Thanks to each of you who answered the call to be interviewed in Creatively Featured.
Sarah responded first - and quickly and delightfully answered some interview questions...and you are in for a treat!
Sarah of Saturday Sequins
Tell us about blogging and how it’s worked for you.
I started blogging in June of 2011. It's helped me to share my work and to reveal the girl behind the sequins -- someone who gets way too excited over new beading books, has a goofy sense of humor and collects Halloween socks.
It's also a great way to meet people. I get to know other artists in more depth than I would through other forms of social media, especially when we have discussions about the creative process or how to help each other's businesses thrive. This is one of my favorite aspects of blogging.
How did you discover your favorite art medium?
I've always been drawn to shiny, sparkly things, and when I realized that my eyes were bigger than my wallet, I decided to save money by making my own jewelry. What started as an inexpensive way to get more sparkle in my life turned into an obsession that hasn't faded!
What inspires or influences you artistically?
The things that really inspire me are color and detail. I love using bold colors and pairing them with more neutral colors like black, white, brown and silver so they're not overwhelming. I also love making my work intricate – I'm always happy when I find another frill I can add to a piece, as long as it's in keeping with the overall design.
How do you go about the design process? Do you work to a design or theme or just go with the flow…or something else entirely?
I've found that the less I plan, the more fun I have. I'll start out with a color scheme in mind, or maybe a basic shape, but the process is very playful and improvisational. I let the materials tell me what to do, and sometimes, that even means abandoning whatever vague idea I started out with. In the end, I'm always surprised by what I've made, and I like that feeling.
Is/was there a significant turning point or defining moment in your style of work?
My work started to get where I wanted it to be in the summer of 2007. I stopped wishing I could do certain things and just dove into them – something I recommend to all artists. I started working with metals and making my own clasps and chains, and my pieces became more sculptural.
Which aspect of your art do you enjoy most?
The play and experimentation, definitely. Sometimes I think of myself as a jewelry scientist – I combine elements and see how they react together. I try to expand my skill set with every piece I make, and if I finish a project with a nice little list of things I tried to do – even if they don't work out – I consider it a success.
Can you tell us a little about your methods and/or techniques?
I don't just use traditional jewelry making techniques in my work – I add sewing, painting, collage, weaving, whatever a piece calls for. I also tend to mix different jewelry making techniques. Maybe I'll add some chain maille to my bead embroidery or wire wrapping to my soldered projects. Along the way, I learn all sorts of little tricks for combining techniques, so the process gets a little smoother.
How do you see your future work and style developing?
I see bigger pieces and more intricate beadwork in my future. I also see more use of repurposed items – old buttons, colored electrical wire, and game pieces. I'm a huge fan of creative reuse centers, and I've made a commitment to be a regular customer.
How do you manage your time?
I'll be honest and admit that time management isn't my strong point. I'll get excited about a new project, sit down to work for “just a few minutes,” and before I know it, it's time to go to bed! When I remember to use it, though, my kitchen timer is my best friend. It keeps me from working too much, and I don't mind having to clean my studio if it's only for 20 minutes at a time.
What have you done this past year?
One of the most important things I did in 2011 was recover from a shoulder injury that kept me from creating art of any kind for almost a year. It was a long, difficult process, but it gave me a new appreciation for the things I love to do, and it taught me so much about injuries and finding the right treatment.
Since then, I've started my Saturday Sequins blog, added all sorts of features like Tutorial Tuesday and Featured Friday, applied to teach at the Bead and Button Show (maybe next year!) and entered my very first jewelry making contest. Not bad for someone who couldn't lift a teacup by herself at this time last year!
What are your artistic highlights?
In late 2011 I finally learned bead embroidery, and I've been taking it in all sorts of fun directions since then. I even found a way to combine beadwork and one of my other passions, abstract painting. 2011 was also the year I decided to take myself seriously as an artist – to stop wondering if I really was one and just be one.
What artistic plans do you have for the coming year?
I'd love to launch my Etsy store – finally. I'd also like to see some of my work published in magazines. For jewelry artists, that's a stepping stone to a lot of great things! Including more money to buy beads.
Do you have any ambitions or goals you’d like to see fulfilled in the future?
I want to start teaching. Not just a basic jewelry class, but the kind of class where the students and I experiment and learn together and it becomes a life-changing experience for all of us. Ambitious, I know! But it's an image that won't leave my brain.
Thank you Sarah! May all your ambitions come true!