‘Be Good to Yourself Burger’ pin and I’m not just saying that because it was for LDC. The concept came straight from the heart (my tummy) and reflects a two things I believe in and love – burgers because YUM and self-care because it’s bloody important. Not only that but working with LDC on something so fun and unique for SO many wonderful subscribers in the community is a real honour and privilege – something I really am proud to have been asked to do!
Tips for leading a creative life?
Follow your gut, work hard, stay true to your beliefs and look after yourself along the way, whatever that might look like to you – for me getting out on my bike and kitty cuddles feature high on the list! Oooh and smile, it doesn’t cost a thing but can make all the difference to someone’s day!
Share one of your suppliers?
Many people will know by now that I bloody love working with Laura at Bespoke Laser UK. Although I try to cut some of my own stuff now too, I am always going back to Laura with crazily titled emails containing my random ideas and she has never let me down. I can’t recommend her enough, not only for her laser cutting skills and professionalism but also for putting up with me and my batty/panic emails for nearly 4 years now… maybe more? THANK YOU LAURA!
What couldn’t you live without in your studio?
TEA! And probably the kitties, who I like to think keep me sane… I talk to myself A LOT so with them around it doesn’t feel as crazy. Ahem.
Photos 1 & 2 credit: Holly Booth. Photo 4 credit: Lucinda Price Photography.