I'm a nature lover at heart and I feel like it's very apparent in my work. I've spent several years since completing my BFA working various jobs and never feeling satisfied until I started working for myself full-time. Creating, marketing, travelling and selling at shows is the best job I could have ever imagined. Currently I live and work out of my home in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
This is my first year doing shows- I did one holiday show last season and then hit the ground running earlier this year in the springtime. I haven't done an Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show in past years, but this will be my third show this season.
Simply taking a walk in the woods or along the beach inspires me to create. Nature is my biggest inspiration- there's just so much beauty in this world that it seems impossible to not be moved by its awesomeness.
I've always tinkered around with the creative arts, attending art school and earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2011. After leaving academia, I felt compelled to make art that was functional, beautiful and affordable. It's much harder to pay bills making gallery-style artwork. Plus crafting is MUCH more fun! My mother is incredibly talented in the arts and my father is very creative; I'm very grateful that they both nurtured those traits within me as I grew up. Between encouragement and seemingly endless tubes of paint, mod podge, sketchbooks, etc., I was good to go at a very young age!
My creative process is very organic. Once I have an idea, I'll mull it around in my head, talk with friends, family, colleagues and then give it a go. I like to test products on the market before I start getting carried away making a whole bunch of them- if they sell well at one or two shows, I'll make a few more, and then more and before I know it, I have thirty-something moss terrariums sitting in my kitchen.
I've grown so much in my first year of creating and selling- I've met many great people and gained so much knowledge that it's nearly impossible to predict where I'll be in 5 years. I'm aiming to grow a little more, maybe become more fluid with production & marketing, and gain a more solid online presence. Hard work and perseverance has always proven to be a formula for success, so I'll keep doing that and see where it takes me.
In making my work I aim to keep things as close to nature as possible. I hope that inspires my customers to live a similar lifestyle: enjoy and be inspired by the elegance and splendor of the natural world while respecting the environment and our fellow human beings.
Some of my work can be purchased online at www.artbyskye.etsy.com. Follow me on Facebook to see what I'm currently working on and where I'll be selling next: https://www.facebook.com/heatherskyeart
Meet Michele Park from NaScent LLC...
My personal mission was to rid my house of all store-bought cleaning/grooming supplies. After reading and researching the ingredients in common household products, I felt I needed to make a change in the way I cooked, cleaned, groomed, and spend my money. I didn't like that big businesses were getting my hard earned money while local artisans and crafters are barely scraping by.
This is when I decided to make my own products using old recipes and new ideas. While testing, tweaking, and revamping, I've stumbled across some things that are truly amazing. These are the products that I want to share with other people!
All of the products are hand crafted in Columbus, Ohio, using ingredients made naturally—from beeswax to plant oils. I take the time to find the ingredients that are locally sourced (as to support local small business) and grown with safe and sustainable practices, so I can be sure that the products you use on your body will not contain the harsh chemicals that are in most store bought products.
This is a woman-owned business, and I make all of my products in my home paying great attention to the combination of ingredients making sure you get the most functional benefits out of each ingredient. You will never see added color, unnatural preservatives, or synthetic ingredients in any of NaScent's products—only the basics.
Meet Jaeiah Van Dyke from Christy Rose Creations LLC...
I am actually very new to my craft. I started my company only a year ago. I had been trying to find a job that did not conflict with my husband's second shift hours. Because I had not worked in over twenty years, it was as though I had no experience. I started learning to make jewelry for fun and thought "Why not turn this into a business, then I could work from home and choose my own hours?" My husband has supported, encouraged, and even helped me with start-up monies.
As I stated in the previous paragraph, I only started this about a year ago. I have always had an artistic bent. I used to draw, paint, scrapbook, and many other crafts, although I don't have time for that now. I find that I have to have some kind of creative outlet, it helps me relax. I have only done one Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show and this will be my second one.
Inspiration? Many things inspire me. I read a lot of jewelry books and magazines, although I never follow any of the directions completely, I always put my own spin on the piece that I am working on. Other times, I wake up in the night with an idea and I draw it before I forget. There are even times I start a piece with an idea but end up going in an entirely different direction with it.
As I said, I started making jewelry because I thought it sounded like fun. I love using wire especially. I love remolding, reshaping, and giving it new texture. To me the wire is the focal point not the beads and crystals, they are there to enhance the design of the wire.
Discovery of my talent with jewelry was completely by accident. I thought it would be fun to try, then found that I had a talent for it that I never knew was there. I have since taken a couple classes and look forward to taking more and learning new techniques.
Sometimes I come to my shop with an idea in my head while other times I come in not having any idea what I am going to make. When that happens I start with cleaning up or putting things away and I usually find a bead, or piece of wire and an idea will come to me and I just start making something. Sometimes my idea works while other times it doesn't. When it doesn't I will set it aside and go back to it later or tear it apart and try something new.
My husband will be retiring in sixteen months. We plan to retire to Oregon where all three of our sons are and where I grew up. I plan to continue my business there, since I sell my jewelry on line and at craft shows it should be easy to relocate. My plan is to make my business be self-supporting.
I love making women happy and feel good about the way they look. A new piece of jewelry that you love always makes you feel good. I would not wear every piece that I make, myself. Some of it just isn't my style. However, I love each piece that I make and I try very hard to appeal to many different tastes. I also want my jewelry to be functional and comfortable. Sometimes I will make a new design and wear it myself just to make sure that it is comfortable, if it isn't I re-design it. I also take great pleasure in designing a custom piece that is unique to the person that is going to be wearing it.