||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
I would describe my style as being classic and clean with a bit of tropical flair!!!!
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I am most inspired by the beauty that surrounds me everyday right here where I live the sun, the sky, the sea and the vivid color and movement in nature.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love working with natural materials such as freshwater pearls, shell, wood and semi-precious stones.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
I really love that cloisonné focal pendant and drew inspiration from the colors. I wanted to pair it with pearls to create a piece that was elegant, classic and fun.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I didn't plan it out at all... it spoke to me once I picked up that focal... everything else just fell into place.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started making jewelry a little over a year ago. It began with a simple DIY project that I started because I wanted to repair a broken necklace that was sentimental to me.
Who introduced you to beading?
Myself actually... I sort of fell into it and a love affair started! :)
Do you have an artistic background?
Yes, before making jewelry I did oil and acrylic painting, graphic art design, hand-painted t-shirts and hand-painted sandstone pendants.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Once I completed my first project, an internet search for more supplies led me to Fire Mountain Gems website. I was ready to try something else.
What other hobbies do you have?
Painting, reading, writing poetry and short stories and learning new beading techniques.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making has become very important and is now a full-time career for me. I left my regular job and devoted my time and energy to doing something I love and enjoy and that I consider to be a gift that I unwrapped a little late, but just in the nick of time.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I sell my jewelry presently from home and from my website. I also consign and use local vendors, here in my home country, but I do hope to open my own shop in the near future. I am planning to enter contests starting with those from Fire Mountain Gems and my local craft fair is being held this November, which I do plan to participate in.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Not at present, but I do plan on assisting our Humane Society with fund-raising very soon.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Yes, never limit yourself... learn all you can, apply all that you've learned and develop yourself continuously. Be your own critic and your best supporter.
View all of Latoya's designs in the Gallery of Designs.