In my last post, I spoke about the myriad of things which have been affecting my mental health since the beginning of this year. I have decided that my business is not enough in it's current form; it's not enough for me creatively and it's definitely not enough financially. I was doing very well last year, earning and saving as much as I was aiming for but I felt like I was in a sweatshop, just constantly churning out the same products over and over again, day in, day out.
I had a huge wholesale order from Lazy Oaf which was AMAZING and it was a total dream to see my jewels in their store. But that order was for hundreds of pairs of earrings, all made by me, by hand, in my home studio and I was working until 1/2am every day for a week to get them done.
My last post helped me to sort my head out; writing that post was like using a drain unblocker to unclog all of the swirling thoughts. Just one long cathartic stream of consciousness, my brain exploded on to the page. I cried my heart out and then I felt clear and focussed again, after spending so long in a fog. I knew what I wanted to do; take the whole of January off from my jewellery business, which is a lot less drastic than closing my business down entirely (which was where my head was at in July).
I was initially referring to it as "Sort Your Head Out January" but it has since been renamed "Experimental January" You may have seen me mention it on my Instagram Stories recently. I am planning on taking the whole of January to try out new techniques and materials: as many as I can fit in to one month.
I have already started researching for it, who am I kidding, I'm a serial collector/hoarder of colourful scraps of paper and fabric, pretty packaging and fun textures. Any extra pennies that I can squirrel away from my jewellery sales before Christmas are going in to the pot to help purchase art and craft supplies and get me through the month. I am planning on arranging artist dates with people who are happy to show me around their city and/or teach me a new craft technique.
One idea I have had is very important to me; I want to incorporate non-recyclable materials in to as many different craft techniques as I can. I have actually been collecting non-recyclable plastic like bottle lids, pen lids, net bags from fruit etc I want to give these items a new use as well as helping to amplify the voices of the people who are already calling for change worldwide.
I am going to document my Experimental January journey on Instagram and hopefully on here too, so watch this space!