Thursday Showcase No.15 Sue Bulmer

Hi there, how are you? Good week? Mine has been pretty shocking – shockingly bad. But what better way to cheer up than take a peek into the world of an interesting lady I found on Twitter – the lovely Sue Bulmer. If you haven;t come across her work before then you are in for a treat, especially if you need cheering up – her work is definitely cheery!
1. Whats yer name and where d’ya come from?!
My name is Sue Bulmer and I come from the North east of England. I ended up in Nottingham many moons ago to studying Pharmacy and ended up meeting my man and have been here ever since doing my happily ever after bit!
2. How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you get into it?
I always loved art and being creative and spent lots of time painting when I was young. However I couldn’t pursue Art further than GCSE due to having to study the sciences for my Pharmacy degree. I came back to my creative roots a few times through my 20s, dabbling in a bit of sketching and painting, but it wasn’t until my mid-30s that I decided I wanted to explore my creative side and make a go of it again, and I enrolled on a part time Foundation Course in Art and Design. This led me to where I am now, running a creative business, meeting loads of creative folk and generally having a great time doing it!
3. What is the hardest part of your work?
That’s a good question. I wouldn’t say any of it is hard-hard, like I mean ‘really hard’…  I really enjoy running my creative business. My other job as a Community Pharmacist, gives me the security of a regular income, so I’m not totally reliant on my creative business to feed and clothe us and pay the mortgage so that takes a major part of the stress out of having to make a livable income at the moment. I’m building things up slowly in the hope that one day I can work more on being creative and less on my other job. If I had to choose something I’d say the hardest part of my work is learning to work through creative ‘dry-spells’. I used to get so frustrated when my creativity deserted me, but now I know that I have to accept this as part of the whole process and I get a lot less stressed about it. As a result it happens less! I also think being ‘jack-of-all-trades’ when running your own business is quite hard. You have to be able to turn your hand to accounts, PR, marketing, networking, there’s loads to do, but if you’re organised it makes it a lot easier. I’m the Queen of Lists which does help!
4. And what is the most rewarding?
I think for me the most rewarding part of running my business is the feeling of accomplishment I get at the end of every year when I look back over my ‘wish list’ for that year and look at what I have achieved and how far I have come. I always make a point between Christmas and New Year to make a plan for the following year of things I would like to do and it’s a wonderful feeling to achieve the goals I have set for myself.
5. What do you class yourself as – artist, designer/maker, crafter, creative?
I used to really struggle with ‘labels’, even back at college when we had to choose a speciality, it frustrated me to have to label myself and my work, and to have to be defined by what kind of work I did, as I liked to do a bit of everything. Maybe what was because at the time I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and what was my ‘thing’ and now I’ve become more confident in my style and the way I work I’d maybe describe myself as creative, artist, designer-maker, crafter in that order.
6. Who from the creative world do you admire?
I admire people who inspire others. From top entrepreneurs, such as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, to creative bloggers, such as Grace Bonney from Design Sponge, Holly Becker from Decor8, and other creatives, such as Debbie Bryan, my Design Factory Mentor, and Heather Moore of Skinny Laminx. I admire people who get off the backsides and do something amazing!
7. Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from my home and garden, my relationships, my family and also from the natural world. My work is very sentimental and I think this reflects the kind of person I am.
8. Do you listen to music/watch TV whilst you are working, and if so, what?
Never TV, I can’t seem to concentrate on two visual things at the same time! Music, always, anything from BBC6Music, Radio 2, Radio 4, to the shuffle on my ipod. I also like listening to inspiring podcasts too. It just depends what kind of mood I’m in. At the moment British Sea Power is playing.
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In five years time I would love to be working more than two days a week on my creative business. I would love to be stocked in other countries and I would love to have my own range of kitchen ware and textiles.
10. What sacrifices have you made for your art?!
hmm, can’t think of any major sacrifices I’ve had to make so far…. Obviously there is the time sacrifice factor to consider, there are only so many hours in the day and I know I have spent more time on my business over the past year, which has impacted a little bit on the amount of time I spend with family. I do like to try to keep weekends and holidays earmarked as FAMILY time, when I put the computer and sketchbook away and spend quality time with my fella and my dog, time with nearest and dearest is the most important thing to me. If it ever came to choosing between family and work, family wins every time!

And that’s about it. You can find out lots more about Sue in various locations across the net – check out these links…

twitter @sooziebee71

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