This weeks interviewee creates artwork using a technique I had never heard of before. It has a magical and textural feeling to it. I do hope you’ll enjoy reading and looking at Yas Art Design in this weeks creative corner.
1. Introduce yourself.
Hi I’m Yasmine and live in Glasgow. I am a highly creative individual with strong organisational skills and a broad range of professional experience, from teaching to third sector work with refugee communities. I am particularly passionate about bringing people together through cultural diversity projects, and am fortunate to have had the opportunity of working on 3 continents, in the UK, Australia, Indonesia, India and Nepal.
2. Tell us a bit about your business.
I make encaustic art cards and pictures using mixed media and collage. Encaustic means ‘to burn’ and involves melting beeswax onto a hot iron surface to create different effects and textures. I also provide beginners workshops in encaustic art.
3. What made you start your own business?
I signed on for a while and had been applying for varied jobs and got fed up when I wasn’t getting anywhere and decided last November 2017 to try set up my business with PeoplePlus who partner with the job centre. So I worked on my business plan to do encaustic art and become a sole trader hence I started in January 2018. I have been doing encaustic art for over 20 years but never ever been self employed even though I had many friends who were artists and freelancers! It’s such a learning process. I make encaustic art pictures and cards from beeswax melted onto a hot iron and have done some Markets. The other aspect is teaching encaustic art workshops to people as a means to gain income.
4. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
I have always been arty since I was at school. Having studied BA Community Arts at Strathclyde in 1993-1996 and then trained as an art teacher in London 2002. I didn’t stay in teaching for long but realised that my passion was more community work. I have done a lot of things charity work etc.
5. Explain your creative process.
Lot’s of things inspire me can be nature, city, symbols, images, people. For my Glasgow art I was inspired by the St Mungo’s Glasgow coat of Arm’s poem. The symbol and meanings of the the fish, the bell, ring and tree. Glasgow also was a major shipping industry internationally and so the empty shipping cranes are a symbolism of what it used to be. My landscape pictures are actually made up. It’s the iron making the marks and effects that creates the picture. That is the nature of encaustic art it is quite a fantasy style. It’s basically like painting a landscape picture. I start of with creating the sky sometimes adding tissue for clouds, then I create the hills by pressing down the iron and then use the edge of the of the iron to create the grass and birds. The smaller details like flowers etc are done by using a hot stylus pen. I then buff the image with tissue and varnish.
6. Describe your typical day.
Since being full time with my business. I haven’t had a great structure also I have been looking for jobs to supplement my business but I normally check my emails, social media and have breakfast. Mornings and afternoons are kept to either creative work or admin updating my Etsy, social media etc. I help with looking after my elderly dad with my siblings at his house most days. In the evenings I do check social media and work on a variety of things.
7. What’s your biggest seller?
I think my biggest sellers are my Glasgow art, Glasgow coat of arms and Shipping crane cards.
8. What have been the high and low points of running your own business?
Having structure, loneliness can be an issue partly why I like how Glasgow Etsy Team have started regular meet ups in the daytime and for those who are parents. I am a people person and love being around people so part of the reason why I am running encaustic art workshops to meet people. I have found a great network of support from likeminded makers and creatives on Instagram. It’s just phenomenal the amount of encouragement you receive and talented friends you haven’t even met. Finance like many other creatives hence I am looking for part time jobs to supplement my income. It is good entrepreneurial skills for anyone who has set up their now business. I think it shows great leadership and risk taking, being creative doing the thing you like.
9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?
I wouldn’t say I am an expert with running my business but think if you have an idea or passion to do your own business just do it! It’s always good to have a good support network to bounce your ideas and general support. I really like using Quickbooks, it’s been a lifesaver and easy to use especially as I’m new to self employment. See whats available maybe in your borough or council for starting up your business. I applied for a business grant recently.
10. What are your aspirations?
I am wanting to expand on my workshops having various levels beginners, intermediate and advanced. Using my teaching skills is great and another means of support. I would use my grant to buy more equipment to run workshops and also sell encaustic art starter packs. Also looking to expand on my branding for my products too so not just as pictures but recently I got mugs and coasters printed so made me think of other things I could do like home decor, clothes I can expand into. I am also building my website.
11. Where can we find you?