I love glass lampwork beads, especially if I can somehow use it to make pretty jewelry or to keep for my personal stash. As I was building up my Facebook Fan page back in January of this year, my 125th fan was this wonderful glass artist, Payton Jett. From just being a fan to being a friend, I got to know this lovely woman and her joy of what I would describe as setting rods of glass on fire until it melts and molding it to become a spectacular piece of art. I know it's a little more complicated than that and I would never attempt to play with fire, mainly because with three kids, a dog and a husband running around, I'm bound to set something other than the glass on fire.
So let's get to know about this ever so talented Artist, here's my interview with Payton.
How and when did you start making your craft as a business?
I started lampworking in October of 2006, I think I officially started my business in July of 2007. That's when I established a .com and also started to sell online.
Do you remember the first piece you ever made?
I do; it was big and ugly and had a lot of primary colors. My beads were big even back then lol.
Every artist has a personal “creative process”, can you explain yours?
I can try. The creative process never really stops or starts. It's very integrated into my daily life. I will see a color, pattern or design and say "that could be a bead" or the best "bead moments" happen when I'm falling asleep.. there is that little half-lucid time between actually being asleep and sorta falling asleep when the ideas start to flood my brain. I have a notebook next to my bedside just for that reason.
But if I were to give you the process lets say before I actually sit down to make glass then it would be to take a few hours and sit with magazines, bead books or to go on the internet and look at art. My brain starts to swirl and the designs start to come and I always write them down. I do until I can no longer sit still and I have to try my new idea. New ideas can be hard because I might spend an entire 10 hour session trying to get it just right but it's always worth it. By the time I am done I have learned something new and created (usually) beautiful, one of a kind art!
When people start doing their art, they tend to try a lot of different things before settling down to something that resonates with them, how has your work changed since you began?
My work is ever-evolving and changing. I used to think that I wanted to try to find a "signature piece" and then realized that a big part of who I am is that you can always expect the unexpected from me. Part of my business mantra is "uncommonly beautiful and always handmade" and I think I live up to that for the most part. I do make my fair share of "garden art" ;)
How many hours a week do you spend in the creative side vs the business side?
My week is a good 50-50 split. I am thankful for that as I need a lot of variety. I wouldn't be happy just making glass nor would I be satisfied with just web design or listing or doing all the other things that come with this business.
What inspires you creatively?
Quite honestly most anything and everything. I really pull a lot of what I do from nature and my surroundings. I love to go places and let the images I see inspire me. I might just go down to a culturally rich part of the city and walk the streets to find something to obsess over in terms of design or I can simply take a nice long bike ride and find that I'm turning around to go back home and draw.
Where do you sell?
I sell at Artfire and Etsy mainly. I do have a ShopEnvy store and 1000 Markets as well but I've had better luck at Artfire and Etsy.
Can you tell us about some important goals you have achieved with your work?
My work has lent its self to who I am as a person overall. When I first started in this business I was really nervous and insecure about who I was as an artist. I had a lot of growing up to do and I feel I owe it mainly to my glass and silver work. I was too shy to even show people my pieces or try to sell it when I started out but over time I have learned so much about what it is to be an artist and how "baring your soul" can be freeing.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested or starting out a business?
I have no one "pat answer" to this but if I were to try to give good, sound advice I would have to say that you really need to be open to learning as much as you can. Keep your eyes open and your finger on the heartbeat of your community to learn where the trends are going and also how to be a good business person. I feel like I had some basic instincts starting out but most of what I learned, that seems really important to me now, I learned from trial and error. Being humble and open to lessons is very important.
Who are some of your favorite artists and crafters?
Quite honestly I find something I love/like in everyone's art. I love it all. It all inspires me on a daily basis. I'm very fortunate to be a part of this big, eclectic, wonderful group of artists I call my community.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend a lot of time outside doing just about anything. I love to ride my bike, camp or do anything that involves water. I paint, draw and take photography as well.
If there's anything else you want to add, please feel free to do so.
I just want to thank you, Penny. I really appreciate the time you took to compile this interview. Great questions!
(Awww, thanks Payton!!)
Be sure to visit Payton's Shops on Artfire and Etsy, plus don't forget to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Blogger!