Here at Creative Italy, we encourage you to live the life you’ve always wanted. This may seem like a cliche straight from a film – but it’s the only way we know how to live. We encourage you to be curious, to be open to learning and to try new things. Sometimes you might simply surprise yourself and be amazed at what you’ve uncovered.
Many of our customer’s ask how our Artisans have got to where they are. There are many different journeys travelled for our Artisans, but they all have one thing in common. And that is passion. The passion to be different, the passion to celebrate life through art and the passion to share their creativity with others.
In today’s blog we share with you a step-by-step guide to becoming a ‘Made in Italy’ Artisan. The world is yours and you could become an Artisan too!
Italy’s Artisans are one of the most unique and protected traditions of our time. Artisans are a really big part of Italian Culture and most Artisans have great tales to tell about their journey Creative Italy is here to both celebrate and nurture this tradition.
Since starting Creative Italy we have met many different Artisans with many different stories and they’ve come from a variety of cultures and career paths. There is no one ‘right’ route to becoming an Artisan and many haven’t come from an Art and Design background or may not have any Art qualifications. If you have passion and drive, then you’re already heading in the right direction.
Vittoria from V.N.V Sculpted Jewellery started her journey in an unconventional way. She shares “It was an unexpected choice because I graduated in Marketing, but I always felt the need to create. I then studied goldsmith arts, and I understood my passion for micro sculpture there.”
This is your story and you get to decide the ending! It’s important (like Vittoria) to study your craft and find what brings you joy whilst perfecting your craft. Now, this blog could be very long and if it was a dinner party it would probably last about 10 hours. So, we will just give you a short introduction to get you started.
Here’s our top 7 tips to begin with…
Get to know your craft and know it well!
It’s important to study your craft for as long as you need to and take your time to find out about its history and how it fits into modern culture now. You may need to experiment with a few things or ask the opinions of others. Are you doing something completely new? What will be your style? What materials will you use?
Creative Italy has a big range of courses and experiences to help you find the craft for you. We can build a bespoke itinerary for you to explore many different options and to meet a range of Artisans that you can learn from and be inspired by.
When we recently met up with Vittoria we were inspired by her willingness to experiment and learn. She shares: “The mistakes you make while creating an object with your hands can make the object unique. For example, it happened to me that I left the imprint of my fingertip on a bracelet that had scales. It seems done on purpose, but it was a mistake. The process is experienced for this reason I do not want to rely solely on a 3D printer, I would not feel the object I am creating as mine.”
We encourage you to stay open to new things, new ideas and feedback from others. This will help you develop and evolve and become a better Artisan. This is especially important when you’re starting out – listen to constructive criticism, adapt, evolve and get better.
Research as much as you can.
It’s essential to keep developing your craft and to keep learning about what you’re doing. Do this in tandem with lots of practice and you’ll steadily see improvements.
Find your community!
We are committed to our local communities and to celebrating their excellence and authenticity. We recommend you meet as many local Artisans as you can. Learn from them, share ideas and support each other. You may be able to support each other in a practical way, from sharing tools and studio space through to just listening to each other and hearing about each other’s day.
It’s really important to have ‘colleagues’ to support you through this journey and to find the people to help you on your way and share experiences with.
Here at Creative Italy we know many different Artisans in many cities across Italy – if you’d like to be introduced then let us know!
Find a space to create in.
It’s important to find a dedicated space to create your art in. You need an environment where you can feel both energised and organised. This may be a small studio space that you share with others – or it may simply be a spot in your home. Depending on the equipment and materials you need there could be many versatile options for you to create a new space for your new venture. The main thing we encourage is to find a place where you can feel calm. Somewhere where you can concentrate on your creation and escape the hecticness of life.
Create a brand!
If you are looking to make money from your craft, then it’s essential to have an original brand to represent your products. In her interview, Vittoria says: “My brand is my initials, and I started playing on the chromatic effects of materials such as chiaroscuro, matt gloss, smooth raw. It makes items to wear versatile.”
We encourage you to do lots of research and look at what others are doing. You need to be suitable for your target market, but you also need to stand out of the crowd and not blend in. It might be good to speak to a professional designer or marketer to get some advice and define a brand together. 99 designs have a great introductory article here that might give you some inspiration!
Network and meet new people.
To develop a successful Artisan business you need to meet new people regularly. These people could become your creative partners or they could become your customers. This is great as you can constantly get feedback and also be inspired by new conversations. This will also mean you stay relevant to your customers and you ensure you’re different and distinctive from others. It’s important to get to know your customers too and find the loyal ones. They become your advocates and your ambassadors. They’ll help you spread the good word about your art and your brand. Their word is better than yours!
Intrigued? Creative Italy brings the Italian Craftsmanship back to life. We are here to inspire you to enjoy a more sustainable and authentic way of travelling and discovering Italy. If you’d like to find out more about our courses and experiences and creating a bespoke package for you – then get in touch. We want to support you with becoming an Artisan, whether that’s as a hobby or even as a professional. We are here for you.
A big thank you to Vittoria for inspiring us to create this article! Vittoria represents what we want to convey through Creative Italy, to make people understand the time it takes to create a quality object that lasts over time without having to combine craftsmanship and technology.