Why is Bristol a great place to be a creative?
Bristol is a lively, creative city so there's no shortage of opportunities to get involved with, as well as like minded people to keep you motivated and tons of inspiration in other peoples work - there is always some sort of private view or exhibition on!
What do you think makes Paper • Scissors • Stone special?
Paper Scissor Stone is a wonderful opportunity for makers to show and sell their work right in the middle of the biggest shopping center in Bristol City Center. It means that shoppers have the choice of buying unique, handmade creations that they wont find in the chain stores. Being so central also means it promotes local, handmade products to those in the public who perhaps aren't as aware that we are out there.
Do you have any advice to other artists wishing to sell their work?
You really have to make it happen for yourself. Get out there. Take your work round shops, do as many craft shows/exhibitions as possible and keep doing it. For me, marketing, networking and social media are the areas I find hardest; unfortunately they are one of the most important parts of your business. Don't under-price your work. If you want to turn your creative passion into a business you must make a profit from each sale - this means covering your material and time costs, and adding a percentage on top for profit. It may be scary, but at the end of the day if you don't make a profit, your business won't succeed.
What's the most enjoyable thing about your chosen discipline?
So many things! A day of making is my favourite - a cup of tea, the radio on and making jewellery. Perfect! In more general terms, having control over my own time and meeting so many lovely, talented people at craft shows and exhibitions - it never ceases to amaze me how welcoming and ready to share everyone is!
What has proved the biggest work challenge so far this year?
As always for me, organization! No matter how many calendars, pens and folders I buy, I cannot seem to get a handle on this side of business - there's just too many things to remember and fit in!
Where do you go or what do you do to find inspiration?
I find craft shows and exhibitions really inspiring - just seeing all the amazing things people are creating. It's a huge motivator. Other than that, just my mind and the internet really!
Are you planning any special Christmas creations?
I've never been convinced by Christmas themed jewellery....maybe I will get my act together this year and get some cards printed.
What new tool, skill or resource would have a positive impact on your business?
A car! It would save me hours spent delivering items on foot/bike/train.
Describe your studio or workspace?
I've just moved house, and have a gloriously large, light studio space so I'm really lucky. It's still a bit sparse, but I'll soon have my bits and bobs all over the walls. My main necessity is surface area for varnishing all the tiny pieces.
Facebook / Twitter / Blogging / Instagram…describe your relationship/experiences with social media….
It leaves me a bit confused to be honest...I try and keep on top of it all, but always have a niggling feeling I've missed something. There's just so much to keep up with!
Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
I don't eat out that much, but I really like the food at the Watershed. I'm a bit fussy about where my meat comes from, so there I can rest assured it's local, free range ethical, but still affordable.
Finally if you where a biscuit, what would you be and why?
A dark chocolate digestive. Not too flashy....a quietly self assured biscuit.
You can see myBearHands work at Volume 4 of the Paper • Scissors • Stone Temporium, located in Cabot's Circus, Bristol. Come down and have a look!