Today I am very happy to introduce Australian designer Bronwyn who is halfway through her 365 days of craft challenge. Today she is going to tell us a little about it, the what, why and how of it all…
My name is Bronwyn Bowerman, I grew up in a tiny town called “Bega” on the NSW south coast (well known for its cheese factory) in Australia. I moved to Canberra to study fashion design at CIT, and then on to Melbourne for work. I now live in an outer Melbourne suburb called “The Basin” in the Dandenong foothills with my beautiful fiancee Andee. I have been working as a clothing and accessories designer for over 6 years now (predominantly in menswear) I have designed for labels such as “Mossimo”, “Travisty” and “No Fear”. I still work four days a week as the accessories designer for a company called “Designworks” which supplies a lot of product for Target.
What is the “365 days of craft” project? “365 days of craft” is my project, a challenge to design, make and blog a new craft/art project daily for the year of 2011.
Why did I start this project? Honestly, I think I ask myself this question at least once a week! ha ha ha! The journey started at about 20 minutes to midnight on the 1st of January 2011, I had this idea… It was a combination of feeling frustrated that my day job wasn’t fulfilling my creativity and that jolt of reality that another year was about to begin, a year older and closer to when I plan to have children so I wanted to challenge myself to do something different. I’d also recently seen the movie julie and julia, and that sealed the idea of a 365 day project (except with craft, not food… although food is still high on my priority list!).
What do I expect to get out of the project? I hope to create some freelance work for myself, whether that be writing a column in a magazine or newspaper, teaching craft courses or ultimately publishing my own craft book. I am putting together a submission to a publishing company at the moment so fingers crossed! I have been very active at writing to companies about my project to ask for sponsorship and I am lucky enough to now be sponsored by both “Brother” and “Lincraft”. I have had a great media response with articles published in “The Knox Leader” twice, a feature story on “Frankie” magazine’s blog (love love love frankie!!!), “Craft Victoria’s” blog, “Sportsgirl’s” blog and now…. “Whipup.net” blog!
What are my favourite projects so far? Well… thats hard, there are over 180 to choose from… I really like the experimental sculptural piece I made using doilies dipped in plaster. I also really like the “piggy” and “whale” plushies from feb 27/28th, these combine my sense of humour as well as my crafty creativity.
What are some of my less successful projects so far? There have been a few desperate, tired, late night moments! But nothing that I don’t really like… My “crafty trash or trashy craft” night from the 24th of feb was not my finest hour, but netherless the motive to recycle is still good! Also my project from the 16th of feb was not very successful as the blackboard paint did not apply to the glass properly and as soon as you wrote on the bottles with chalk it kept peeling the blackboard paint off.
What is in stall for the next six months? Apart from the daily craft installment… I have a few exciting projects up my sleeve! I am planning to make two bigger projects for my home, but these may have to span the week! One is a covered bedhead and the other an old chair re-vamp. I am also planning to move into some video blogs, hopefully a weekly installment, combining craft and a little bit of comedy (life really is too serious sometimes!).
Would I do this project again with the knowledge I have now? Probably NOT… ha ha ha! Although I have learned a lot about blogs, posting, writing press releases, approaching companies for sponsorship and lots of new craft techniques… The daily pressure to keep designing, making and blogging really takes its toll! Plus I am doing all of this for free, so the financial cost of making new projects everyday is quite big (even if I try to recycle and upcycle where possible). If I get a book deal by the end of the year perhaps my mind will change…. ask me again in six months!