So today I would like you to meet Me... Penny Cheng of Jewelry by Saniki Creations, a Member of The Artisan Group, Artists in the Boro and Self Representing Artist-Jewelry Designer.
As far as I remember, I've always loved arts and crafts. I loved being creative but I was never able to put what I had in my head out into a medium for others to see. I tend to get bored fairly quickly so my little runs with writing, painting, drawing, knitting never lasted for very long let alone nice enough to show off to others.
Do you remember the first piece you ever made?
I made a few pieces for myself and my daughters in the past, but I would say the first piece I made would have been for my Nana (from my Hubby's side). It was a beaded necklace with different Swarovski Crystals representing her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Back then I thought it was the most beautiful thing I've ever made.. but now that I think about it.. I could have done a lot better. I actually got a picture of it, my photo taking skills were just as amateur back then too as you can see from the picture below.
|Nana's Necklace, Christmas 2008|
|Nana's Necklace, Christmas 2010|
I've heard about how other artists have a creative process. I honestly don't really have a set plan/process. Most of my ideas come to me when I'm lying down before I fall asleep. About 75% of the time I can remember what my idea was in the morning so I work on it right away and it seems to be fine that way. I'm terrible about writing ideas out, though I have a notebook and pen on my nightstand, I've never used it for ideas.
When people start doing their craft/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?
I officially started my business on January 2009 doing beaded jewelry (strung pieces, wirewrapped pieces) made with Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, and semiprecious stones.
I started doing Chainmaille jewelry back in the beginning of 2010 as I needed something different to what everyone else in my area was doing. Once I learned a few chainmaille weaves, I haven't stopped. Now all I ever do is chainmaille and sometimes I would do a beaded piece on commission basis. Why Chainmaille as a specialty.. I think it's my personality type. That's what I tell people. I love how metal rings put together can form such strong, intricate yet feminine pieces. Chainmailling is addictive and soothing for me.
I think just life in general inspires me. There's so much going on in the world that it's easy to pick something to get inspired by, if that made sense at all. I suppose there's really no set thing that does it for me, it could be a sunny day where I'm in a good mood or lousy mood, or daydreaming about winning the lottery and planning my mega work studio. I'm rather odd that way.
Can you tell us about some important goals you have achieved with your work?
I think that would be finding my own niche. Creating my own design that others haven't really thought of. To be referred to as an Artist.
There are so many great Artists out there. It's hard for me to pinpoint specific people. I've been lucky enough to get to know others and seeing their work. Out of everyone I've ever met in person or online, I always have a favorite in something they have done.
Any goals for the future you would like to share?
Besides winning the lottery? I would say being able to get more of my work out into the world. Possibly have my creations in boutiques would be awesome.
|"Shield1" Wall Art|
Wow.. what is spare time? So far it's housework. If I'm lucky, I watch a couple of television shows that's not consisting of cartoons or puppets. Napping is always a plus for me too.
If you are displaying or selling your craft/art? Where?
I do sell at craft fairs every once in a while or at home parties that friends have set up.
Through my membership with Artists in the Boro, I have had my creations on display during the BC Cultural Crawl, Queensborough Days and at the Queensborough Community Centre. Last Christmas I was selling my Creations at the Treasure Room located at the Arts Council of New Westminster.
In June of this year I am participating at the MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge presented by GBK Productions through my membership with The Artisan Group. I will have a display piece at the event with other artists in the group, plus 100 Chainmaille Creations will be distributed out into swag bags for the celebrities that attend the Gift Lounge.
And of course I have my Website that's been with me since the beginning. I have an open door policy, so if someone wants to come over to my place to see my creations, just give me a call and I'll have a pot of coffee ready.
I wish I could spend more time on the creative side. Unfortunately since I'm not in any retail places, I need to spend more time promoting my site. Ideally I would love to spend 75% creating and 25% dealing with the business stuff.
What advice would you give to someone who want to start out or start a business in their craft/art?
Plan it out and do it. Be open minded, learn as much as possible and network like crazy. Get to know other people in the same business as you. They can be your best allies in the end. There's a lot of hard work involved and at times you would feel like you want to quit, that you are not good enough... those feelings are normal and keeps us humble. You'll never know unless you try.
*****Well that's my interview to myself. Hope you all enjoyed learning more about me. Be sure to visit my Website, follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook Page.
*****SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT*****Before I say goodbye: Through my membership with The Artisan Group. I will be giving a special Chainmaille Gift to actor Tom Cruise and his family (his wife, Katie Holmes and daughter, Suri Cruise)! This gift will be sent to Mr. Cruise in a special gift bag containing other great handmade goodies from my fellow members. More details to follow. Stay tuned!