Monday, April 20, 2020

Meet the Maker - Myclectic

Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you create?  

Hi, I’m Anita the face, hands and brains behind the leather work label ‘Myclectic’. I’m earring obsessed so that’s mostly what I create.

What makes what you do that bit different to the other people in your creative field?

Not the fact that I am an earring maker, that’s for sure but my point of difference is the materials I use. Leather is usually a material used for bags, coats and shoes. Why not earrings? And interior design samples such as lux wallpaper or vinyl floor samples. Again I say: Why not earrings? I’ve even made earrings out of corporate cricket tickets! 

I don’t want to be known as  ‘just another earring maker’.
Almost any material I look at I think ‘how would that look as a pair of earrings?

How long since you started on this creative journey?

I think I first started selling on Etsy and at markets around 2010 or 2011. But I have been a ‘maker’ since I was a pre-teen. That’s a LONG time ago!!

Were you creative as a child/do you come from a creative family?

 Yes and yes. I remember Mum sewing clothes for us when we were little and I’m very fond of a music box Dad made that was completely covered in sea shells.

What’s the story behind your business/shop name (if applicable)?

I’ve been through a few names until I landed on the present one. First I was ‘Buttonbeads’ because I made button necklaces, then I started making little purses and bags using an awesome stash of vintage material I scored through BrisStyle contacts so I renamed myself ‘Mums Cupboard’ because I was using materials found in my own Mum’s cupboard as well as ‘other’ mum’s cupboards. 
And then when I started dabbling in leather, my hubby and I came up with the name ‘Myclectic’. It comes from MY kind of ECLECTIC, which is where I was heading. We shortened it to what it is now, registered it, plastered it all over the internet and now it truly is mine. It’s the name I had been waiting for.

Do you do this as a hobby or as a small business?

At first I approached this a business due to the fact that I was unemployed but eventually it has become more of a hobby again. Mostly because we needed to pay the bills and I found a new job.

How have you found your work has evolved since you started?

I never really knew what my ‘style’ was at the beginning, I just started making whatever I thought of at the time. I started with the button necklaces because of a gift I made for a friend. Then because of the vintage fabric I acquired I moved on to bags. I went through the ‘glass cabochon bezel style’ jewellery stage next because I wanted to use up the fabric scraps from the bags I had made. This lead me to experimenting with different things to glue into the cabochon jewellery. Vintage doilies, fabric, old maps, vintage Laura Ashley paper samples and eventually, COMIC BOOKS. The comics were really cool and super popular but of course as with everything else I made previously, others were soon making similar things and I was bored and wanted to get on to them next thing’.
That’s when the leather craft began.

How did you start selling your work? Do you sell online or at markets/shops?

Due to the tactile nature of my products, I sell mainly at markets and my very first market ever was a BrisStyle Twilight Market.

How do you find your inspiration?

Mostly inspiration comes to me from the actual materials I use.  It's the colours and the textures that get my creative juices going.

Describe your studio/workspace?

I’ve got the corner of an enclosed verandah in the beautiful old Queenslander home we currently live in. It has a fabulous large window I can gaze out of and over our quiet suburban street.

I have a table covered in everything I am working on and absolutely need. I have everything at my fingertips. Yes it looks like a war zone and I love it that way!

Describe a typical creative day? How do you balance your creativity with your everyday life/work?

It really helps having a room solely for the purpose of working in. I can shut the doors and leave the mess. This allows me to continue what I was doing when I get home from the ‘other job’. I love not having to ‘pack up’.

Do you listen to music/tv/podcasts etc while creating?

Sometimes I listen to music through my ear phones but mostly I work in silence, that’s when the ideas start rolling. I talk to myself a lot too. Doesn’t everyone? 

Do you have any advice for someone starting out in the creative world? Any tips that might help them?

My suggestions are more about being happy rather than ambitious. I have a few. 
Don’t compare yourself with others. Success and all things shiny on the internet are mostly illusions (remember that when you feel a bit down). Be careful not to become a slave to your followers. Make what YOU love not just what you think is popular. Don’t copy others it’s unethical and so unoriginal. Be yourself. Be real. Have fun.  

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?  

YES, always have, always will. I come from the ‘don’t waste it’ generation. 

If yes, how is your art/craft eco-friendly? 

I use even the tiniest pieces of leather for my earrings and save every scrap. I also use a lot of samples from my day job.

Do you have a favourite item to make?


Do you have a favourite quote?

‘Don’t sweat the small stuff, everything is small stuff’ - from the movie Pontiac Moon.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I’m not going any where. I’m happy to just keep making earrings using lots of pretty upcycled bits and pieces. And I hope to be a bit more selective in my market venue choices this year.

‘Less is more’

Where can we find you online/stockists (links etc)?

I’m on Etsy and Finders Keepers Online.

Whereabouts did you find out about BrisStyle?

Many years ago I met a BrisStyler who worked in a shop called Incub8er in the Valley where I rented a shelf to sell my leather cuffs I was making at the time.

She recommended checking out a BrisStyle market, which I did and was absolutely hooked.

How long ago did you become a member and what made you decide to join?

I’m not sure how long ago it was, but it was a very long time ago. Way back before Instagram or iPads and when Facebook was still a big deal and there was no such thing as ‘algorithms’.  I think mobile phones had just been invented. 

How do you think the Covid-19 situation has changed your creative practice?

It's changed EVERYTHING! I had just started prepping for two of my biggest markets when boom. The world stopped. And retail pretty much died, a slow death. Markets are everything to my creative practice. Who needs earrings when people are dying. But a creative must create so I made gifts for dear friends, practical gifts. Fabric face masks. And then I decided to keep a "daily accomplishments" journal, just to keep on track and not get too down about what is happening. I will "make" for the duration but I am now more inclined to make more practical things for me and my friends. And do lots of studio tidying up in readiness for.... I'm not really sure?