i. I work as a:
Jewellery designer and sculptor.
ii. I do this creative work because:
Creativity is the pulse of life. It is my passion and purpose and as innate to me as breathing. A life without it would be bleak and meaningless. A full-time career in the creative arts is healing, therapeutic and soul nurturing. This form of self-exploration is my personal spiritual practice. Inspired by nature, it allows me to slow down, embrace the moment and pay close attention to the details of our environment. Although self-fulfilling, it is also my intent to bring joy with my creations, to spread love and light, and hopefully inspire others to live their truth.
iii. A ‘typical’ day for me in the pandemic involves:
Fortunately, my routine hasn’t changed too much since the pandemic started. In fact, I’ve been more productive having extra time and I’m very grateful for that. I have my own private studio in a building that I share with other artists and designer studios. I’m a night owl. When the city sleeps, I’m busy creating in my studio. I wake up around 11am and take my time getting ready. I journal, do yoga, make food for the day, then arrive at my studio around 3pm and work until 2am!
And like everyone else, I have limited in-person interaction with friends and family. Most of my social life is at my studio when I pass other artists in the hallways. We share ideas about life and art and it always leaves me feeling inspired.
.iv. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Focus, ambition, attention to detail. And of course, my love of people.
v. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Not knowing when money is coming in. Some months are great, others are slow. The uncertainty can be unsettling, but the benefits of doing creative work far outweigh its challenges.
vi. Creative childhood hobbies:
Drawing—a lot of it! I was passionate about drawing maps, cartoons and cool lettering. I also loved to dance and sing. If my career took any different path, I probably would have been a dancer.
vii. Show, podcasts, books that I’m into right now:
I’ve always had a keen interest in the mind-body connection, and how mental and emotional states affect physical health. I’m currently reading “The Body Keeps Score” by Dr.Vessel van der Kolk, and other related books. Given this, it’s no surprise that I love to laugh. Comedies are my go-to remedy. And since I’m always looking for inspiration and insight on creativity, I have read and plan to read, books by Julia Cameroon and Twyla Tharp. While I’m working in the studio, I listen to podcasts about business and marketing.
viii. Training that has helped me in this career:
My father is a gifted painter and sculptor, so a great deal of my artistic sensibility was fostered from observing him work in his studio. I pursued studies in sculpture and industrial design at Concordia University in Montreal where I was first introduced to the 3D design software and technologies that I now use for some of my jewellery designs. After that, I completed continuing ed silversmithing courses at various schools.
I worked for a reputable family business that specializes in custom jewellery design for 11 years. Working for someone else in your field is an effective way to learn the ropes. A lot was self-taught as well, and I’m constantly learning from various sources.
ix. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Perfectionism, self-doubt, fear and comparison. Aiming for perfection can prevent you from moving to the next step and can be a form of procrastination.
Also, if someone has gone faster or further toward their dream, use that as inspiration and proof that you can do it too. “Energy flows where energy goes,” so keep your eye on your own efforts, not on the competition.
x. Some proud career moments:
In the past I had struggled with artist blocks and confusion about which direction to go with my work. I invested time and energy to learn what I could change in my life and thought process to overcome this. It paid off. My vision became clear and now the ideas flow endlessly and effortlessly. After a long challenging journey, this breakthrough to clarity, creative freedom and the confidence to move forward, was indeed a proud achievement.
xi. Upcoming shows or events include:
You can find me at the Harmony Arts Festival every year in August, and the Culture Crawl every November. Unfortunately, Harmony Arts was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19, but hopefully both shows will resume in 2021.
xii. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
DO IT! Society would benefit if we all nurtured our creativity. All great art is born from those who dare to dream. But be gentle and patient. Don’t expect your vision to happen immediately. Art takes time, patience and focus. You may find surprises, lessons and new ideas along the way. Enjoy the journey, immerse yourself in the process, live in the moment and create simply for the joy of creating. Remember that every small step will take you closer to where you want to be.
xiii. A professional goal I have for the future:
To expand my collection of jewellery, and start selling my sculptures in stone, ceramic and/or metal. Right now, I’m operating mostly alone with the help of a couple other jewellers. But as my business grows, I will need to hire a team to manufacture my products. At that time, I hope to use that as an opportunity to give back to the community and possibly collaborate with a non-profit to employ people who have faced social and work barriers—perhaps people from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside where my studio is located.