I recently got interviewed with Crafty Nation and they posted the interview on their blog.
You can read it here as well.
Meet Crafty Nation Member CreativeWithClay: Interviewed by Christy Nelson
I conducted an email interview with Charan earlier this month as I was fascinated by his story and his work. Here you will find my questions with his responses in his own words. I've also included some pictures of his work found at his website and also his etsy shop. Please take a moment to go and look at the wonderful things he creates!
Crafty Nation: From reading on your website, I noticed that you had a passion for clay even before you had easy access to it. When you were first learning to throw and make pottery, was it your intention to turn it into a business?
CreativeWithClay: I had a passion for clay since I was a kid and I was always fascinated by three dimentional things and my ability to use what is made by hand. When I started learning how to throw and make pottery, it was almost as though I had been doing it for a long time. My instructor was sure that I had been throwing on the wheel before. It never occured to me that I would turn it into a business. It was something I was doing because my body was yearning to do it. I feel I have some clay in my veins and it just felt so right to be working in clay. I wasn't thinking that I am doing this so that I can start a business and make money from it. I am making pots because I am passionate about it and really enjoy it. I am very glad that I am following my passion and now selling pots and establishing a small business with it.
CN: What are some of your major design influences?
CWC: I was born in Kuwait and even though I was brought up there for a significant part of my life, we were very Indian at heart and visited India every year. We watched Indian movies (Bollywood movies) a lot at home especially with the harsh weather there. I moved back to India during the Gulf War, and I was always facinated by the colors, fabrics and designs I saw in India. My mom's family has a business in making beautiful Indian fabrics with gorgeous embroidery specailizing in Indian weddings. I believe that has a great influence on my work too. I strive to give life to clay, making it decorative with Indian influences keeping functionality in mind.
CN: I speak with a lot of artists and crafters and most have a hard time balancing making things they love and making things that other people love. How do you decide what to make and what to put into your etsy shop? Do you focus on your best sellers, continually make new pieces, or a combination?
CWC: I can understand the dilemma artists face regarding this. I have gone through those periods too, where I think I need to make what people like. The truth is that if you make something just because other people will buy it and not with real liking to make it, then you will find it very hard to sell. For artists I think it is very important to work from your heart. Make what your heart enjoys... make something that can give you goosebumps... make something that will make you jump with joy. If you create something with real passion, you will find it very easy to talk about it with your customers. People can tell you really enjoy what you made and are fascinated by your influences and ability to create. Selling becomes a lot easier, as you don't have to pretend any more.Like every artist, I do have best sellers. My Bollywood mugs, bowls and soap dishes sell very well online on etsy and in shows. I do focus on them, but I am always creating new work. Sometimes it is a design or glaze, sometimes a new decoration technique, sometimes it is a new form that I have never created before. Over the last year or so, I have started branching out and working towards sculptural work. I like the way my work transforms. I keep pictures of my work and it a great learning experience to see how work transforms,... still being my work and still being different.
CN: Thank you so much for your time and we wish you much success in the future! We'll be looking around Crafty Nation for future feature crafters. If you have something special to share with the community, let us know in the forums.