Artisan Spotlight: Izel Ang, ChainofBeads
Posted by pauljvguillaume on 06/13/2011 at 08:26:17
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
My name is Izel Ang and I am from Singapore, a little dot in South East Asia. I specialize in wired jewelries and teach my craft at a local bead-shop called Beads Cage. Besides this, I have a website called Chain of Beads and it features all my creations, types of classes I offer and online step by step tutorials for those who want to learn the skill but is nowhere near Singapore.
Where do you live and what is it like?
Singapore is a modern city where handmade (or handicraft work) are not greatly appreciated. Most of the time, people here like to buy mass-produced pieces. This creates a difficult environment for crafters to be self-sufficient. A lot of times, handicraft is only referred to as a hobby or pass-time.
Where did you learn your medium?
I came across a DIY jewelry making book at my local library 12 years ago and was hooked since. I was fascinated by the fact that there are so many things that are handmade and we can customize each piece depending on our own style and likes. Determination drives me to practice and make lots of mistakes. So much time and effort are spend just to perfect my skills. But now when I look back, I am glad I took this road.
What are your goals with your ArtFire studio?
My goal is to tell the world that handmade is better than mass-produced! Besides offering my own handmade jewelries, I also offer step by step tutorials to educate those whom are interested to pick up the craft. So it’s either wear it, or make it!
How did you come to selling online?
Selling online is a very nature process when you have reached a mature stage when you are ready with your products. After spending so much time and effort, making so many mistakes, I realized I was ready for the world. So I researched a little bit to find the right place where I can get myself connected to the rest of world who are sharing the same interest as me. Online allows me to do that. Isn't it interested to know that behind every brand and designs that you see on the internet, there is a person behind all of it doing all the hard work?
How did you come to find a home on ArtFire?
Plenty of searching, and plenty of hearing from friends. I kept looking for a right home to sell my wares, but always feel that some sites are lacking in certain features. Sometimes it’s the crowd, sometimes it’s the features, and sometimes it’s the marketing. Artfire has quite a great balance in everything.
Friends who are selling online are also telling me how great Artfire was, and so here I am.
What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
You have to believe in what you do. Not everyone has your talent and even if you are not doing that great now, it’s okay. We all went through the same stages. It’s part of being a crafter.
Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
Though there are limitations to how much each of us can do, we can all come together as a big community to offer what we all believe in. With believe and passion, it makes us a better and happier person. And I believe happiness can be spread around. People whom are surrounded by happy folks also become happier. People who buy products from happy folks feel your happiness from your wares too.