As it is my 100th post on this blog, I wanted to look back at the major things that happened to strengthen my belief, that I am right in following the creative path. And I want to address a few usual questions and comments that have come my way since I started my artistic venture.
A very frequently asked one is - How did you get started ...?
It did not happen overnight - that is a fact. In one form or another, I have always been involved with art since childhood.. It is not easy pinpointing that first moment when I had an epiphany, and started drawing... It has always been a part of me..
Along the way, experimenting with various mediums, I discovered acrylic paints..and found that they suited me best... I was about 12 when I first went to an exhibition with my dad and learned about semi-precious stones.. after that , I had an interest in bead and stone jewelry, but other than repairing my collection, it never occurred to me, that I could make my own...
While caring for my infant daughter and staying at home, I took to blogging about my cooking and art and craft experiments, and found a wealth of talent online, in a variety of fields.
An article on jewelry making and visiting a supply shop with a friend, got me started on making jewelry, but I was not happy just stringing the beads .. I wanted my collections to have that something that would make them unique.. !
I discovered polymer clay online, but working out the availability issues and costs, I knew that I had to find a substitute. And that is when I found out about Cold Porcelain.. It was more cost effective than Polymer Clay, but best of all, I could make it at home.. what could be more handmade than that?
And so with various recipes , I tried out making Cold Porcelain.. after about 8 dismal attempts, I finally succeeded in adjusting the recipe to suit the substitute brands of raw materials available at home...
And I learnt the ABCs of sculpting, with the help of the superb tutorials available online..Of course, I took pains to work on adapting them so they did not look anything like their previous designs.. It is a small quirk of mine ... However imperfect or perfect, whatever I make should not resemble any other person's work..
And so, that is how I got started..!
How profitable is it?
Truthfully, If I had to support a family, we would starve...! After more than 2 years, I make just enough to buy my supplies... But then , I am a single operational unit. The designing, sourcing, buying, making, promoting, blogging, packaging ..etc is done by myself..with logistical help provided by my husband.
Along with that , I handle the roles of wife, mom,cook, housekeeper and tutor at home, and also teach art classes during the weekend at an art institute.
If I do delegate a few things , and regiment my schedules, I could be much more productive, but at this point in time, I guess I need to wear these different hats and keep the ball rolling at a pace where I do not stretch myself too thin.. I do believe in quality, rather than quantity.
I have plans to do things a bit differently , couple of years later..but for now, knowing that this is my way forward, is a huge reward in itself.
Quite a few people have mocked me for quitting a career in the corporate world and pursuing a 'hobby'.
A lot of people have been very supportive and validated my efforts time and again ..by being repeat customers, but more than that ,really encouraging me and discussing my creations..Nothing is as inspiring as that .. !
One bizarre comment was asking me to stop cooking , and painting and what not, just to show off and get other people into 'trouble' ...!
My support system..
First and foremost, my husband..He gave me enough courage to be ME. My sister and husband, and my brother and wife..My parents were not convinced at first , but they have come around some... and quite a few of my cousins and friends.. My daughter is great at tooting her mamma's horn.. !!. Fellow artists and bloggers have been a great source of inspiration and comfort...
Goals ...(more like dreams,) achieved so far
Having a brand name
A website - which is a work in progress..
My work featured in a magazine - thrice, in an International Jewelry magazine.
Featured article written by me..
Getting featured in newspaper..
Working in an art place where my creative freedom is not curbed ..
Improvement over time..
I have improved my picture taking skills in the past year for sure.. but it is just the tip of the iceberg..
I feel my design skills have improved..and is evolving as I learn more each day...
My pieces have better finish for sure..
Things to improve
From time management, productivity, to I guess most other aspects, there is scope for improvement.. it is a learning process and practice only makes better...!
Future plans ...
I do not make a lot of grandiose plans.. I just make lists that I would love to achieve... But I usually take each day as it comes and try to do something a little better than before.. the only parameter I usually set, is self improvement. Simple works for me..
That's it.. !
Wish you all a Merry Christmas.