Welcome to my second Thursday Showcase blog. I hope you will enjoy it! Have a look at this…
Have you heard of Soy of The North? No? Well you have now! Are you a candle fan, or glassware fan? Soy is what you want! I met Soy through twitter and Craft Blog UK (click on the name to have a sneaky peak at what that is all about, but don;t forget to come back and read all about Soy of The North!!) I love that Soy approaches work with a what I see as a huge amount of modesty and integrity – it is such a refreshing change (beer ad?!) from the ‘sell, sell, sell, buy, buy, buy, me, me ,me’ attitude that it is all too easy to find. And so without further ado, here are the questions…
Hello. My name is Stephen and I live in the lovely countryside of Gateshead in north east England.
Professionally I’ve been doing my craftwork since April 2011, however I got into candle making about 6 months prior to this when I wanted to try something new. I quite enjoyed it, so it stayed in my mind when I was considering starting my own business. I can also remember making candles a few times when I was a lot younger, at a local youth club, which could have influenced me a bit too.
I think working alone is the hardest part. One of the costs of starting your own business is generally having no-one else around to keep you company. I tend to get around this though by taking occasional trips outside to get more supplies and equipment.
4. And what is the most rewarding?
That would be the look on someone’s face when they see something they really like when I’m selling at a craft fair. It’s really cheerful when you see someone smiling and happy. That’s basically what I, as well as probably all other crafters, do. We make things to make other people happy
5. What do you class yourself as – artist, designer/maker, crafter, creative?
That’s a tough question to answer. I do glass painting yet I wouldn’t class myself as an artist. Some of my candles are quite different and their form is well thought out, yet I don’t think these make me a designer yet. If I had to give myself a title, I think I would go for handmade entrepreneur – says what I am but sounds a bit different and unusual, which I think fits me just fine.
6. Who from the creative world do you admire?
7. Where does your inspiration come from?
I have received inspiration from all over, but my two main sources are photographs and my mind. Photographs have given me a lot of ideas in the past, some of them quite unusual. The most memorable example was a glass painting design that was inspired by a photo of a bright blue poison dart frog. I tend to find that my mind wanders sometimes but that’s when some good inspirational thoughts appear that get transformed into candles and crafts. I guess that means it’s a good thing my mind isn’t completely focused.
8. Do you listen to music/watch TV whilst you are working, and if so, what?
I don’t tend to watch TV as I work as I get distracted too much and end up channel hopping instead of working. I do like listening to music while I work though. I have quite a bit of music from all sorts of genres on my computer, which my computer plays at random to me. Recently though I’ve been listening more to artists like Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine and Adele.
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I’m not one for thinking far into the future. I haven’t even thought about what will happen in 2 years time yet. Hopefully I’ll still be creative and crafting.
10. What sacrifices have you made for your art?!
The biggest sacrifice has been a steady income. When working for yourself, you can never be sure how well your crafts are going to sell week by week. This is even more true when making something that is quite seasonal, like candles which are seen as an autumn/winter item.
So now I bet you are keen to find out more! What better way than by checking out the following….
Tweet Soy of The North
Facebook Soy of The North
Blog Soy of The North
Buy Soy of The North
My personal recommendation would be to check out the blog. Happy reading! And don’t forget to check in again next Thursday for the next interesting person.