March Meet The Maker challenge

I saw more and more people use the #marchmeetthemaker hashtag on Instagram. I didn’t know what it was, so I googled it… March-Meet-The-Maker is a challenge for small business to show some ‘behind the scene’ pictures. Who are they, what do they make, why do they do it, etc. A nice opportunity to show a little bit more of yourself and your brand identity.

I was a little bit late when I discovered this challenge, but I just really wanted to join! This challenge is quite new, 2016 was the first year of this challenge. The founder of this challenge is Joanne Hawker (insta: @joannehawker).

The challenge for 2017 (© rights of the image: Joanne Hawker):

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Day 1: You

1-susannebotboer-sbdesigsncreations-me-marchmeetthemaker-behindthescenes-helloHi, this is me, the designer/maker behind SB Designs Creations. Al for as long as I can remember I love drawing and I love to create. I have always loved fairy tales and stories and I love fantasy styles and worlds.

As a teenager I was afraid people would judge me and would think I was weird. But my passion was to strong and at some point I stopped caring about ‘what other people would think’. Since then I start wearing the clothes that I like and I also started creating the things that I love.

I love fantasy worlds and styles and I love to make and create products in that style. Victorian, Gothic, dark, light, elfish, witchy, fairy tale, steampunk, I love all of it!

Random fact about me: I love long hair! I am trying to get my hair as long as possible. And I love cats! I have four cats and I love them a lot!

Day 2: Favourite to make

2-marchmeetthemaker-favourite-to-make-sbdesignscreations-artist-etsyseller-susannebotboer2017 is the year where I started to combine the materials I really like working with. I really like to work out designs that are a combination of different materials. That is why I choose those jewelry items for today’s challenge. The leave earrings are a combination of clay, beads and wire wrapping, the drop pendant has a marbled glass stone and a setting made from polymer clay. The dream catcher has marbled dragon scales and a handmade marbled glass stone, etc. I enjoy it the most when I can use a variety of materials to make an awesome design.

Day 3: Workspace

3-marchmeetthemaker-workspace-sbdesignscreations-behindthescenes-artistlife-susanne-bot-boerWelcome in my workspace. I have a lovely workspace at home. Actually I have an hole room for myself, but this is the spot where I sit. Everything I need is within reach. I like this place very much. I also have a workplace in the living room, but this one is the nicest to show you.

Day 4: Tools

4-marchmeetthemaker-tools-sbdesignscreations-susannebotboer-artistlifeThis picture shows the tools that I use most. I love my pasta machine and I couldn’t live without my tongs. I use different kind of materials for making textures (for example leaves) and I have a variety of tools for working with polymer clay.

Day 5: Boomerang

A little treasure in a box ^^.

Day 6: Raw Materials

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I work with a variety of raw materials. I photographed most of the materials that I use for my jewelry. Jewelry compartments, glass, texture materials, polymer clay, metal wire, chain mail, dragon scales, lace, little bottles, feathers, crystals, etc. I still think I forgot some materials. I just love to work with different materials.

Day 7: How it’s made

I like to show you guys how I make my jewelry designs. Just watch the video ;).

Day 8: Where

where-its-made-sbdesignscreations-2017-marchmeetthemakerI live in a city in the Netherlands. It’s a nice place to live, although I am very jealous when I see how many people live in places with lots of nature around them. We do have a ‘semi-big’ lake in the neighborhood and there are some places to go to see nature, but I would love to be able to walk outside just into a forest. I am a nature person and it would be nice to have some more around me. But I don’t like to complain. I have a lovely home here and I am happy here, so I guess that is enough for me.

Day 9: Work in progress

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For my costume for fantasy events I have a dragon witch costume. Last year I tried to make horns for it, but that project failed. But I will try again! With other techniques and materials, so I am excited to find out if I can make this sketches become reality.

Day 10: Recommend a maker

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Another assigment for marchmeetthemaker is ‘recommend a maker’. There are so many awesome makers! This photo shows the jewelry designs of @nattspinnas Her designs are lovely and she is a very kind person. You should definitely check her out.

Day 11: Post/mail

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This is my ‘post corner’. Here I have everything I need to send my orders, from envelopes to stamps. It’s a functional little corner ^^.

Day 12: Brand image

sb-designs-creations-LOGO
This is my logo. I believe the moon is very magical and because I make fantasy products The moon representing the most important element in my logo just felt right. I also added a feather to it, the feather is symbolic and for me it has a important and personal meaning. I choose the color blue because that is my favorite color. The name ‘SB Designs Creations comes from SB Designs. I am also an illustrator and my illustration/design work has that name. For the fantasy products I added ‘Creations’ to it.

Day 13: Photography

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I photograph my photo’s with this camera. I use natural daylight and I prefer a white background. However I am experimenting with some different attributes for my product photo’s, like nature elements. I like photography, but I still have a lot to learn when it comes to photographing my jewelry and products. I also like to collaborate with photographers and models for beautiful photo’s. But this is the setting when I make my own product photo’s.

Day 14: Creative Friends

haileyshandwerk-creativefriendsCreativity is everywhere and I sure do have some creative friends. And that is amazing, because you can inspire and help each other in so many ways. Those pictures show the work of Hailey who makes awesome name garlands and table tents. This is her Facebook page.

Day 15: Work clothes

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I have a workspace at home and when I am working I like simple and comfi clothes. 90% of my wardrobe is black, so most of my outfits are a basic black shirt (with a print), black jeans and a black cardigan. Most of the time I wear two different socks, because I am to lazy to sort them . I just grab two. There is a huge difference between my work outfits and clothes for other events. I love alternative/gothic clothes and I have some awesome dresses.

Day 16: Time to relax

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I feel so lucky that my hobby is also my job. Mostly when I want to relax I just take my sketchbook and doodle around a bit. But I like to do other things as well. I love to read, always have! But watching a good movie is nice as well. I also like to play games. Mostly fantasy games with big open worlds where I can wander around. And of course I love it to play and cuddle with our cats. All our cats like petting, so most of the time when I sit on the couch, 4 cats join me. Those are all indoor activities. Me and my husband love to go for a walk outside. I love nature and a walk in a forest is a perfect way to relax.

Day 17: Feedback

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Something I think is very important. Like the definitions states, it’s helpful information or criticism. No matter if the feedback is either positive or negative, every form of feedback is a chance for me to learn. I rather have negative feedback than no feedback at all. I believe it improves me as an artist. When I sell something or make something, I love to know what others think. My husband often gives me feedback on my work and really gives his honest opinion, that is exactly what I need. I am a perfectionist and I want to become the best artist that I can be. So I need feedback to know what I’m doing right and what improvements I can make.

Day 18: Hyperlapse

I always have so many ideas in my head! To not get lost in ideas I always try to work out one idea at the time. This video shows how I work out a ‘spring necklace’ idea. It’s part brainstorming, part sketching. This really works for me. Often the end result is little bit different than the sketch because some things look better on paper than in the real design. But this is a good start to work out new designs.

Day 19: Helper

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I’ve got 4 furry helpers when I am working. Xylvar, Dexter, Mysha and Fenian. Although they can be naughty from time to time, They often make me smile.

Day 20: Sketchbook

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I always draw my ideas on paper first. I love to draw and doodle around a bit. When I am satisfied with a design I give it a try. Sometimes I have to change some parts of the design because it looks better on paper than in the real design. This roses necklace is a necklace design that I really like. The sketch on paper worked perfect for the real design.

Day 21: Inspiration

inspiration-marchmeetthemaker-2017-sbdesignscreations
I believe inspiration is everywhere. My biggest source of inspiration is fantasy. Fantasy styles, fantasy worlds, fantasy places, I just love it! This bookcase shows some of the books we got. This one is filled with fantasy books, but we have more than one bookcase. I know I buy to many books sometimes, but I collect books for different things.

Besides reading fantasy stories I also collect books about myths and witches, picture books and artbooks (as a illustrator I love to collect books with awesome artwork. Some of the books I have are written in languages I cannot read. (But I just love the art!). This bookcase is standing in our living room and I would love to just teleport it to a forest and read all the stories there. Just underneath a big tree. I have always been a nature lover and nature is also a good place to find inspiration. Other sources of inspiration are more in the wicca/spiritual genre.

I am fascinated by magic and believes that focus on the mindset of people. I truly believe that with a positive mindset, you can accomplish amazing things. So yeah, inspiration is everywhere, you just have to open your eyes for it.

Day 22: Close up

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I made a close-up photo of some work in progress. This feather heart charm is very pretty, so I want to use it in a new design. Don’t know the exact outcome yet, but I will see.

Day 23: Recent make

Victorian-Necklace-SBDesignsCreations victorian-necklace-closeup-sbdesignscreationsThis Red Victorian necklace I made a little while back. I am very pleased with the design. It has an awesome silver setting with leaves, red-black marbled cabochons, handmade details with clay and some Swarovski rhinestones to finish it.

Day 24: Milestone

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I believe milestones are all the steps you achieve along the way, big and small. One of the steps I am still very proud of is the opening of my Etsy shop. But there are a lot of other milestones.
First sale, first collaboration with professional lookbook photo’s, first commission, etc. and there are going to be some awesome ‘firsts’ in the nearby future, but can’t tell anything about that yet.

Day 25: Packaging

packaging-sbdesignscreations-etsyshop-marchmeetthemaker-internetWhen a customer buys something in my Etsy shop, I like to pack the products nicely. I make sure my packaging suits my company’s identity and I keep it personal. I am a small business, so I pack everything myself and with care. It needs to be well protected during transport. I love it to take the time for an order and to make nice little gift packages.

Day 26: Why I do This
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‘why I do this’. This is a question I thought about in the past very often. And I only got one word for it: passion. I love everything within the fantasy genre. It opens worlds to the most amazing places, gives complete freedom to the imagination. That is what I love about people in general. Their ability to imagine and their ability to create. The possibilities are endless! Complete stories and styles are created by people able to look further than ‘the usual’. Those fantasy worlds and styles makes the world less boring in my opinion.

This creativity reflects in everything, such as jewelry designs and products. There are so many awesome artists that work in those ‘creative fantasy work fields’. And I am glad that they are, cause it would be a loss if they didn’t. I love to create and I follow my dreams. There was a time I was too afraid to follow them. But not anymore. Like a Phoenix rises from its ashes, I got rid of my fears and I have a complete different mindset now. I love this, I truly do and I hope that my work is an addition to those existing fantasy styles.

Day 27: GoalsGoals-marchmeetthemaker-sbdesignscreations

As an artist I have 1 goal in general: to improve! I want to improve my designs, my techniques, my abilities. I want to learn new techniques and to discover new materials. I want to grow and become better and better. To achieve this goal I have a lot of side goals. For example, We live in a world where money is important (pay rent, buy groceries, etc.). At the moment I have a side job for extra money, but it would be awesome to earn my money with my artwork and designs so I can use all my time to become a better artist. Besides my goal as an artist, there is another goal I find very important: happiness. Happiness is my main goal in life and also the reason why I choose a creative path. I love to create, it truly makes me happy.

Day 28: Organisedorganised-sbdesignscreations-susannebotboer

I wrote it before, being organised doesn’t come natural to me and it takes some effort. I have a digital agenda and some notebooks with all kinds of information. But I do like my big whiteboard. I like it to make things visual. When it comes to being organized I like to visualize my to do’s/ideas/deadlines, etc. I am very happy with this board because I think it is functional and organized.

Day 29: Can’t live without

 

cantlivewithout-marchmeetthemaker-2017This photo is taken in 2015 when I married my husband. He is my soulmate and my best friend. When I need help, I know I can count on him, I know he is there for me. Just as I am there when he needs me. He gives me confidence and he makes me laugh. My life is so much better with him in it, so I truly can’t live without him

Day 30: Top tip

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Well, what can I say. Never stop following your dreams. If you have a dream, go for it! Don’t let fear hold you back. Besides that, I can also advice you to focus on your own work and own process. Social media like Instagram can be a little bit overwhelming from time to time. All those amazing people, designs and artworks are so awesome, it can make you feel small and insecure (I know I felt that way for a while).

But, focus on the fact that you are you, you are at some point and you can and will grow. Don’t be afraid you are not good enough, because you are! And last but not least; don’t be too competitive. When you see the whole world or all the other makers as competitors that you have to ‘beat’, I don’t think you will end up happy. (This is mostly a tip for people who try to earn their money with creating). I know it can be frustrating when you don’t grow as fast as you would, but don’t let you lead by the feeling that all other makers are competitors. Better see them as other creators who can inspire and help you (and you them). It’s like this quote: ‘there is enough sun for everybody’. And I truly believe every creator will get its own share ^^.

Day 31: Customers

marchmeetthemaker-customers

This necklace I made a little while back for a customer. And there is something I like to say to my customers. And not only to my customers, but also to my followers and supporters! I like to say: thank you! Without you guys I wouldn’t reach out very far with my products, so I am very grateful for everyone who follows me, who likes/reacts on my pictures and who are buying my designs in my shop! I can’t do this without you, you help me grow and you help me make my dreams come true. So this big thank you is for all of you!

 

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