I’ve met many jewelry designers online and on the teams that I belong. As you already know, I like to highlight some of them from time to time on my blog.
Today’s profile belongs to Leilani of HeavenlyFlower, a fellow member of the Starving Artists Team. You can find out more about Starving Jewelry Artists at our forum here
Etsy shop link/name: Heavenly Flower
Artfire shop link: http://www.heavenlyflower.artfire.com
Where else can we find you and your work?
Currently my limited edition pieces are showcased on Etsy & Artfire; my website is a work in progress. Once completed I will be showcasing my custom work: http://www.heavenlyflower.com
Simple tips for storing & cleaning your jewelry:
Location: Montreal, Quebec Canada, but originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
What are your jewelry beginnings? Where did you start and how did you progress to work you are creating today?
About 12 years ago I started delving into my creative side as a way to relieve work stress. Jewelry making however, did not take off until about two years later; after one of my doctors insisted I find an outlet to deal with a depression & anxiety disorder. Soon after, people started to comment positively about the pieces as I wore them & ask how much I would charge for them. I literally was selling jewelry right off my neck! I realized that I found my creative bliss and could make money at it. I started off selling on ebay and at local flea markets. I was delighted by the results, despite many mistakes along the way. I branched out by having a few pieces showcased in local businesses, throwing jewelry parties & bringing my work to offices during lunch hours.
What are your favorite materials?
Definitely gemstones, semi-precious stones. I love the metaphysical element, the folklore & spirituality that surround them, as well as the geological aspect & history.
What are your favorite pieces to create?
Currently I am trying my hand at wire wrapped rings, & these have proved to be fun & challenging! But really I am content to make anything that contains my energies & emotions. So long as I am free to create something that I feel reflects me, I am content with it, whether it be earrings, a necklace, bracelet, etc…I am currently on a personal creative quest I call “100 Days of Creativity”, where I have to create at least one piece of jewelry for 100 consecutive days. I decided to do this after having a rather long hiatus from jewelry making & the business in order to relocate here to Montreal and to have my daughter. I am almost 75% of the way there, and not sure if I will make it to 100 since I have another baby on the way any day now! Until then, I will keep designing as it has given me such joy & creative ideas. Each day’s creation is chronicled on my blog.
What’s been your biggest jewelry oops?
Two things that go hand in hand: not believing in myself enough & under pricing my pieces! I have learned that I should be more confident in my abilities & that undercutting myself just to make a sale is not worth it. I now have a good formula for pricing my work. Confidence is still something I work on everyday…I think artistic people are always critical of their work, and I am no exception.
What inspires you?
The world around me in general! Nature, the people I meet & their experiences…since my niche is designing custom jewelry that embodies the wearer, being in tune with my environment & the people within it is a necessity.
How do you describe your design style?
Earthy, spiritual, and funky.
What artists have influenced you, and how?
Wow. I am inspired by so many different forms or art so this could be a lengthy list. But as far as body adornment go, there are three artists that stick out in my mind: Tattoo artist Kat Von-D, and jewelry designers Maya Brenner & Tina Tang. Kat Von-D inspires me as she pushes herself as an artist, is a driven entrepreneur and is not afraid to be herself. Not to mention she is young with a successful business based around her art! Tina Tang inspires me for leaving her job as a stock trader to become a successful jewelry designer, and Maya Brenner for using her personal style to design jewelry that appeals to the celebrity set.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Follow you heart, never give up and be patient! Success never happens overnight. Keep moving forward and if you are following your heart all the hard work will pay off.
How do you spend time when you are NOT creating?
I am a wife & a stay at home mom to my 18 month old daughter, due to be a new mommy again any day now.
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