When we're on the look out for new artists and producers, first impressions of their designs and the aesthetics of their work are so important. If something grabs us right away, we know others will feel the same way. But things get really interesting when an artist's work starts to evolve and change over time and they take us on a new journey. We've enjoyed going on that ride with Alison Blair Stern, a Colorado artist who we met on our first buying trip to New York City. Sometimes you have to travel away from home to find what's right there in your own back yard.
Here is our latest artist interview featuring jewelry artist Alison Blair Stern:
How did you get started in jewelry design and jewelry making? How did you learn to do what you do?
I am self-taught. I got started because I was looking for a way to de-stress, so I started stringing beads. I had seen a necklace I loved and decided to try to make it. My mom bet me that I wouldn't do it and I did. Then I went to a local consignment shop and told them I was a jewelry designer and asked if they would carry my jewelry. I made a few pieces and everything sold that weekend. Then I was hooked.
Where do you find your inspiration - how do you come up with your design ideas?
I am inspired by very simple designs, in a natural state. That's why I love raw diamonds. I also love playing with color combinations. My father was a fine artist and many of my colors are derived from his early abstracts.
What are some design elements, materials and/or products that you are particularly excited about right now?
I love presenting tension in my designs, like the sophistication of diamonds but in their raw state; similarly I've been working a lot with leather, but alongside distressed metals, as you can see in my magnetic arc bracelets.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs in creative industries, especially those starting out?
I would say to create what you love regardless of trends. The designs will often align, but I find that if I don't love a piece, it is usually not successful. Also, start out modestly and from the heart. Don't go after the latest trend and the big bucks. Just love what you do.