A lot of artists want to make a living from their art. I used to think that was what I wanted too; I even got my degree in art. But, I eventually realized that art as a job doesn’t work for me. The stress of trying to build an art business sucked the joy out of my creative process, and I ultimately realized it was more important to take care of my mental health and actually enjoy creating art. So, I work my humble day job,  which allows me to devote most of my free time to pursuing art projects that I feel very passionate about. It would be nice if my art was making more money, sure, but I think I’ve managed a nice balance

Occasionally, I will take on commissions. This week’s blog post is about one of those commission pieces – a custom royal blue and white cherry blossom kanzashi set with silver butterflies – one smaller piece for the flower girl, one larger piece with shidare for the bride. Now that the set has arrived to the client, I feel it’s a good time to share it with you all. I didn’t have the time to take photos in the style I normally do, but I hope you enjoy the few snaps I did manage to get!

I took on this commission for a couple reasons. First, it was not a colorway I’d ever worked in before; I tend to favor the ‘natural’ colors for flowers. Second, I actually don’t like making shidare (hanging petals) and it’s been a couple years since I made a piece with lots of shidare. In essence, I took this commission because it pushed me to do a couple things that were outside of my comfort zone; it was an opportunity to grow. And also, I really like making bridal pieces – something about working on wedding items just makes me happy.

Aside from the dye work I did to get the rich royal blue color and two tone blue and white, I also made the silver millinery stamens that feature in the large accessory. I used offcuts of thread from old stamens, a mix of pva glue and flour, and silver glitter. I made some white glitter millinery stamens before, and was happy to try it again. I like knowing that if I need a color or style of stamen that I can make it myself instead of having to rely on store bought ones. If anyone’s interested in DIY millinery stamens, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can slap together a tutorial for you.

Despite the delays in production, the bride and I were both very pleased with the results.

Anyway, that is about all I’ve got for this week. If you like this blog and want to help support it, consider buying me a coffee. Your support is greatly appreciated, and I hope that you check back again next week for more art, crafts, and creativity!