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Artistsí Advice

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"What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?"

Artists of Jewish Gift Place

Artistic creativity comes from within and manifests itself early in a child’s life.  Those who love art so much that they turn it into a business possess a combination of many talents - business acumen and creativity. 

Jewish Gift Place recently interviewed an eclectic group of eight artists who design jewelry, fabric, and metal.  The artists talk about their interests, their inspiration, and their passion - and how they turned their passion of art into a business.   Each artist was asked ten questions ranging from where they were educated, to where they get their inspiration, to what they do for fun.  You can read the entire Artists' Interview Series to learn more about each artist. Below, each artist answers the following question:

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

Ayala Bar:  Never ever stop playing, and not to be limited with concepts. The actual process is the way, whether it is successful or not, whether it turns up popular or not. If and when the creativity does result in accomplishment and/or critical acclaim, one should not surrender to the feeling of comfort. Such an attitude may result in loss of creativity.
Ayala Bar is a jewelry designer who incorporates beads and fabric in her work. View the entire Ayala Bar collection.

Michal Golan: My advice to any artist starting out in the world would be to stay up to date with the latest trends and keep re-inventing your creative identity. Keep your line fresh and your customers interested.
Michal Golan is a jewelry designer who uses semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystal, and freshwater pearls to design pieces inspired by Middle Eastern mosaics, Victorian jewelry, and Byzantine art. View the entire Michal Golan collection.

Eduardo Milieris: If you have kids, you have an obligation to put food on the table everyday, to put shoes on their feet. Get a job at the Town Hall, be a Fireman or a landscaper. If you are not a mom or a dad, you are free, do what you love even if you have to sleep under a bridge and eat the bad lunch served at the local church. The price not to be yourself is too high.
Eduardo Milieris of Watchcraft designs spectacular one-of-a kind copper watches. View the entire Watchcraft collection.

Emily Rosenfeld: I would say not to think too hard about the risks and just work hard on creating a viable body of work and throw it and yourself out there. Then pay attention to what is working and what is not and don't think you know more than your customer about what good smart design looks like. Things seem harder than when I started but I think older artists thought the same thing back then.
Emily Rosenfeld designs jewelry and home accessories in silver and pewter. View the entire Emily Rosenfeld collection.

Steven Bronstein: There are two challenges for an artist. How to create the vision you have inside you and how are you going to make a living. They can be combined or kept separate - either works. If you decide to combine the two challenges, then they each have to be given the time and energy required. I know a lot of artists who can create the work but have tremendous ambivalence about what to do with the work after it is created. If you choose to sell your work, that is a design challenge that requires an equal amount of energy, and to be successful requires that the business of art be treated, by the artist and the consumer, with the same honor and respect that the work itself deserves.
Steven Bronstein of Blackthorne Forge is a blacksmith who designs Judaica and home accessories. View the entire Blackthorne Forge collection.

Jan Marie Lanier: Find a balance - ask yourself what you want out of your art. Is it a creative outlet for you, or do you want to support yourself by it? Believe me - they can be two very different things. Creating is a calling - very few people earn enough to make a good living. If you want to earn a living by it, you have to understand it is a business first. There have been many a design we have done over the years that we loved but were too time consuming or expensive to make them part of a business model - you have to accept that.
Jan Marie Lanier of Silk Bijoux is a silk artist who designs scarves and wearable Judaica. View the entire Silk Bijoux collection.

Jami Miyamoto: Don't try and copy what's out there but take time to experiment because that's where the ideas come from. Don't be afraid to have a lot of duds. It's part of the process.
Jami Miyamoto of Studio Roja designs Judaica and fun inspirational pieces. View the entire Studio Roja collection.

Gary RosenthalPersist
Gary Rosenthal combines copper, brass, and steel with fused glass to create Judaic art. View the entire Gary Rosenthal Collection.


Read all of the interviews in our "Interview with the Artist" series:

Learn more about our artists: