On the 9th of May we were very lucky to have one of my favourite jewellers Rachel Darbourne come and speak to us.
After hearing from Sarah James, the organiser of the Bovey Tracey Contemporary Craft Fair last week, it was interesting to hear from an artist working in the industry.
Some examples of her gorgeous work in recycled plastic bags.
Rachel talked us through how she became an artist and her views on success.
Her main points were:
*Every thing that you make must be the best it can be, if you ask yourself "can I get away with that?" then you scrap it.
* Go to as many shows and contemporary craft fairs as possible, this is a good way to see what others are doing, and will help you to gauge where your work may lie.
* The market is competitive- got to be organised.
* Running a business is relentless, you have to be committed and you have to love it.
* Efficiency is key - Rachel files her finances every day.
* Having a friendly relationship with the galleries that your work is in is good, but always remain professional.
* Keep updating your work, other wise it can become stale.
* When starting out, having a part time job that doesn't tax you is a good idea, then you can make during your spare time, this way you have an income which will pay your over heads, rent, etc.
* Rejection is inevitable - it hurts, but don't give up.
* Working as a group you have more power, easier to find studio spaces etc.
* Accepting limitations is OK, such as your own physical ones and those of the materials.
* Social media is a good promotional tool.
I found Rachel's advice really informative and interesting. It was really good to hear from an actual practitioner who has many years experience in her field and who has success in a saturated world, namely Jewellery. Rachel was honest and open and I think to have a contact like her when starting out in the creative industry is very useful indeed.