Sometimes I wonder if I’m making enough new pieces of jewelry and art. After finishing my oracle cards, which was a huge undertaking, I’ve felt a little…well, anticlimactic about my artistic process and progress with the lack of a major project.
In reality, I have continued to create. I’ve made a variety of new things – cards, decorated hair clips, a few new pendants, etc. It’s been more that I’ve been making things a few at a time; it’s been very here and there.
I have a decent inventory of items I can sell. I’ve been doing fewer craft fairs this year, although have been successful with selling items to friends, family, and a few Etsy customers. Some of that is because I’m busy doing other things (e.g. oracle cards, planning my wedding, preparing to move) and part of that is because I’m a little more discerning about what kinds of events I put my energy, time and money towards.
There’s also another factor: I’m an aspiring Nia Technique dance fitness teacher. I’ve been putting some of my creativity energy towards learning routines and finding my own sense of movement. I take several classes a week, and for the next two months, I’m teaching once a week. So, I’ve been putting more time into that than into my visual art. However, I also recognize that I’ve been doing art for most of my life; it comes more easily to me. Dance…much less so. I took a few modern dance classes when I was 12 or so, but didn’t have the time or patience at the time. I took improvisational dance and dance history classes in college and took expressive moment classes for a while when I lived in San Diego. When I started Nia, it became about the body-mind-spirit connection and more. It became a regular activity I wanted to practice and improve at. I not only wanted to learn the technique, I also wanted to teach it. And learning to teach is a very intensive process.
I don’t see my Nia practice as replacing my visual art practice by any means; they definitely can exist side-by-side in my life. However, even as I write this, I’m realizing that I practice Nia regularly. I don’t currently have a consistent art practice. I see blogs that talk about sketching or making at least one thing a day. At the moment, I am not doing this. At one time, I was practicing wirewrapping on a regular basis, and my skills definitely improved dramatically. I don’t think I’m at a stagnant place with my art – but I might be at a place where things aren’t moving very quickly. And really, they don’t have to. I’ve been satisfied with the small supplemental of income I’ve earned, which mostly means some of what I create pays for itself. I also realize that I’ve felt vulnerable about the idea of getting feedback on what I can do next art-business-wise.
At some point in the relatively near future, I want to dedicate more time to it. I want to create goals for the act of creating – whether I’m doing it to create something for profit or just for myself. I want to get feedback on my Etsy shop, recommendations on what I could improve. I want to read books or take online classes about different aspects of running an art business. Ideally, I want to create enough time and space so my Nia and art can feed each other. Perhaps someday I’ll do a Nia and art workshop.
My time and attention is pretty divided right now, but perhaps once I settle into my post-wedding life, perhaps I will find more flow and ease in my visual art practice and business. It’s all a work in progress.
It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of September.
This month, I participated in one craft fair. I didn’t sell too many things, but the atmosphere was pleasant and I learned from it. Looking ahead, I’m trying to sign up for at least one craft fair a month through the holidays.
It’s been hotter than usual for this time of year: the high temperatures are still lingering in the low 90s and high 80s. It’s definitely feeling more like Fall at night and in the mornings, though.
This past weekend, I went on a hike with my dad and his friend and saw some of the fall colors. I came out of the forest, turned, and saw this:
I’ve also been busy making things.
I hope to create more custom orders, some seasonal and holiday items, and more. I’m looking forward to seeing how Fall inspires my creativity.
I had the realization that business social media account-wise, I tend to post a lot on Instagram, occasionally on Facebook, sometimes on Pinterest, and rarely here. My intention is to start blogging more.
I’ve been working hard – prolifically making jewelry, figuring out prices, planning for my next craft show (on September 13!), editing my digitized oracle cards on Photoshop, putting up a few new items on Etsy, and getting ready to go away for Labor Day weekend to visit my love.
So, here’s a taste of what I’ve been up to recently:
I sit in an office, or maybe it’s the back room of a store, or at a small table in a living room. I ask my customer what she is looking for: is there a specific stone she is drawn to? I have a bowl full of stones to look at as well as other resource books on crystal meanings. Would this be a gift for someone or herself? Is there a quality she would like to embrace in herself more? Something she wants to let go of? Something she wishes to protect? Are there any symbols or shapes she is drawn to? I ask her record her dreams for a week and tell me any details that stick out to her.
Once I have information I spent time brainstorming. I show her some sketches. She gives me feedback about what she is drawn to, and why. At this point, we discuss materials and price. Then I create, playing with wire, gemstones, and intuition.
I would like my jewelry design and art business to have an intuitive custom aspect, where I combine my energetic and artist gifts to create one-of-a-kind pieces for people. I’ve made a custom piece for a friend, and I really enjoyed the process: it was experimental, collaborative, and very satisfying.
My energy healing training: I am Reiki Level 2 attuned and I’ve also done some informal training based on the teachings of the Berkeley Psychic Institute. Energy work feels like it comes naturally to me, but training and attunement has made it easier for me to access and sense energy. I also identify as empathic, and can pick up on others’ emotions. I want to continue to integrate these skills and abilities into my creative process – it feels healing for me, and I hope it will help others as well.
I love the idea of setting an intention and working with someone to make something special for them or a loved one.
If you are interested in ordering a unique, intuitively-created piece, let me know. You can contact me here.
I’m slowly easing into the rhythm of daily life after a weeklong Nia intensive training in Santa Fe. Nia, a form of dance fitness, is one of my other passions and expressive outlets. I am now a Nia White Belt, which is the first level of certification for anyone who wants to teach or wants a greater depth of understanding of the principles and practice. I am so grateful for my experience there – it was both healing and enriching. I’m also feeling really inspired, and I already see that leaking into my creative life.
I brought a few of my jewelry pieces with me to the training and ended up selling three things. I now have learned to bring more items at similar events in the future, and also to have a good stock of business cards with me at all times. One of my classmates is a successful jewelry designer and I hope to connect with her more soon.
I’ve been working on updating my website! If you have a chance, please look at it and tell me what you think. I’ve been working with a friend on online marketing and she suggested that I work on making the home page more visual. In any case, I had fun playing with the images.
I signed up for a craft fair in September, and I’ve been looking at the possibility of selling some of my pieces on consignment at local shops.
I also submitted both poetry and art for consideration for the 2017 We’Moon calendar and datebook. I’m excited for more opportunities like this – no matter what the outcome, it’s good practice and exposure.
Also, I got proofs of my oracle cards! I made the originals with pencil, pen, and watercolor two years ago as part of a project. Since then, I have digitized them in Photoshop. I’m still working on editing and rewriting the card descriptions, but hope to have them ready and available to sell at some point soon!
Just a few of my recent works. I’ve been busy learning how to market myself on Facebook and Instagram while also consistently making new pieces. I’ve sold a few items on Etsy, too. I’m loving what I’m learning and realizing that it takes a lot of persistence and patience! I am determined to continue doing what I love and sharing it with others.