Miniature Art with Geraldine

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Hello everyone. Today for the Inspiration column, it’s all about macarons. And cake. And cupcakes. And chocolate dripping, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries piled on fondants and cream…well, you get the idea. It’s a sweet interview! Geraldine makes these deliciously detailed desserts.. out of polymer clay. And obviously, you can wear them and once you put them on, you feel an urge to go out and treat yourself to a nice slice of cake etc. Ha!

Let’s get down to the matter: She sells her lovely little creations in her shop called Gemnesis. And, she’s going to be sharing a little bit about her creative process and her inspiration. Seriously, I’m always in awe of the ‘fine’ details in art and she makes miniature desserts too?! Consider me a fan. Now on to what she has to say…


Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello. My name is Geraldine and I am 24 years old. I am currently taking my degree in early childhood and at the same time building my business selling my creations.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

 I love the delicate details in your polymer clay creations! Could you share the story of how you started using this particular medium?

Since young art has always been my favourite subject, particularly- painting. However, I always loved creating things with my hands. About 8 years ago, I chanced upon this tutorial that used polymer clay to create cute animals. Together with my mum, we went to the store and she got me my first set of polymer clay kit and an oven.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow do you maintain the balance between regular life and your work?

I only started getting serious about setting up my own business late last year as I had a full time. Before that, it was just a hobby I loved and my shop was to sell my creations to others who would love them as much as I did. To be honest, when school gets busy, my shop is usually very empty. I do try my best to stock up whenever I’m free so I usually start crafting when I have the time again.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

I think everything about starting a business isn’t easy, from having to produce the product from scratch, to setting up a shop and marketing, everything takes time and experience. Mistakes will be made for us to learn from them. But the easiest part would definitely to be able to do something you love to do.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat makes you the happiest in your creative process?

Looking at all the delicious dessert online and offline and in my own style, making them into delicious looking polymer clay jewelry. I can never say no to desserts so it excites me that I can gather inspiration and eat at the same time.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comCould you give us a glimpse in a typical day of your life?

I usually start my morning on the wrong side of the bed because I am definitely not a morning person. It takes me at least 2 hours from waking up to be fully functional.

Depending on how my day is planned, I would either head out, start on my creations or study. If I am home the whole day, it would consist of lazing in bed A LOT. What can I say? I love my bed. The rest of the day would be alternating between working and lazing around.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

The first most important thing is you have to have the passion for what you are doing. A handmade business would require you to turn your hobby into a business. Thus, you need to have love for what you are doing in the first place. Secondly, what you are selling should be something that you really enjoy making. I started out with a lot of trial and error. I tried out making animals, little people and that are even of my own creations (big head dolls with round bodies and hands with no feet at all.). It was only in recent years that I realised that I loved making delicious looking desserts the best. This made my clay making even more enjoyable.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
Where do you see yourself in a few years?

In a few years, I hope to be able to make this business my full time job and focus on what I love to do the most.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat motivates and inspires you the most?

DESSERTS! As well as the love and support I have gained from my love ones. They are the ones who paid for my materials when I was out of money and also encouraged me to pursue what I love. I also love looking at other polymer clay artists’ work. When I am out of inspiration, looking at others’ work can actually motivate me to do more!

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow long has jewelry making been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I started making jewelry when I was around 16 years old and it has stuck with me since then. I wanted to do something I love so I thought it would be a good idea to convert it into a business.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comJust for fun: What’s your favourite colour, flower and food? 

I love, love the colour pink!- so much I have to restrain myself from getting pink clay and creating all pink desserts. I love sunflowers the most because of their bright happy colours. If I would have to say my favourite food, I can eat nuggets everyday.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow did you come up with the name for your shop?

I am really bad at coming with shop names. Before I got things serious, I came up with a few names myself. My first shop name way back in 2011 was Treasure Whispers then, Hut of Presents and I even tried to use my own name for a shop name.

My sister was the one who gave the name. It sounds like genesis which means a beginning and gem at the front is to show how much my creations mean to me, just like gems.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

There’s a great emphasis on sweet treats in your work. Do you think you’ll explore other elements/themes later on?

If I were to explore other themes, they would definitely be cute looking miniature animals.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
What would an ‘ideal’ day be like for you?

My ideal day would be: at home with the people I love, eating tasty cakes and working on my creations with fun and laughter at the same time.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
What’s the significance of art in your life?

Art is something I can find happiness and solace in when I’m sad. When upset, creating things with my hands makes me forget about the worries and stress that I face. It also makes me happy and I see how a piece of clay can slowly turn into something that can look so beautiful.

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Find Gemnesis here: Instagram |  Facebook | Etsy | Blog 

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Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

Plants on walls are kind of a big thing nowadays. If you’re looking for fresh ways to add plants to your home- then you’re going to like Kirralee & Co. I discovered her work and was instantly drawn to the simplicity, the raw minimalism and the functionality in her creations.

Kirralee is also so inspiring! I really enjoyed getting to know about her creative process, and I think you will too!

Let’s hear what she has to say! Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com


Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Kirralee Robinson and I was born and raised in Brisbane, Queensland. I am happily 10 years married and we have 3 little munchkins aged 7, 5 and 2. My work life is a juggle of many different areas of creativity. I am an art installer, a gallery assistant, beginner framer and I am owner and designer of Kirralee & Co.

My Co. includes my husband who offers technical support on the hardware side of things; he makes jigs and shows me how to use the tools. I am also fortunate enough to be surrounded by creative friends who have offered their time, skills and encouragement along this journey. I honestly couldn’t do what I’m doing without them – support like this is just so vital for any new venture.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

I love the minimal yet powerful styling in your work.

Thank you. It’s the ultimate compliment when people just ‘get’ what you were going for.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

It’s so cool that you worked as a florist too. I find it rather interesting that you see the beauty in a single stem- in contrast to the number of plants/flowers that a regular florist has to add in an arrangement. Can you share a bit more about how your present style of arrangements at Kirralee & Co has evolved?

Floristry is akin to any other client-driven creative business. When it comes down to it, most days your own personal taste has very little to do with the end product. I think I became visually tired after so many years of bright clashing colours and always found a kind of peace in just the greenery – in particular, the lush leaves and the variety of textures found mixing them. We would go to fancy floral display shows and I remember test tubes being used there – there was a great appeal for me, probably because it was generally unseen in day-to-day shop life. In floristry, the customers always need to see value for money and there’s always a need to balance quantity and quality. In the places I worked for our customer base didn’t really value the intricacies of design so we rarely sold anything design heavy.

I think when you mix these experiences with the creative drive of an artist you would probably come up with what I make today. I feel like I can have a bit of creative control now over what goes on people’s walls. I also like that there’s an option now of displaying flowers in an elegant and simple way; you don’t have to be a florist to use these vases.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

How do you maintain the balance between regular life and your work?

All of my daytime work hours in art galleries are really unpredictable and Ash is a paramedic so our family schedule is quite unique. We have to be really flexible but also very disciplined. I guess I’ve just learnt to take the time out for my creativity and give it 500% when it’s there. We maintain balance by being aware of everyone in the household (kids too) and their needs and each having something that is just our own, and taking turns doing this. Because of the shift work I may make nothing for a month, then only make and photograph for two weeks straight…and it’s all okay because we all love each other and have this common understanding that this is how we help each other to succeed.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

I find the ideas part to be the easiest. Before Kirralee & Co, I used to procrastinate about finishing anything and to be honest this is the first project I feel like I’m really pushing through – mainly because I just love it. Photography and website related things were hard at the beginning and the financial part is really tough because it’s very new to me. But ideas are really easy.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

There’s so much that I love, like the grains in the wood and problem solving a new design- but mostly I find joy in creating something in my head and then being able to hold it in my hands – the faster between these two, the better. There is something really special about making the intangible a reality. Other people liking and buying it is just a bonus really!

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day of your life?

We have a lot of regular things that get done, but never in the same order… My day always starts with coffee, then there’s housework and school / daycare, lots of playing outside. I have learnt to design in my head while driving or going for a walk with the kids. If I’m not doing something, I’m planning something so that the times I can get to the shed I’m very productive…. The nights that Ash is off on shift I try to use by either watching something inspiring, designing on paper, or sanding / finishing the vases.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

I think vision is really important – being able to see an end result in your mind’s eye that others can’t see can really motivate you to keep going, even when it looks impossible. I find the easiest way to enjoy your own creativity is to spend time with other people’s creativity. I frequent movies, performances, dinners, and gallery openings … anything (legal) as long as I am trying new things and engaging my senses in new ways. This keeps my brain engine warm and the rest of my life fresh.


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Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I have a bunch of very specific ideas on where I would like to end up, but I’m also really open to where life leads. I would be happy if any of these things happened: Buying a house, not buying a house, stocking Kirralee & Co in some national and international stores, owning an artist run space, landing a job as a gallery exhibitions officer, travelling with my art and/or design work, installing some great art shows around the world, travelling with my family, travelling with my husband, helping artisans in Mexico make some real money from their crafts, moving to Melbourne for a few years.

 Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What motivates and inspires you the most?

I believe that things can always be better no matter how good or bad they currently are and this is what really gets me out of bed each day (after coffee). Kirralee & Co exists because I believe there’s a simpler and more sustainable way of decorating our homes. And I make art because I have things to say that could be important to someone somewhere. On the days where nothing creative is going right, I usually turn on a documentary about another artist, doesn’t matter who, and hear the stories of their days that don’t go so well and the success they still have just from pushing through. Something usually stands out to me and I go to bed ready to try again the next day.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

How long have you been interested in floral arrangements and home design? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

My motivation for being a florist wasn’t because I particularly liked flowers but because I wanted a creative job I could do during my study. 10 years later, I can happily say that the more I work with flowers and foliage the more I like them. My interest in home design came about because I spent 2014 learning about ethics and sustainability in fashion and it motivated me to make some changes in our family, not only with clothes but everything we consume. I designed the first vases as an answer to my own question about how we could decorate more responsibly.

I had several of my friends say, “hey! You should sell these, I would buy one!” So I listened. I also signed up to an Etsy challenge where we were given advice on setting up an online store and given support and mentoring through the process. That was a real turning point for me.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What’s your favourite colour, flower and food?

Yes I know, it’s a shade, but, black. Always black.

Favourite flower changes all the time but currently hydrangea.

Mexican food, chocolate, cheese, wine, repeat.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What are some topics and trends inspiring you nowadays?

I’m really loving all the Palm Springs related Instagram accounts, @palmspringsstyle , @meganmckean, and @modernism_week, they have inspired a collection I’m currently working on. I’m also always interested in learning more about living sustainably / minimally / essentially, we have a long way to go there.

https://www.instagram.com/modernism_week/

(bright hues for Kirralee’s next project! ^)

What would an ‘ideal’ day be like for you?

Any day where I feel like I’m at least one step ahead of where I was that morning is good. BUT if I can indulge myself a little, ideally I would have a coffee, kiss my husband and kids, head off to a work shed / art gallery / studio and work hard with my hands while listening to good music, more coffee, get sweaty, complete something, come home and shower, put on pretty clothes then head to an event or date with my husband.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What’s the significance of art and design in your life?

As long as I can remember, I have been involved in making things, dreaming, crafting, thinking… My parents were wonderfully supportive of all my quirks and always taught us that being a [__name any suit job__] isn’t necessarily more important or significant than being an artist. I have tried to ‘give up’ being a creative a couple of times but I always come back. Even during the seasons of time, where I’m not able to get into the studio I find my cooking amps up in creativity (sorry family). I just know I will be working with my hands and in art galleries for the rest of my life. It’s part of who I am. Now it’s going next level as well with having three kids, all of whom are showing signs of being creative, I’m really looking forward to growing this with them.

https://www.instagram.com/modernism_week/Where do you source your plants and other elements in your work?

I have just started growing some tropical plants at home, which I’m sure will feature in my work in the future. Other than that I source the single stems from my garden, around my neighborhood and the work shed, as it is surrounded by a lot of gorgeous greenery. I also buy the occasional stem from my local florist, (particularly when I have a specific photo in mind).

The test tubes are sourced from a variety of places. Although I would love to make these myself this would increase the cost of the pieces significantly and there are plenty of people out there already making them. Apart from the factory few I have bought, a lot of them have been given to me. I’ve had a few people say things like this to me, “I’m a hoarder and I’m not going to use this, but it seems you will!”

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What makes a satisfied customer?

A happy customer gets more than what they expected. Each order I send is gift wrapped with care and sent as soon as possible with a note straight from me. Wherever I can, I add in a stem of foliage so the vase can be used straight away.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What would you like to convey to a customer through your work?

I would like people to see that good quality design can transcend trends. It’s worth looking around for small businesses and makers because the service and quality is much more personal. I think having a home decorated with handmade items can fill a space with love and warmth and this is what I hope for my designs.

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Find Kirralee and her work here on her website | instagram| etsy.

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Coastal Ceramics with Katie

ceramic

Hello! Today we have the very lovely and talented Katie Robbins on this edition of the Opinion9 Inspiration series. Her work is just so mesmerizing, and peaceful. Katie makes ceramics inspired by the sea and its beauty. There are shades of azure blues, quiet indigos and serene whites, if you can imagine the colours in your mind. I love the simplicity with which her work really captures the essence of the coast – with just the form, texture and colour speaking volumes. Katie’s photography and her vision with which she creates her designs are also very impeccable and distinctive.

Read on to hear what she has to say.unnamed-3

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Katie from KT Robbins Ceramics. I make a variety of porcelain vessels and accessories for the home as well as individually designed pieces of jewellery, inspired by the coast natural world. I love working with clay to produce mainly functional as well as decorative forms and shapes.

 

I love your minimal and naturally cool style! Do you have a particular theme for each batch  of ceramics you create? Is it planned or more spontaneous?

A lot of my work is influenced by patterns in nature, often relating to the coast and sea, such as the crest of a wave, sea-foam and even the raised circles on a sea urchin. I have done collections relating to the coast, which is a theme that I am still exploring.earthy ceramics with katie robbins

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What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

The hardest part of starting a business was having the courage to start and give it a go. But I had (and have) lots of creative ladies in my circle, as well as a supportive partner, who encouraged me to give it a go. I used to work in PR and marketing, and had some interior design clients, but felt that I didn’t want to continue with that after having children. The easiest part of starting this business was having that knowledge and the inside track of knowing the importance of having a strong brand, as well as some of the styling tips I gained on-the-job to create good photography and support material. But ironically I haven’t written a single press release about my ceramics since I have set up on my own.
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What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

I love it when a new idea works. I slip-cast most of my work which means that I build an original shape and then create a mould of it. I can spend several days creating a new shape and it is not until it has come out of the final firing that you can be sure how things are going to turn out.  I also love the chemistry of glazes – which in combination can produce exciting and unexpected results. There is always an element of chance during the final firing, and there is nothing more exciting then unloading the kiln to see if what you had hoped for has happened.

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(Katie’s workspace is just beautiful. Love the wood, white walls and all the little elements that work so well here – the potted plants, the pictures, the storage too!)

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Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

I must admit that I don’t have a typical day as it really depends on what needs doing. I am normally juggling working around family life. This means that as soon as I get up I am checking emails, and am actively promoting new or existing products on social media. After school drop-off and finishing any household chores then I have around five hours of studio time, which is located next to my house. My priority is to work on shapes that I have cast on a previous day as the clay dries out and there is an optimum time to shape and decorate it. I will also cast up new shapes, sand down my work ready, and glaze work ready for a final firing.

I also have some afternoons where I work in a collective studio as I find it really helps to be able to have a peer group, which you can ask for advice or just be a little sociable with.

I leave the house at 3 to pick up the children from school and in between making them tea and helping with homework I am finishing off any projects from the day, packing up goods, or taking photography for my shop or blog pages.

And after the kids are in bed later in the evening I will quite often spend time writing features, catch up with more admin or join in Twitter chats as a way of self-development. As a sole trader there is always so much to learn about how we can market ourselves and improve our business.

By the way I always make time for lunch in my working day. I can’t concentrate on an empty stomach.

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What qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

I think you have to always want to learn and self-improve. I quite often take part in courses, on-line and in person to always be taking myself to the next level. Running your own artisan craft business it’s essential to take good photographs and I’m just about to go on a course to improve this. This term I’m also doing a course in wheel work, as I love the simple shapes of hand-thrown forms.

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Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I would like to see my brand grow in recognition and I would like to be stocked by more art galleries and independent shops. Up until now, I haven’t had a chance to concentrate on building a range specifically for these markets.

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What motivates and inspires you the most?

I find feedback immensely motivating. Also, talking with my friends who are passionate about ceramics – about their projects as well as my own.

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How long has making ceramics been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I have been interested in ceramics since my school days; and often did courses at night school whilst I was working. I thought I could convert my hobby into a business after entering and selling a vase in an open exhibition at the MAC, a local arts centre. I realized then that people would pay money to buy what I could make.

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Just for fun: What is your favourite: colour, food and flower?

My favourite colour is a tricky one. I think it has to be blue – the colour of the sea, the sky and agapanthus which covers off my favourite flower too. And my favourite food has to be crab.

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What are some themes are particularly inspiring you at the moment?

I love the revival that we are seeing in houseplants and macramé. It is so beneficial and beautiful for us to have greenery in our lives and I’m really championing this in my creative work at the moment.

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Thanks, Katie, for this glimpse in your creative process! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria

You can find Katie and her beautiful work over on her website, etsy and on instagram.

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Modern Style from Maple + Mauve

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

I am big fan of anyone who really adds something new to style in jewelry. Also, total respect for someone who actually dares to do something different. And that’s why I’m so happy to have on the Inspiration Series- Sera of Maple + Mauve.

I was so drawn by the bare simplicity of her work and the sheer minimalism that makes it so chic. The minimal trend has caught on, and I’m totally on board with it.

However, Sera’s work is not just the normal minimal- it stands out like pieces of art in a stream of manufactured ‘minimals’. She’s also got a sharp eye for aesthetics, and I love how that reflects in her work. My perspective on her beautiful jewelry would be : modern, unaffected, focused and rare. Read on to her what she has to say!

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sera Rogers and I am the owner of Maple + Mauve, a Seattle based jewelry studio specializing in concrete, wood, and ceramic wares. I started Maple + Mauve in 2012 when I decided to make minimal and architecturally inspired jewelry for myself. Then I started sharing it with the world. This little video highlights a closer and more intimate look at my making process.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

I love your minimal and cool style! Do you have a particular theme for each batch of jewelry you create? Is it planned or more spontaneous?

Thank you! Each piece is quite planned. I usually conceptualize my designs at night before I go to bed. I think my mind starts to quiet then and I can visualize my creative direction more clearly. Typically, I start with a sketch and then I will either 3D print, or cut the mold from wood, then start the casting process. Often I’ll make my designs out of paper first to get a sense of shape and scale.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

The hardest part of starting a business, in my opinion, is convincing yourself you can. I have gone through so many personal ups and downs throughout the process. Being part of such a talented, yet very saturated market, it can take some convincing that you belong. Whenever I feel stressed or start to second guess myself I look for personal support from friends and family. My dear friend Becky famously assures me, ‘you are lovable and capable.’ I try to repeat this to myself as much as possible. It helps me remember to be kind to myself. No one gets anywhere alone, and my friends and family are as much to credit for my success as I am.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

I am probably happiest at the very beginning of the creative process, or for me, the idea-generating part. Ideas usually flow when I am most relaxed and most often when I am traveling and exploring. When you can achieve a mindset that is completely open to new ideas, regardless of what barriers you think stand in the way, creative opportunities become completely endless. This mental place is where my best work comes from.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

No two days are exactly the same. I usually wake up and immediately make a cup of coffee. Then, weather permitting, I walk around Greenlake (a lake very close to my neighborhood) with a few of my whip-smart and inspiring girlfriends. It’s important for me to get out of the studio and into the fresh Seattle air, both for my creative mind and my social needs. If I don’t make a conscious effort to do that, I can very easily go the whole day with my head down working inside and then, come nightfall, I am very grumpy. After that, a typical day involves concrete casting and clay molding, often in the morning and then again in the early evening. My afternoons are usually consumed with emailing, shipping, photography and bookkeeping. I try to stick to a fairly structured schedule, especially because my husband keeps fairly 9-5 business hours and I want to be able to spend evenings with him. If I don’t consciously make that effort, I can easily work all night.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 ConcreteTriangleEarringsBeckyBaseGreywithTanScarfWhat qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

Confidence, hard work and humility are needed to keep up with being a small business owner. Being able to admit that you don’t know everything, asking for help, and allowing yourself to be open to constructive criticism are certainly key to growing and improving. As far as enjoying running a business, being your own boss certainly has it’s advantages. A flexible work schedule is probably the best part. That, and creating work that I can call my own, and that I am proud of is incredibly gratifying. I work more than I did when I held more conventional jobs, but for me, it’s much more rewarding.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

(Love the peaceful vibes of Sera’s studio- all the greens, blues and whites!)

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I would love to have a larger studio space, and an assistant!

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

What motivates and inspires you the most?

I love traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest and pull inspiration from the people I meet and the places I am fortunate enough to explore. I feel so grateful to live in a vibrant city that supports local artists. There is so much talent here! Alternatively, I find myself feeling inspired by old oddities. I love to go to vintage markets, consignment shops and estate sales. It’s a small thrill for me to imagine the relationship people had with certain objects before I interact with them.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

How long has jewellery making been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I’ve been making this kind of jewelry since 2012, but I’ve been a maker my whole life. I thought I could make it a business when people started asking where they could purchase my designs, but I was creating and selling my work for almost 2 years before taking the leap and transitioning Maple + Mauve into to a full time career.

 Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 GlobeConcreteNecklace11

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 SquareCuffLinksJustin

 

What present would you like to receive? (For any occasion)

Probably a membership to audible.com, so I could listen to all the books on my ‘to read’ list while I work! I love to read but can’t always find the time; and there are so many mornings when I am very much in a book listening mood while I am creating. I don’t know why I haven’t just broken down and done this for myself already, I most likely will just go ahead and do so after this interview.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 WoodandConcreteNecklace1

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Any insight on your name Maple + Mauve?

I once read a story in a children’s book about William Perkin’s accidental invention of the color mauve while mixing chemicals. I liked that a beautiful color was created by chance and then went on to inspire, and in a way revolutionize fashion. I found that optimism inspiring and wanted to have the same approach with my products. I thought “mauve” seemed lonely by itself. Since I knew one of my mediums would be wood, ‘maple’ followed quite organically.

Thanks, Sera, for a glimpse into Maple + Mauve! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria

Find Sera on Instagram and on the Maple + Mauve  Website.

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Creatively Crafting with Loes

Creatively Crafting with Loes

Crafting is something I’ve always respected. It takes focus, grit and endlessly thinking about creativity. There are some crafters who like to indulge in one media, and there are some who like to explore. Loes is definitely an avid explorer. She crochets, knits, paints, and so much more! I love the colourful and clean appeal of her work. And I’m happy to have her on the blog today answering some questions about her process and her outlook towards creativity.

Read on to hear what she has to say!

Creatively Crafting with Loes

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Loes van Dijck and I’m a 16-year-old schoolgirl from The Netherlands. I love crafting in my spare time and sharing my work on Instagram. I think making things is very relaxing. It eases my mind when I’m busy.

Creatively Crafting with Loes

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?

I really love working with yarn, paper and clay. These materials are all so versatile! Origami, watercolour, pottery, crochet, knitting, drawing, weaving. The list goes on! The amount of things that can be made with the first three supplies I mentioned is almost endless.

I also like to use unconventional, unexpected materials, like cotton buds, straws, a toy globe or an old plastic envelope. I think finding a new purpose for something is awesome! Plus: re-using materials is good for the environment.

Creatively Crafting with Loes

What sparked your interest in DIY and just art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I have liked doing creative things for as long as I can remember. The first ‘real’ craft technique I learnt was knitting. My grandmother taught me when I was seven. I liked it very much and I was so proud of my first (holey) scarf! Over the past nine years I’ve learnt many more techniques that I still like. When I went to secondary school four years ago and learnt to read English well, I started to read DIY blogs. This increased my interest in DIY even more!

I have absolutely no idea how long I have been practicing. I try and work on some creative project every day. Practice makes perfect!

Creatively Crafting with Loes

What do you enjoy the most in your creative process?

I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I enjoy every moment in a creative process. The idea that pops up in my head, then visualising the final product, collecting tools and supplies and finally making the thing I have in mind. I genuinely like every step (except for weaving in a zillion loose ends of a crochet project).

Something I also enjoy about crafting in general is the freedom to make anything you want. If you’re a DIY’er, you don’t have to limit yourself to the products you can buy in a store. You can make your own!

 

What was the first art project/work of art you remember?

As a toddler, I used to carry a few strands of colourful yarn with me everywhere I went so I could braid. I’ve used many yards of yarn!

Creatively Crafting with Loes

Just for fun: what’s your favourite animal and flower and why?

My favourite animal is definitely the elephant. They are big and strong, but also tender and gentle. I love how they care for their families.

Choosing my favourite flower is more difficult. I really love forget-me-nots and peonies but I think lavender would be my favourite. It reminds me of holidays in France, those huge fields full of purple flowers in bloom, and the scent is so delicious.

Creatively Crafting with Loes

 

(I love the bright vibes in Loes’ room, especially the way she arranges her books! Also, that rug is just amazing.)

Do you plan on pursuing art as a career? Or is it just a hobby you love?

I don’t think so. I’ll take my final exams in two years and after that I’ll probably go to university. I think I’ll just keep doing it as my hobby and I don’t think I will ever have a real career in art. But who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind later!

Creatively Crafting with Loes

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

This is a difficult question! In many of my projects you can spot my love for geometry. This is an infinite source of inspiration. I’ve spent hours searching Pinterest and Craftgawker for geometric DIY projects. Flowers are also very inspirational. I love the colours and the delicate shapes.

Creatively Crafting with Loes

Do you think an artist should explore different types of art or just practice one till they perfect it? How do you approach crafting a skill?

I really admire artists who turn their type of art into a successful business. They are absolute masters at what they love to do. They do what they’re good at and I think that’s fantastic!

On the other hand, I am  a ‘multidisciplinary’ crafter. I am not good enough to master one thing perfectly and I get bored quickly, so I just try to broaden my knowledge by learning something new (and failing at it sometimes) every now and then. I think everyone should do what suits him/her best!

Creatively Crafting with Loes

  Could you share some advice on making a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

If you’re not satisfied with your project in the middle of the making process, don’t continue! Instead, redo a little bit of work, otherwise you may end up with a finished piece you don’t like. I think spending some more time is worthwhile.

And, in case you’re suffering from crafter’s block: focus on something else! The inspiration will come back soon, so you don’t have to search it. Sort out craft supplies or learn a new technique instead! The creativity will flow again in no time.

Thanks Loes, for a little gimpse in your creative process! Wishing you all the best for your future projects ahead!

Find Loes here: Instagram | Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

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