Thanks for giving me this interview Jill!
Ok, I've often wondered, why do you think women love jewelry so much?
JM: Jewelry has so many different facets to it. First obviously is its beauty brilliance of material and form. It can also be a status thing or I’m taken thing. In my world, the world of jewelry makers and designers it becomes more about life itself, and by that I mean the process of making the jewelry. We love making the jewelry, getting to gift it, sell it or wear it is icing on the cake….well okay for me it is also how I pay my bills!!
BP: Yes, but I'm certain you would do it anyway. Your passion for it is really evident. Are you or have you been influenced by certain cultures or time periods?
JM: Good question! Yes, I love the Art Nuevo and Victorian ornamentation very much. Very curvilinear few hard edges, if you look at my work you will notice the same thing in my work.
BP: Yes, I do see clearly see that. Your work is beautiful and inspired. What would you be designing if you had more time?
JM: Fabric, I have always wanted to do fabric and I have some designs started that are languishing away in a file in my computer. I would also spend more time just straight out sculpting portraits for fun. I love sculpting people.
BP: I could see your jewelry finding shapes as a really nice background pattern for stamping or textiles. Being a professional designer means having people value your work enough to pay for it. What professional/career advice would you give to anyone wanting to become a professional designer?
JM: Be brave it is not for the faint of heart. You have to learn to conquer your own fear, (how to control your own thought and perspective). You learn to accept failure not as a negative thing, but as a friend who has come to teach you what you actually need to know.
I would say the main thing is to always, always, each and every time you work, to do your absolute best work and do it on time (make your deadlines) then don’t stop, keep doing it, don’t give up. That’s all I did. I would also have to say that working with manufacturers and others you should realize they are buying into you as a person as much as they are buying into your work. Be your authentic self, but do not be high maintenance!! Also always be learning, there’s always more to learn, especially about the business side of things. Become a professional learner; educate yourself about the industry you are in. All of the successful designers know the business they are in very well, and continue to keep up with what’s happening. The marketplace is a living breathing thing that changes regularly. Lastly realize that it will be many small successes that make your career, not one big one. It will take time. Mine has taken 23 plus years…
BP: This is great advice! I agree, just get back up on that horse and keep going. Working as hard as you do, what special things do you do for yourself?
JM: I work out at the gym, I go hear live music with my friends, I take long walks when the weather is right, and I spend a lot of time reflecting and writing.
BP: I know you have many friends who are also creative professionals (me among them). If you could throw a party for all of us and money was no object, what would that look like?
JM: We would be the only passengers on the Orient Express; we would have the whole train to ourselves. In-between the fabulous stops and all that sight-seeing we would be having a blast, creating, eating and relaxing! Each of the train’s club cars would have a different medium within which to work (play) and of course there would be plenty of cars just for being together and laughter. I so love the laughter of my friends. There would be terrific food, we could have the health food and the delicious bad for you food both, and we would have to have a couple of masseuses on board and while we’re at it why don’t we have one car (just for the heck of it) where you could really be pampered, get your hair styled, have pedicures, facials, that sort of thing. Sort of a traveling creative respite spa…sounds fabulous! (By the way…mixing the Orient express with creating is not an original idea, though a great one in my opinion!)
BP: Wow, please get rich quick so you can host this gig!!! Great idea! You mentioned a while back that you were open/looking for a companion, describe that person.
JM: Oh geez Brenda!!! Okay…I’ll answer...I’ve had plenty of time to think about this one… He will have lived long enough to learn what is important and have his priorities straight. He is tender and kind yet is strong and confident. He is compassionate and has a big picture view. He knows life is messy and is not black and white but many shades of grey. Life’s betrayals have made him dig deep and left him with an open heart of greater and deeper understanding. He is laid back in the way that you see things and think, but energetic in that he likes to be out of doors and going on adventures and travel. He likes strong independent women. He will have a great sense of humor (often irreverent but not unkind). Oh and let’s not forget tall and good looking! Also I find intelligence very sexy! I am in search of an extraordinary relationship.
BP: We’ll all start keeping our eyes open for this guy and will let you know when we find him…(maybe).
What one thing best describes your outlook on life?
JM: Hmmm…one thing?! That’s tough…let’s see if I can narrow this down for you. As an observer I am compelled by beauty and live in a state of curiosity.
BP:. Do you have certain goals that you would want to
share with us?
JM: My mission statement speaks of my goals: Work less and make more ($).
BP: Mine too! What, 14 hour days a bit long?!? But, when it rains, it pours and we have to do whatever it takes to meet those deadlines in order to make our living.
Having raised two children on your own, working in the creative field as an independent, what are you MOST proud of?
JM: My children of course! Creatively speaking…I am proud at my ability to create for great lengths of time. This took me years to build up to this, and to create on demand. In order to create I have to remain emotionally clear or I get blocked, nothing comes through. So over the years I have worked and learn to process my emotions quickly and thoroughly. It is not really a speed as much as it is an instantaneous thing. It’s a process and way that I have trained myself to be.
To me creativity is something that moves through us. Something we all have access to if we open ourselves up to it. I see creativity like a river of sorts. You have to keep yourself emotionally clear so when you step into the river it can run through you, move through you. How you shape what moves through you is what makes our work our own creatively speaking. So being able to process emotions in order to remain clear became a priority, so I could stay in the river longer and longer… because if I wasn’t clear, I became blocked. If I was blocked I couldn’t create which meant I didn’t work. If I didn’t work the bills didn’t get paid and more importantly the kids didn’t get fed. This is one of the main differences in being an artist and having a regular job.
The main way I learned how to do this was by working with the grieving, the dying and their families. By learning how to keep my heart open in the face of other’s pain and loss. I can tell you that once you learn to communicate clearly and facilitate creativity in these intensely emotionally charged situations, then the process of being clear and dealing with regular every day normal conflict and processing emotional situations becomes much easier and more automatic. I hope this made some sense.
Thank you Brenda for interviewing me.
BP: Jill, you are my inspiration and I’m so glad to call you “friend”.
You can visit Jill's online store, read about her life as a jewelry designer and get inspiration from Jill here.