It is day three of the Just A Card campaign and the prompt for today is community.
Working from home and being self employed can be a lonely place but I have found a community both locally and across the globe of artists and crafters who have been my friends and celebrated my successes with me and my cheerleaders when I needed to the encouragement to to continue. It would be an awfully long blog post for me to list them all so I will give you a few highlights from the fantastic comment of artists, traders and craftspeople who have made a huge impact on my life by being wonderful people.
1. Woodland Whimsy , Shana is an amazing artist who creates very unique creatures from needle felt and tiny homes from organic creatures. I am lucky enough to home a little goblin named Irving and I am luckier to call Shana my friend and part of my community despite being across the ocean.
2. Sprytewood is a magical place created by Victoria Payne, I don’t mind telling you all that I am a bit of a super fan when it comes to the Sprytes and all of the creatures in Sprytewood. Victoria has been a friend for years now through a joint love of whimsy, Victoria is a master of her craft and her art dolls are a superior quality, I own several myself and my Webblings have one each too.
3. Natasha’s Imaginarium is a beautiful selection of hand crafted gifts made by Shetland based artist Natasha Smith who has been a true friend throughout the span of my own business, she creates gorgeous gifts from polymer clay and wool. Despite never having met we have been brought together by the crafting community and I regard Natasha as a very good friend, she is always there for me night and day, good news and bad!
4. The Ivybridge Crafters is run by an amazing woman named Jenny Pearce, she runs a craft group that I have been honoured to teach on several occasions. The group is fully inclusive of everyone and is so warm and welcoming that new members feel like they have been part of the group forever. Jenny is an inspiration, she literally spreads art and craft throughout the community and is a believer in fairies too. If you are local and get a chance to go along to one of her sessions I urge you to give it a go, you will fit right in.
5. Twee Trading is a wonderful business that sells eco friendly, reusable home ware. Created by Natalie Fell who is a fantastic artist and business woman. Natalie has encouraged not just myself but many others in the community to keep going through the tough times and to celebrate all of our small victories. I met Natalie whilst running my own bricks and mortar shop where I learnt the real lesson behind the Just A Card campaign for myself. Natalie was one of the wonderful people who kept me believing in myself even after my shop closed.
6. A Quirk Of Felt, Kathleen James and I met through a Facebook group of only 100 artists from literally all around the globe, we became friends and soon realised that we lived just across the Tamar river from one another. Kathleen was kind enough to teach my how to needle felt and she is an extraordinary felter, her creations are exquisite and I had no idea how good needle felting could actually be until I saw Kathy’s artistry. If you get a chance to own one of Kathleen’s pieces you will be owning a piece of art by a master of the art form.
7. Tweet Tweet Designs by Abby is insanely skilled, there are not many crafters or artists that I have met who have been able to create something this amazing, crisp, clean and unique. I am a massive fan and lucky enough that Abby Rounding the fantastic artist is part of my community. Abby works tirelessly to make her creations beautiful and bespoke, I love giving them as gifts and receiving them too of course!
8. Oakwood Folk are a very different kind of artist, they are performance artists and they are the very best at what they do! This is a photograph of me with Oakley and Ivy at 3 wishes fairy fest a few years ago. It seems that 3 wishes has become our annual get together and despite only seeing them once a year I consider them friends and part of my community. If you get a chance to see Oakwood Folk perform then don’t miss it for anything, they will have you mesmerised and giggling in no time! If you have seen them before then see them again, the new characters are phenomenal too.
9. Sophie Adamson Tattoo Art, I don’t know Sophie very well in my personal life but I am a massive fan of her work and although you may wonder how it fits with the Just A Card campaign well you can purchase prints of some of Sophie’s work and I have heard a rumour that there may be a colouring book in the works too. Sophie works in Plymouth and has tattooed me three times, this image being one of mine. She is quite literally in my community and I recommend her to anyone who is looking for a tattoo, including my husband and best friend who have her artwork too.
10. I cannot write a list of my community without including this amazing man, Jamie Webb Photography my husband is a fantastic photographer who has built his business up from scratch from free shoots of our friends cats (which are flipping adorable) to being booked up two years in advance for the most beautiful weddings around Devon and Cornwall and often even further around the UK. He works so hard on his own business but without him I could not even hope to follow my dreams, he has helped overcome so many hurdles and I am proud to stand next to him as his wife.
Community can mean many things to many people, my community, with thanks to technology and the internet, spreads across the world. It is my lifeline when I am struggling to find the encouragement to continue. I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who are immersed in the creative arts and self employment. All of these people and many more besides will be directly helped by the Just A Card campaign if more people shop with independent artists. You have the power to make them do a happy dance!
Love Samantha x