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jewelry

Meet Zoe DeJesus

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Meet Zoe DeJesus

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Meet the maker

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Zoe DeJesus. I'm an artist from New Jersey.

Tell me a bit about your work and how you began making it.

I've always wanted to do something creative. I dabbled in quite a few things as a child and as a teenager. I did choir and theater and always had a natural affinity for creating art of some kind. In college I studied theater and thought I was going to pursue that after graduating. But I ended up doing odd jobs and being very unsure of myself. I went through a low period where I was very frustrated with life and because of that I began making art to relieve stress. I started sharing my work on Instagram and it became a bit of a hobby. Friends and family responded positively and people started wanting to buy my work so I pursued it and it became a much larger part of my life and my identity.

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Do you have a favorite project or piece that you’ve created?

I'm not sure I have a favorite. I'm very critical of my work, more than I'd like to be.  But I am proud of the style that I've developed over the years and I'm interested to see where it goes as I continue making art. 

Can you share with us a few artists or makers that inspire you or your work?

Yes, definitely. Frida Khalo, Georgia O'Keefe, Picasso, Basquiat, Matisse, Mickalene Thomas, Ellie Hopley, Frances Cannon, Celeste Mountjoy and Isabelle Feliu. I'm sure there are many more but these are the ones that came to mind. 


What is your creative process like?

It's constantly changing. But I guess if I had to describe it I'd say I never have a concrete plan and I'm constantly problem solving and changing my mind. I just sort of let my mind go where it wants and I think my art reflects that. 


What is the hardest part about what you do?

It's hard for me to remember that art is for me and not for anyone else. Sharing my work on social media makes it interactive and trying to sell it makes me more vulnerable to the opinion of others. The hardest thing is to stay to true to myself and keep my work honest and original. 

Do you have any advice you’d give a young artist hoping to embark on a creative path?

Be consistent, take advantage of opportunity and don't take yourself too seriously!

What is your workspace like?

I work out of the room that I'm currently renting in Melbourne. It's small but it gets the job done. 

What are you working on right now?

I'm working on an investigative art series at the moment. I am interviewing people about their sexuality and creating paintings about each person I interview. I plan to exhibit the works in Melbourne in July of this year. 

Do you have any insight or tips for how to write about your work for other artists who may be struggling to do so?

Writing and talking about my work has always been pretty challenging. The only tip I'd have for this would be to write in a journal and talk to friends/ family. I think when you're in tune with yourself you can better understand the work that you make.

is your creative work your full time job? if not, can you share a bit about other work you do either full time, part time or on the side?

Making art is not my full time job. Right now it's a hobby and a side hustle. Since I moved to Melbourne for a working holiday, I've been working at a bar. It's nice because I have plenty of time to travel and work on my art. I used to work at an art school when I lived in the states. 

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If or when you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get yourself out of it?

I have a few go to remedies for creative ruts. Sometimes I will listen to music and smoke a bit of weed and journal, draw or paint whatever comes to me. Usually something very abstract. I like to practice free association and automatism. I find it really beneficial even when I'm in a really good space creatively. 

If the creative rut is really bad and I can't get myself to create anything, I turn to other forms of art. Turning my mind away from myself and my work tends to help. I'll watch a good movie or documentary, read a novel or poetry, see a play, go for walk, exercise, or spend time with friends. It's important for me to escape my own head when I'm stuck. I think my creative ruts often come from overthinking. 

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Meet Jessica of Mottled + Thrifted

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Meet Jessica of Mottled + Thrifted

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Meet the maker

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Jess! I’m 24 and from the central coast of California. My husband and I have been married for about 3.5 years but are high school sweethearts, so we have been together for just over 10 years. We have a 2 year old son, Noah. He is the funniest kid I have ever met (and maybe the naughtiest 😂.) Life is busy but so, SO good. 

Tell me a bit about your work and how you began making it.

My Instagram shop started out as a platform for selling vintage clothing and home goods. The idea of giving something new life coupled with offering others an alternative to buying into fast fashion felt so amazing to me. I recently discovered I am a type four on the enneagram (I know I know another twenty something year old bringing up the enneagram-don’t hate me😅.)  I have always been extremely creative, decent at a handful of things but not amazing at any one particular thing. Making clay jewelry started out as something fun, just for me. The first time I tried to create anything out of clay, I spent hours designing. When i went to fire my pieces, I came to discover that I hadn’t used oven safe clay 🙃. I tried again and again until I felt confident enough to start selling my designs per some requests! I’m still so new at it and learning everyday how to improve, but I’m loving every second of it. 

Every time I do a drop, I choose my favorite pair out and save it in a folder to my phone and on a private Pinterest board. I come back to it often to stay inspired and excited about what I do.


Do you have a favorite project or piece that you’ve created?

Every time I do a drop, I choose my favorite pair out and save it in a folder to my phone and on a private Pinterest board. I come back to it often to stay inspired and excited about what I do. So, a specific piece... I made a pair of classic arches for a drop forever ago. I couldn’t part with them until recently. They are translucent and turquoise and felt almost hypnotizing to look at in person!

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Can you share with us a few artists or makers that inspire you or your work?

Not someONE specifically. My inspiration is kind of tough to explain. I’m inspired by the ocean and mountains, the sky at night, dreamy interiors, sunsets, bohemian fashion and Spanish missions. See what i mean by confusing ? I think my inspiration makes more sense in my own head, but there it is for you. 😂


What is your creative process like?

When I first decided to start selling jewelry as a side biz, I made a promise to myself, I would not list anything for sale unless it’s something I’d personally wear. This mantra has helped me stay true to my style. (I’d call it eclectic??)  Sometimes I go into making with colors and ideas in mind, sometimes I need a bit of inspiration, so I’ll turn on some music and just get going. I can tell almost immediately if I need to try again later or if a batch feels right.


What is the hardest part about what you do?

Giving my self time to decompress from the job. I’m so passionate about what I do that it can start to feel obsessive. I’m working on taking time to shut off the work part of my brain. There are so many other aspects and important parts of my life that require attention. Before maker, I’m a momma and a wife. When I’m doing those well, I create better. 

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Do you have any advice you’d give a young artist hoping to embark on a creative path?

Considering myself an artist still feels so foreign to me, so giving “young artists” advice.... I don’t know if I’m quite qualified to do that if I’m being honest! I’ll give it my best shot... stay true to yourself. One of the most challenging things about what I do is acknowledging that there are tons of other people doing the same thing, and sometimes I think, why bother ? Why would anyone choose my work over someone else’s ? BUT when you stay true to yourself, and you don’t rip off other people’s work, trying to pass it off as your own, you quietly and humbly move forward, there is reward at the end of that. People notice authenticity. 

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What is your workspace like?

It’s my counter top and it’s a freaking mess when I’m working!

What are you working on right now?

The answer is always more earrings! Also, I have a new little project I’m thinking about adding into the mix .

If or when you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get yourself out of it?

I touched a bit on this, but the best thing for me is  to remember why I started. For me, it’s because it’s exciting and calming and makes me feel proud. To see lumps of clay turn into art that people WANT to wear, it’s so rewarding. When I’m feeling stuck in a non-creative rut, I remember that there isn’t a deadline . I’m my own boss. I am allowed to take time for myself until I feel inspired again to create. Every once in a while when I’m in a rut, I’ll make a pair of earrings just for me. When I make something just for myself, it starts to turn the creative wheels in my brain. 


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Meet Hannah Welch of Carnelian Moon Jewelry

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Meet Hannah Welch of Carnelian Moon Jewelry

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Meet the maker

Hannah Welch shares with us her journey into jewelry making.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised near Detroit, and I moved to New York City when I was eighteen to study fashion. I've been studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology for the past three years as a business student and am finishing up my Bachelor's degree this year. In New York, I got my feet wet with several different internships at design houses and magazines before starting my current internship with a jewelry designer. I actually didn't start selling my jewelry officially until roughly a year ago!

I’ve been drawn to jewelry for the longest time, and for me it has always been my vehicle for individuality.

When did you start creating? What has made you want to pursue it?

I've been creating for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I loved having my hands busy with anything; chalk, paint, knitting, sewing, jewelry making - you name it. I knew that I wanted to pursue some type of creative career, and it ended up transpiring into fashion by the time I moved to New York. As a business student, you don't always get the chance to be creative with your work. Making jewelry slowly turned into my outlet. I've been drawn to jewelry for the longest time, and for me it has always been my vehicle for individuality. When I was living in Paris for a few months last year, I had a lot of time to be introspective and materialize these floating thoughts in my head of a possible jewelry business. Upon coming back to New York with some ideas sketched up, I made a trip to the bead store and then dove right in! I think what makes me want to continue pursuing it is that there is still so much that can be discovered in the process, and there are no limits creatively.


Do you have a favorite project or piece that you’ve created?

My favorite piece that I've created so far probably has to be these abstract face earrings that I make from wire. They were a product of me just creating mindlessly and curiously. I think that's what makes them so awesome. They all look a little bit different, and each face is its own little personality.

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Can you share with us a few artists or makers that inspire you or your work?

I'm really inspired by Frida Kahlo, both her work and her personal style. There's a pair of hand earrings that I make that were directly influenced by the ones that she used to wear. There's so much inspiration to gain from her outfits alone. She was seriously incredible.


What is your creative process like?

My creative process differs every day. For some pieces, I have an exact plan of what I want to make that I plot out in my head for a while before actually making it. For others, I just sit down and start bending wire and something magically transpires from it. Sometimes I just see things on the street or read something in a book that flips a switch! I think the best places I can go to get the gears turning is at the Met or a small coffee shop. Espresso is truly my magic potion.


What is the hardest part about what you do?

The hardest part is being adept to the connection between what you want to create and what your customers want to buy. I think it’s easy to overthink how other people are going to perceive your designs, especially if they are investing money in them.

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Do you have any advice you’d give a young artist hoping to embark on a creative path?

Well, I'd say that I am myself a young designer trying to still pursue this as my career in some way! However, if there are other young people trying to further a creative passion of theirs, I would tell them to go for it. Pursuing something creative can be intimidating, but the feeling you get when others appreciate your work is so worth it!

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What is your workspace like?

My workspace is my apartment. Lots of beads. Everywhere.

Pursuing something creative can be intimidating, but the feeling you get when others appreciate your work is so worth it!

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I'm working on a lot of astrology-centered jewelry. Astrology is a passion of mine so to be finally incorporating that into my jewelry is super exciting!

If or when you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get yourself out of it?

I see a creative rut as sign to step back or give my mind a break. Meditation, reading or a really long walk help me clear my head and make room for fresh ideas to come in. Talking with friends can help as well. I find that sometimes I have to go beyond my own head to find inspiration.

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