This series of Q&A is all about shining the light on our 6 large feature stalls that we have in the upcoming Christmas market: Etsy Made Local – Saturday 23rd November – Sydney Town Hall.
‘Feature’ stalls are new to our market this year, they are stalls that are larger in size and life than usual and you won’t miss them! There are 6 artists and designers that will be running featured stalls on the day and we’ll be chatting to each of them on the lead up to the market here on the blog.
Today we are chatting to Jocelyn from Jocelyn Proust Designs, she is an incredible surface art designer, maker and is the artist behind this years market artwork!
Here’s what we chatted to Jocelyn about:
Tell us about you and your brand! What is your creative practice, how and when you began and how long have you been an Etsy seller?
My brand, “Jocelyn Proust Designs” really consists of two quite separate entities that sometimes overlap!
Firstly, I am a licensed designer, which means that I license my work to brands and businesses for use on their products. I have worked with many clients, both in Australia and internationally, across many product categories. My designs have been used on greeting cards in the US, stationery in France, girl’s fashion in Belgium, kid’s backpacks in Spain, homewares in the UK, swimwear in Columbia, and on fabric, fashion, homewares, stationery and greeting cards in Australia.
The second part of my brand is my own range of home textiles and stationery items that operates from my Etsy Shop. I started selling on Etsy in late 2017 and I love having this aspect of handmade goods as part of my business.
Where do you call home and what your are creative hotspots where you live or beyond?
I live on the mid north coast of NSW and work from my home based studio.
What inspires you to make and where do you get your inspiration from?
I have always felt the need to create. It’s just part of who I am, so really I can be inspired by almost anything! A stunning colour combination in nature, an interesting shape in a building, a beautiful book cover or magazine layout can all trigger an idea for a new design. I guess the most consistently inspiring thing for me is my surrounding environment. I live by the beach that is overlooked by rolling green hills. I am so fortunate that I can so easily connect to my natural surroundings by walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean and wandering through the rainforest. The abundance of native plant and bird life is endlessly inspiring to me.
What does your creative space look like? Are you a home based studio or do you have an external space? Tell us about your making process, what tools/materials/equipment do you use?
My creative space is a purpose designed art studio that overlooks my garden. There are always birds outside and the occasional visit from a snake inside! My dog Alfie, is a constant presence by my side.
I have lots of art materials for experimenting, but my favourites are probably just a good black artliner and my Apple Imac. I also have fabric spread across a cutting table and a sewing machine in another room, so I am slowly taking over the entire house as a workspace!
Tell us about a typical day for you in your creative practice, do you follow a routine or have a different approach? Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?
Every day for me starts with an hour or more of walking early in the morning. This is the best time for brainstorming and thinking about new designs.
I don’t have a rigid routine as I need to be flexible, depending on what I am working on and which client I am working with. I need to respond to overnight emails from international clients and I usually fulfill my Etsy orders in the morning.
My favourite part of the creative process is seeing a series or collection of designs come together as a group. Mixing and matching colours, playing with shape and scale of motifs to create a cohesive body of work is immensely satisfying.
What would you say is the biggest challenge when running your own business, what is your favourite and least favourite part?
There are many challenges with running a small business. The number one challenge for me at the moment is work/life balance. It is difficult to separate home life and work life when you work from home and it is not easy to switch off.
It is also difficult to wear all the different hats required when I really just want to wear the colorful “designer’s” hat all the time! My least favourite part is all the admin/numbers stuff. Fortunately I now have some help with this side of my business, which gives me more time to focus on the fun stuff!
There are so many great things about running your own business. Most importantly I am the boss and get to make all the decisions! I get to do what I love and to work from home and to muck around with designs and colours. Perfect!
What would you say is your proudest creative business achievement to date? And if it hasn’t happened yet, what do you aspire to?
I guess my proudest achievement is seeing all the amazing things out in the world with my designs on them. There are many, many individual makers using my fabrics in their own small businesses and I love seeing their successes.
What do you think is the best thing about being in the creative industry in Sydney currently? What would you like to see change?
I wish I could be more involved in the creative industry in Sydney. Sadly I live too far away to really immerse myself. I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the Sydney Made market. I am planning on living half time in Sydney soonish, so I hope I can be more involved in the near future.
What would your dream collaboration or project look like and who would it be with?
I am really excited about all new collaborations that come my way, but my absolute dream collaboration would be with Scandinavian design house, Marimekko.
Where would you like to see your brand in 5 years time?
I’m really not good at five year plans! I could never have predicted five years ago that I would be working with so many great companies and that my designs would be seen on products across the globe. I’m happy to enjoy the ride and see where the next five years leads.
What’s your favourite thing about being part of Sydney Made? Is this your first market, if not what do you like about attending our events?
This will be my second “Sydney Made” event and I’m so excited to be showing my work at Sydney Town Hall. I can’t praise the Sydney Made Team enough. The organisers that make this event a reality, are truly amazing. I love being a part of such a beautifully curated market, full of the best creativity in Sydney. The face to face contact with people is wonderful and the other stallholders are inspiring.
If you could give yourself a piece of advice when you began, what would it have been?
Get started! Make lots of art and keep making it. Be open to all opportunities, but also remember it’s okay to say no sometimes. Get help with the boring bits or the bits you are not good at. Hire a cleaner. Have a holiday occasionally. Enjoy the ride!