Sunday, April 17, 2016

Interview with Christina of CSLDesigns

Hi Everybody! I am so excited to post my interview with Christina Larsen of CSLdesigns.

If you have not seen her library of free jewelry making tutorials I hope you do! I had great fun talking to her and she is a super talented sweetheart, I look forward to speaking (emailing lol) with her more. :^)

1. Where are you from?
I am originally from Denmark, but live in Leeds in Yorkshire, England, after moving over here to go to university.

2.  How long have you been designing and making jewelry?
I think about 3.5 to 4 years now.

3.  I’ve read on your profile what inspired you but could you tell everyone else what it was that inspired you to start creating jewelry if you would please?
I have always been creative and crafty since being a child as I grew up with it, which I have my mum to thank for. But then when I went to University I mistakenly put the creative side of me a bit behind me, and I had some of the worst years of my life. And it was a while after leaving university I thankfully rediscovered my creativity, and quickly discovered the art of jewellery making and was instantly hooked. And it has really helped me work through hard times, so I'm grateful for that

Fashion statement necklace

4.  I love how professional your tutorials are, how do you mount your camera above your hands?
First of all, thank you very much. It really means a lot to hear that. I actually have my partner to thank for that, because I started out with having my camera on a tripod next to me, while then working trying to keep everything in shot, and it basically wrecked my body doing that for hours at a time. It certainly wasn't comfortable lol. So he came up with the idea of using a handlebar mount camera holder, that is normally meant for motorbikes, and attaching that to a clothes rack so the camera lens is facing down when it's attached. And it completely changed how I worked when doing my tutorials, so I'm very grateful for that.

5.  What software do you use to edit your tutorials?
I started out just using iMovie, but have since upgraded to using Adobe Premiere Pro, and I'm very happy with that.

6.  Now that you are selling your creations, which ones are your best sellers?
It's a little hard to say as I only tend to make one or two of each for tutorial purposes and then I don't really make the piece again. So I will only ever really have one or two of each piece for sale, and I don't do commissions as I simply don't have time (except if family or friends ask for something :-)) But what has seemed the most popular is my tree of life wirework ring, and my elvish inspired pendant.

Organic teardrop wirework earrings

7.  Have you tried other platforms outside of Etsy? How did you like them?
Alongside my Etsy shop I also have my own website that I have had for almost two years now, and I'm very happy with that, so I definitely recommend it. Otherwise I haven't tried any other platforms.

8.  Do you ever get a creative block? How do you move past it?
Honestly, no I don't get creative block. At least I haven't run into one yet thankfully. Which is quite lucky, considering what I do lol. I just have too many ideas flying around in my head all the time and it also helps that I get requests from people. That can really help with ideas.

9.  How do you inspire yourself before designing a piece?
It's a bit different from piece to piece. Sometimes an idea will literally pop up in my head and I know exactly what I'm doing and how I'm doing it before I even start, and other times I have something specific I want to make, but not really sure how to go about it, and then I just get out the materials I want to use and start experimenting and figuring it out as I go.

10.  How do you find time to make tutorials and design jewelry when you work a full-time job?
Thankfully running my business and doing YouTube is my fulltime job, so that makes it easier to make the time for it all.

11.  When your creating a piece like kumihimo that requires a lot of time, how do you price the item but keep it affordable?
That's a great question and pricing your pieces to sell can be a very individual thing. But I do think there are some good guidelines to follow. First of, I will usually get an idea of what the materials have cost to make it and how long it has taken me to make, where I then give myself an hourly rate. I then also look at what I think it is worth and what someone might be willing to pay for it. And it can also be a good idea to look at the market for similar things and see the range that others charge for similar things. And then I will combine all those to get the price I think is right for the piece.

12.  I find that my best items I have created end up being gifts for loved ones rather than going into my shop. I just can’t resist, I love seeing someones eyes light up when they open their gift lol.  Do you do the same? :^)
Hehe, oh yes I do that as well. For example my mums favourite colour is blue, so whenever I make something blue, I usually think of her, and quite often end up giving her the piece. And also if someone in the family has said they really like something I made I will usually be more than happy to just give it to them.
Braided wire bracelet
13.  I just watched your latest well done tutorial “beaded half round kumihimo cabochon’ are you working on a new tutorial? What will the subject be?
Yes, I am always working on a new tutorial. Even when I am not recording I am either working on something for the purpose of a tutorial or my mind is working on ideas for tutorials. And honestly I am usually always working on multiple subjects at a time as I enjoy different mediums.

14.  And finally last but by no means least… what words of wisdom do you have for other budding jewelry designers who wish they could make tutorials as polished as yours?
Again, firstly thank you very much for the kind words. The main thing I can say is to stop thinking about it and just do it. Before I started I was thinking about it for quite a while but nothing happened, until one day I just decided to stop thinking about it and just do it, and have been doing it ever since. And I can sometimes wish I had just started earlier instead of just thinking about it. And just start with what you have available to you. Everyone starts somewhere and then you can always upgrade along the way. Don't think that everything has to be just right and perfect from the beginning, as it never is, and that will just stop you from doing something you really want to do and might end up really enjoying. 

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