Saturday, 25 February 2012

Do you have another life?

I've got a couple of project and article deadlines for Beads and Beyond to meet this weekend, including the latest Spotlight review pages. My favourite part of Spotlight reviews is writing the blog reviews. There are just so many fantastic jewellery blogs out there, whether they're written by jewellery designers or lamp workers or people who make ceramic beads or about enamel or metal clay, and it's fantastic having an excuse to spend time reading them!

I've realised recently that quite a few of the people whose blogs I've written about were graphic designers in their previous life. Maybe it was their training and experience in graphic design helped them in their move towards crafts, or maybe it was their flair for crafts that gave them the skills they needed for graphic design.

Anyway, that started me thinking .... assuming that you are making a business out of crafty life, no matter the size of business or the type or craft, what was your first career? Were you a graphic designer like Kerry Bogert, or were you in the military like Lori Anderson,  or were you like me, a teacher in your previous career? Do you still have a daytime job in addition to your craft business and if so how do you find time for them both? Does one career help another? Does the creative outlet of making jewellery or other crafts help you to cope with the stresses of your day job?

P.S. If you have a jewellery-related blog, especially one with great photos and maybe a tutorial or two and you fancy having a paragraph written about it in on Beads and Beyond's Spotlight pages, send me a quick email! I'm always on the look out for blogs to review, and I try to include as wide a range of jewellery types and styles and materials as possible.


  1. Hi Jo,
    It is funny that most of the people you have interviewed started out in the graphic design area. I went to technical college for graphic arts but never went into the career of it. I do hold a full time job as a Police Communications Officer. Coming home in the afternoons and beading helps relieve the stress from the day. I do not have a husband or small children around, my Son is on his own, and I moved in with my Mom last summer it is a win win for both of us. So I pretty much have a lot of time to create. I have always been a crafty person.

  2. Since I started lampwoking/polymer claying, I've often wished that I'd had a background in some sort of visual arts medium. I came from a English/Cultural and Media Studies background, did a bit of retails, then decided to do a sudden turn and make jewellery!

  3. Hi Jo,
    My background was mostly office related but I took night classes in art, graphic art, commercial art...everything to do with art attracted me. But a wild mid-life change took me from office several thousand kilometers away to owning a little convenience store near the sea in Canada. It doesn't leave me much time to keep learning my jewelry craft but I keep plugging away and hopefully, getting more proficient.

  4. Jo, writing blog reviews sounds like a lot of fun! If you're ever looking for suggestions, I know a lot of very talented people -- including Vanessa Walilko of Kali Butterfly. She just made a chain maille flapper dress!

    In one past life -- I've had a lot of them -- I was a veterinary technician for a few months. Most stressful job I've ever done! Although there were some really cute animals. :)

  5. Hi. I did a Physics degree. I have aways wanted to go to art college. But now years later I work part-time in PR as a copywriter and do my silver and felt work when I can. My family keep flying the nest and coming back, so things are constantly changing here.

  6. Nope, no graphic arts experience (although my daughter did go to Rutgers for it - Does that count???). Actually am a retired RN, and was my yearbook editor in nursing school many, many years ago. Have always had a love of working with my hands, and polymer clay is my favorite medium.

  7. Commented on Bead Soup Cafe too... My first year of post secondary schooling was actually fashion design ... didn't like the climate where the school was located so ended up back at home in Edmonton in Geology... worked as an exploration Geologist for 6 years then had a 'kid' and got a second university degree... Commerce/compSci ... the compsci was the last year of teaching on main frames.. I was obsolete before I got going... I did sweater designing & knitting etc while I was at University but 10 cents and hour doesn't pay the bills... so I switched to glass... and the rest is history. Think my blog has too much non jewellery on it but I'd love to be reviewed!

  8. Hi! I couldn't find a link to your email anywhere, so I'm writing here. I'd love to have a blog review. I only have a couple of floral arrangement tutorials and the rest is about jewelry. I believe my pictures are of a very good quality. Take a peek and see what you think:

  9. Well I am a nail technician and salon owner in my "other" life. It is this other career that got me started making jewelry. I attended a jewelry party, thought I can make that and did. I wore my pieces to work and clients began asking me about them. Not long after that I put pieces up for sale and have enjoyed seeing my clients and friends wearing my designs ever since.
    My nail clients are my biggest cheerleaders, except for my mom of course ;-)
    My day job has definitely helped my jewelry career. I am a wife, mother, jewelry designer, salon owner and nail technician. It's a crazy life but I wouldn't have it any other way.
    Oh and my blog is:
    I would love if you would check it out!
    Shannon C

  10. i love your blog! please take a look at mine and tell me what you think.


  11. Hi Jo, I also commented on the Bead Soup Cafe to your question. For me the draw of shiny things was too much and even when I was working full time (financial services for 25 years) I always had jewelry and art has a hobby and a place where I could relax. Now I do it full time. I have a jewelry blog with has a little bit of everything, lots of tutorials available for free. I'd love for you to check it out. Thanks, Dana

  12. (Forgot to say, I e-mailed you about B&B over the weekend - hope I used the right address!)

  13. Well, I'm a singer - or trying to be! - in my 'other' life. And I teach both beading and singing, but I guess the singing teaching is my main source of income at the moment. I would love it if singing itself could be but I'm not quite there yet! I can't see myself being a full time jewellery designer - that's not the aim - I think I would find it too stressful, and one stressful pastime (singing!) is enough!


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