Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
The first two prints in my Alphabet Poster Series are up for sale on etsy! Check out the listings for "A", a digital print of my original watercolor, and "B", a digital print of my original linoleum print.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Midnight Brigade needed some sweet promo photos... really quickly. Eventually we will attempt a "real" photo shoot. But we did a shortened version this week just to get a few shots they could send out with CDs before the release tomorrow.
Ok, so I slacked on posting a thumbnail every day... but now the release is TOMORROW, so here is the last one you're gonna get!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
For this crafter profile we are going to hear from Jess Admirand, of Little Blossom Designs. I have had the pleasure of working with Jess both at Barnes & Noble Café, and sharing tables at numerous craft fairs (its always more fun when you have friends to hang out with at those events)! She’s super creative and original, check out her work on artfire.com or fan her facebook page.
Here’s the interview…
Tell us a little about yourself and where you're from? Well, to start my name is Jess Admirand. I live and make jewelry in the woods of northern New Jersey. I've been making jewelry and selling it for 6 years now.
Is there a strong local art/craft scene in your area? I live in a small town. There are all kinds of creative folk living around here; musicians, sculptors, crafters in general, quilters, painters etc. The area unfortunately makes many of us outsource or move elsewhere in order to get our work out and about.
When did you start Little Blossom Designs? I started LBD when I was 18 years old. I had been working on jewelry for a year and had made a few projects I felt were good enough to be gifts for friends and family. I figured it would be a good way to have side money for new dance shoes and such. Instead it has become a secondary income for me that I really enjoy.
Where did the name Little Blossom Designs come from? Hehe, the “Little” in the name comes from my rather petite stature. I like to joke about that often and then combine it with my love for gardening and nature in general et voila! LBD also has a nice sound when you say it. When I did decide on a name in 2005, I was listening to pretty angry music and was a bit of a temperamental person. My work really didn't reflect that, so I figured a name that sounded as pleasant as possible would be the way to go. After all, BoomDoomDarkRoomDesigns is not the greatest name for a jewelry company, ya know?
LBD mostly sells jewelry, but I saw a set of cards in on your Artfire store. Any plans to start creating and selling an even wider variety of work? I like to keep my options open, but I find time to be a huge factor in determining what I work on. I have done larger collage projects than those cards, as well as calligraphy work and crochet. I also do other work as well as jewelry so when I do have lots of free time, anything goes.
Do you feel your techniques or aesthetic have changed much since the beginning of LBD? It truly has. I've been photographing my pieces from the beginning and it never ceases to amaze me at how different my work has become. For example, all of my early work was heavily pattern oriented and very symmetrical. Certain pieces I make now are like that, but it's not a main feature of my work. I've ventured into working on asymmetry and really focusing on playing with color in my work.
Who is your audience? Oddly enough, romance authors are a part of my clientele. My mother is an author and she wears pieces I've made for her through the years nearly everyday. Other authors admire the pieces and then they end up with pieces of their own in one way or another. The majority of my audience would be women of all ages from children to older ladies.
Where can people buy your jewelry? My artfire account would be the best place to do so. The majority of my work is posted up there. You can also become a fan of my facebook page. This page is more relaxed and irreverent at times and I do have other projects posted there as well as a gallery of some of my older works. I also do shows every now and then. If I am going to do one I post about it on these sites.
What are your favorite materials to work with? Glass beads. There's just something about picking up a bead and feeling it's chill in your hand. It's almost as if by using it you're putting a little warmth and life into each bead to make it a whole entity. It's a little weird, but that feeling is why I've named every piece I've made because it becomes more than just a bunch of glass beads on a wire.
Do you have a favorite experience since starting LBD? My very first show is still my favorite. It was in Denville, NJ and it was a pretty dismal day. It was a wash out, people really weren't buying things and all the other vendors kept coming over and telling me what I was doing wrong, lol. I still really love that because I did make back the money I had spent on the table for the day and it was a major learning experience. Plus I had my mom popping in and a few of my friends around to make it a really fun day regardless of the circumstances.
What is your creative process like? My creative process is one big happy mess the majority of the time. I set out all of my supplies around me and I'll pull out a single bead. I place it in front of me and try to imagine complementing colors or the basis of a design in my head. I don't render anything which I've been told is a terrible idea. But I really work best just building from the bottom up.
What inspires you? Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes a song will inspire me; other times it could be a person or feeling that drives me to create.
What is the most fun part, and the most difficult part, of running your own craft business? Funding is generally the most difficult part, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying being involved in the crafting world. I enjoy every moment I have making/taking apart/selling/giving my pieces away. I think having a genuine love for whatever it is you do will result in success of one form or another in the end.
Favorite piece you've made? Ah, there was a necklace set I made called Tsarina (pictured below). It sold while I was in Georgia earlier this year. It was so delicate on one hand but then there was a touch of boldness in the accent beads involved. I almost wish it hadn't sold, ya know, lol.
Favorite childhood craft project? I sewed a blanket for a little boy I babysat. I don't remember what made me decide to do so, but I remember being very proud of it and the little boy liked it too.
I know you keep extremely busy, what else do you do besides LBD (jobs and/or hobbies)? My extremely glamorous day job is at a Barnes and Noble serving coffee. My real passion however is not espresso, but dance. I have an Associate of Fine Arts in Dance from the County College of Morris and am in the process of applying to 4-year schools to get my BA or BFA in dance. I've been choreographing for the CCM Shakespeare and Co. for three years now as well as having cameos in two of the shows. I do perform my own work every now and again and still take class when I get the chance. I also have done theater and stage combat. And if you believe my older brother, it is truly my job to bring a certain amount of strange behavior to the general public.
Any idea where you want to be in 10 years? Hmmm, I have no true idea of where I will be. But I am aiming to remain involved with dance and jewelry up to that point and beyond. Who knows? I could be having full evening length works on stage and selling my baubles at intermission to pay for the bus fare home.
And finally, what advice would you give to others trying to start their own creative business? Get up and go! The sooner you do it the better, and do try to sample the local flavors along the way. Especially the pies. You really can't go wrong with pie.....
(interview has been edited)
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
First up is my friend (and cousin), Nicki Knudsen, of Buzz Beading.
Below is a photo of my own collection of Buzz Beading jewelry!
Here’s my interview with Nicki:
When did you start Buzz Beading? October 2007 was when I first opened my website.
How long before that had you been making jewelry? I started making jewelry when I bought some sodalite chips to make an ankle bracelet to match a ring that was my grandmothers. Since then I haven’t been able to stop!
Where does the name Buzz Beading come from? I had a close friend, Becca, who passed away when I was a senior in high school. I got a tattoo of a bee for her since the first letter of Becca is ‘B’. I collect bee stuff and whenever I am making jewelry I have a bee on my desk. That’s where the name Buzz Beading came from.
How do you advertise or promote Buzz Beading? Mostly it's through people I know. My mom is my number one customer, she wears a lot of my jewelry and people are always asking her about it. I have also give her some of my business cards to hand out!
Who is your audience? Mostly women. I have a few men’s pieces and a line of children’s jewelry, but those only really sell well around Christmas.
Do you have a favorite experience since starting Buzz Beading? I have to say doing home parties are very good business, I do very well and have never made less then three figures at a party! Also I made all the jewelry for the girls in my wedding party when I got married and everyone loved it so much that I am still getting compliments as our third wedding anniversary is coming up this august!
What is the most difficult part of running your own creative business? The most difficult part really is that the economy is so bad right now, no one has any money to buy things for themselves as a treat.
What is your creative process like? It starts most of the time from finding one bead or material I want to work with, then finding other materials to work into the piece. Once in a while I will be inspired by a piece somewhere but mostly I make one of a kind pieces, so 90% of my stuff no one else will have a copy of! Although, I have made several pairs of a few earring designs because they are so popular.
Favorite materials to work with? Gemstones, swarovski crystals, lampwork glass beads and silver findings.
Favorite materials/colors to wear yourself? 90% of the time it's anything silver, the other 10% is copper or gold. Also I usually only wear bracelets I make myself except for a silver bangle or my Italian charm bracelets. A lot of my bracelets are made from pearls and glass beads.
What are your influences? Mostly colors. I will find one color or gemstone that stands out and then work around it with matching colors, metals or sharp contrasts that go together well.
Any crafters or jewelry makers that inspire your work? None in particular, once in a while I will see something online or in a magazine and be like, "Hey I can make something like that", and then make something inspired by it but always different and I add my own creative touch.
Any other hobbies? I love scrap booking, helping my husband design and string beaded rosaries for people, and I've been working on making bags and folders out of playing cards. I also love creative writing. I have written short stories and am working on writing a book for teens, but I’m in a very bad writers block so I’m focusing on other crafts right now.
Do you have a favorite piece you've made? I've had many.
Did you sell them or keep them for yourself? I've sold some and still have some in my shop. But I do have a favorite I designed just for myself, I love it and wear it often... it's a charm bracelet made out of plastic charms with different Indian gods/goddesses on it and in-between it has bright colored gemstone chips. It's a one of a kind piece so sorry to say no more will be made.
Have your techniques or aesthetic changed much since the beginning of Buzz Beading? Yes, when I first started I had the basic ideas down, then learned little things to make my pieces strong and last longer. I've learned what people like and I'm not afraid to have them give me suggestions of things they like. I also have learned cool things I didn’t know from beading books and websites about beading.
Favorite places to buy supplies? artbeads.com (they have free shipping), limabeads.com (you can buy half strands of beads which is wonderful if you are on a budget to buy more expensive beads), Michaels craft stores and firemountiangems.com (I don’t order from them often, but they have a large selection and they always send a free gift).
Favorite childhood craft project? A lot of stuff. Mostly making decorations for the holidays, it was a good way for my mom to keep me entertained and to make cost effective decorations
Favorite movies? Top 5: Outside Providence, Revenge of the Nerds, Labamba, Godspell, Field of Dreams
Favorite music? Mostly religious and Country, like Rascal flatts, The Dixie Chicks and Carrie Underwood. I have also been really into Alanis Morisette lately. Oh and I can't forget Crystal Bowersox from American Idol... cant wait for her CD to come out!!!
Favorite websites? Haha, it sounds dumb, but webkinz... I am so addicted and I play all day long. It's such a good stress reliever because of all the silly/fun games they have!
Favorite restaurant? South Side and Cruisers Malt shop... both local here in Gardner MA!
Its 10pm, what are you doing? Playing Wii with my husband, watching one of my favorite shows or chatting online with one of my best friends.
Where would you like to be in 10 years? Mostly just selling my jewelry, and hopefully having a book published and being a mom when the lord decides to bless us with a child.
Any advice for others who plan on starting their own jewelry or craft business? It's a lot of fun working on something you love, and the gratification you get when people compliment you on your hard work is great. Also, if you make jewelry for example, wear a piece you've made just about every time you go somewhere... someone will always comment on it and then tell them you made it and you sell jewelry, then give them a business card. It's a great way to get customers and free advertising. I would have to say though, the number one thing is to be patient, you’ll have some down times and other times you’ll do really well.
(interview has been edited and condensed)