Artfire Artisan Spotlight: Laura, SugarRaindrops
Posted by pauljvguillaume on 08/17/2011 at 11:38:33
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
I'm an awesome mother of one young boy, and a loving wife to my amazing husband, who also has a passion for photography and the arts. We're a fun and loving family that loves to travel up north to our second home in the Adirondack Mountains. It’s a beautiful location! The three of us like to go on photo walks together, hike through the forest along waterfalls and breath taking views, or just in general spending time together looking out over our beautiful lake. Currently, our home is in Connecticut, one of the original 13 colonies, full of rich and interesting history.
What role does your family play in your art?
My son is a wonderful source of energy and really enjoys giving Mommy advice. He even helps invent a few of my pieces with his personal touch. He has a great respect that the area I work in is not, "child friendly,” because of the chemicals I work with, but he is allowed to help me in other areas of my studio, such as picking out what colors of glitter or stickers to embed. He's very thoughtful and is always suggesting new ideas. I reflect on the very items that captured my imagination and attention as a child. I get inspired by the very idea of being a little kid again in a fairy tale world, and I feel each of my pieces speak that.
I distinctly recall all the times my Mother, who is an absolutely amazing photographer, snapping away precious moments even before I was born! She later, while I was in high school, gave me her beloved Nikon f3 camera. I learned so much on 35mm film, and really treasure this dying art, but for those that still love developing their own film in the dark, then there’s nothing that can come close to that! It’s only fitting that I married a photographer!
Where did you learn your medium?
I've been creating things since I was able to hold a crayon in my hand. At an early age my parents took notice and always encouraged me in the arts. I had lots of tutoring and took many after school programs. During my last years of High School I was a part of the Honors Art Society, where I explored many different mediums of art. I thoroughly enjoyed working with clay, and learning how to process the clay, stack the kiln, and work with the wheel. I hope to revisit this field of interest one day soon! Upon graduation I attended CIA for fine arts, where I learned about the human anatomy, elements of light, photography, etc. and to further my education I enrolled into GIBBS for Visual Communications, and Graphic Design. I've always had a love for photography and capturing special and memorable moments, and certain styles of photography; TTV, Lomography, Bokeh, HDR and so much more!
How did you come to find a home on ArtFire?
I'm always creating pieces of jewelry to give to people as gifts, and decided to take it to the next level. I eventually began to sell my items locally, and happened to discover a handmade community online one afternoon and decided to give it a try. For two years I sold on their site, and decided to move forward and create my own website, www.sugarraindrops.com and branch out to Artfire. It's been an amazing experience to sell here on Artfire, and take full advantage of my ability to make 100% revenue as appose to paying commission fees elsewhere. I love sharing what I create with others, and purchasing hand crafted items by those who appreciate handmade.
What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
The best advice I can give other artisans out there, is to just enjoy what you create. I keep a lot of my little mistakes in a desk drawer that I've made when trying out new ideas for my projects. I like to go back and look through them to see where I went wrong, and this way I can often avoid doing that in the future. It's also a reminder that I'm only human, not a machine pumping out mass produced items.
Also take a moment to yourself and relax. I try to do this whether it’s a cup of coffee, going for a swim, reading a good book, taking a few photos with my Nikon, or playing outside getting some fresh air with my son in our vegetable garden. I find the time to do it all. Sometimes, taking a little break from what you normally do and venture into a new direction, you can find something new that you really enjoy doing too!
Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
I make each of my creations with my two hands, and even though I can recreate some of my jewelry pieces, no two will ever be exactly the same. That's also the beauty of handmade. It's a wonderful accomplished feeling that I get once my beautifully handmade resin cabs are completed and ready for bails and chains. It’s one thing to go to the store and pick out readily made beads, and such, but to actually hand make, sand and invent a focal bead..it's the next best thing since slice bread!