The calender helps me mark time. About two weeks before 2010 so I better slow down and think about what I've done this entire year. I am in serious need of writing.
I started 2009 back home in New York after several months in Hong Kong. Realized that hand rendering jewelry designs was not meaningful or exciting to me; it was the last thing I wanted to focus on. The environment and community in Hong Kong was very different from what I was used to too. With the collapsing economy, I knew that finding a job would not be an easy task once I arrived back home. Wanting to search for something that would make me feel productive and get paid for it might be a lot to ask for when people were just trying to find any job to make basic means. But I was determined to look for it and really needed it. In the back of my mind though, I knew I was limited in time because of my school loans that I had to start paying off soon. So I did not just limit myself to jewelry jobs. I searched for a lot of art organizations, gallery and museum work along with fine and costume jewelry companies. The researching was very overwhelming in the beginning. Not knowing where to begin and what I was looking for was very disorienting. But I learned to organize and reminded myself that beginnings are normally difficult.
From my experience in Hong Kong, definitely, I realized I wanted something more multitasking and interactive. After some interviews and talking to different people, I slowly realized what was out there and what seemed interesting to me. Sort of narrowing my likes and dislikes.
In March, an opportunity came to work part time for a fine/fashion jewelry company. I was basically a production assistant, making their jewelry. I knew that I love using my hands. It was good in seeing how a small company was growing.
In June, I finally got the job I have now, producing all the handmade jewelry. Here, I am handling a lot more tasks. Receiving multiple sales order and completing the order through my own making along with jewelers on 47th street. It can be a lot of work sometimes since I am juggling all of the orders myself. But I think I am learning how to deal with more stress and problems that can randomly occur. Things that are sometimes out your control have to be dealt with through finding some sort of solution. I tell myself that even though the jewelry piece did not turn out to be the way I envisioned it, it's the outcome because we just had to make the best out of the situation and circumstance. Time management and communication are two essential skill I have learned. Maintaining good relationships and connections with friends and coworkers will also work in one's favor. I am so thankful for the people I work with.
In September, I finally started this blog. I've been doing so much research on jewelry this entire year. Looking at jewelry galleries, design blogs, all sorts of jewelry companies, personal blogs, etc etc. I observed what others were doing and it was something I wanted to have too. Sharing what I like, what I find interesting and what I want to remember are the fundamental reasons why I started this blog. Definitely a method of recording was what I needed because I was receiving so much information I liked.
In October, an opportunity came to have a studio share with 5 other jewelers. It was so exciting for me because I really wanted and needed a space to work on my own jewelry. I knew that making someone else's jewelry is not something I could forever. So I joined this studio share. As I was internet browsing, I learned that the holiday craft shows and fairs were approaching. The deadline to submit applications were really really soon. I wanted to give it a shot and crank out work. If I didn't get accept, I would just say that it was my lack of time in making better pieces but if I did get accepted, I would be really happy. Fortunately, I did get accepted to the 3rd Ward Craft Fair. I had one month preparation before the show. Doing things last minute was extremely stressful. At the same time, my friend, Hwa, was also opening her gallery in Korea. So I had to make work for her holiday show/sale too.
To put even more things on my plate, I opened my etsy shop the second week of November. During this November period, things were happening left and right. I had no idea how everything just started to pile up or what I was getting into. Definitely learning to prepare in advance and taking my time with things is what I know now. Knowing my limit in how much I can take on is something I am still learning.
Dec 12 was the 3rd Ward Craft Fair and Dec 13 was my own studio sale. At the end, everything turned out okay. All the work was worth it. I like to look at it as a good learning experience. Knowing how speak to a customer is important for them to understand and buy the work; that I learned is so necessary!
Christmas/ holiday time is an extremely busy period. I've been working nonstop. Finally, I am getting from rest. I really forgotten how it felt to do nothing! Sleep never felt so good and it is scary to actually sleep so much. I will rest up for the new year. Looking forward to continue my studio time and see what new work I will create.
Graduating school and continuing my own work is definitely a challenge. With all the ups and downs, I am beginning to see how I have to handle the situation. I had a reunion dinner with my high school art teacher. He said to take things one day at a time and as long as I am not emotionally and physically hurt, then I am doing fine. That is something to remember. Great advice to take for 2010. I am eagerly awaiting for a great new year. Although now that I reread what I wrote, I know I gained a lot and it was a good year in learning terms, but it's been a bit mentally exhausting as well. I hope I will not make myself mentally exhausted next year. Patience and knowing that I can figure it out are good reminders.
Warm wishes to everyone! Cheers to a happy new year as well...