Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Creating Success around the World

Welcome to
Creating Success around the World
The worldwide blog hop tour, that introduces you to creative people from all corners of the globe.
Every Wednesday our hosts on each continent will introduce you to someone new whose creativity is inspiring!
Here's how you can take this worldwide tour with us:
You can follow all the hosts to support them and keep up to date with the fabulous posts they will share every week.  Then if you are inspired to join, just link up your own blog to make some new international friends.

Remember to leave us a comment when you follow us so we can follow you back! And of course we'd love if you added our button to your site to help spread the word!

creating success around the world

Here are your hosts:

Make sure you visit them all to see the inspiration and creative people every continent has to add to our community.

Australasia - Jill @ Creating my way to Success
Europe - Yaga @ The Shiny Bubble
North America - Suzy @ Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom
South America - Molly @ Marya Mariah
Asia - Janelle @ Of Pinks and Fairytales

Africa - Sadly, our African host is not able to participate in the Blog hop anymore. We are looking for somebody new to join the team - could it be you?! ;o)


Rowan is "a creative kind of English girl living and working in Bosnia Herzegovina." She creates and sells cute and unique amigurumi dolls. Her place on etsy is called "Out of the frame".

Tell us a bit about your trade: What do you create, how and where do you sell your things,
how long have you been doing this?
I have been making and designing amigurumi dolls since March 2009. I sell my dolls on Etsy, at gallery shows or through personal contacts. I make one of a kind dolls in various sizes and I have also made a lot of caricature dolls as custom orders for people to give as wedding presents, engagement presents, thank you gifts etc. One of the patterns I have designed is for sale in my Etsy shop and on Ravelry.


Please, tell us a little bit about the place and the country that you live in.
I am English but I live and work in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a UK based Christian charity called Novi Most. We work with young people from different ethnic backgrounds bringing them together and giving them new opportunities through youth club activities and courses in music, art and baking. I live in a beautiful town called Jajce. It is a very historic town as in the 1400s it was the capital of the Bosnian Kingdom and in 1943 it was the venue for the meeting at which Tito declared the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is one of only 12 towns in the world to have a waterfall in the town centre and nearby there is a beautiful lake. Unfortunately not a lot has been made of these and several other potential tourist attractions and the town is poor with a lot of unemployment and few opportunities.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a complicated country politically. It is still recovering from the civil war in the early 90s. Some of the larger cities are starting to develop into more what you would see in Western Europe with the first McDonalds opening recently in the capital city Sarajevo! But in general the country is poor with a high rate of unemployment. It is a beautiful country with amazing mountains and rivers and some beautiful and historic cities. The people are very welcoming and hospitable. It is a country full of potential and well worth visiting.

Do you think that your surroundings influence your creativity? How? 
I started to make amigurumi after I moved here to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The pace of life here is a lot slower than in the UK where I lived before and for the first time in a long time I had some free time to do things I wanted to do. So it’s not so much the surroundings as the way of life that has led to me making amigurumi

How and why did you 'pick' your creative outlet of choice?

When I first started learning amigurumi I was researching it online and found that a lot of people who made amigurumi dolls had shops on Etsy.com so when I decided to start selling I joined Etsy too. For me one of the best things about Etsy the community aspect. I am part of the Etsy Plush Team which is a collective of plush artists who sell on Etsy. It is great to be part of a group of people who are constantly trying to improve their artwork and to push the boundaries. It is a great place to get inspiration and support. It also means I am able to find out about gallery shows and magazines looking for submissions, mainly in the US, which I wouldn’t otherwise hear about because I am in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Why did you decide to sell what you are creating?

After a while I realised that I was pretty good at making dolls and could make quality products worth buying, and because I love making them and you can’t keep them all!

How did you start your business?

I just opened and Etsy shop – nothing else! I haven’t made a business plan or done anything like that. I probably should if I want my business to grow but at the moment I’m just taking it as it comes. Sorry – no good advice there!

What, in your opinion is your biggest strength in your creative life and how does it
influence your work?

I am always interested in learning new things and trying out new crafts so I often have a new twist to add to my latest creation.

What would you regard as your greatest weakness in terms of your creativity and how do
you deal with it?

I can be impatient and want to run before I can walk – particularly in relation to learning to sew! This means I cut corners and the final product ends up a mess! I have to tell myself to slow down and do it properly.

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

Being part of the plush team helps with this because I am constantly seeing other people’s work and we motivate each other to improve. Also every 2 months we have a team challenge with a different theme which encourages me to make things I wouldn’t have otherwise made. Recent themes have included Las Vegas, steam punk and the rainforest.

I often get inspiration to make a particular doll by colour combinations, people I meet or characters I read about in books.

Where do you see yourself and your creative life in two years? Do you have any plans?

Like I said before, I don’t have a business plan or anything like that. I’m sure I should have, but for now I’m just taking it as it comes! Over the next two years I would like to be part of more gallery shows and be featured in some more magazines.

What are your 5 hottest tips for people who want to be more successful with

1. Don’t just stick with your main craft. Try learning something new every now and again.
2. Find other like minded people to encourage and inspire you.
3. Let your mind wander.
4. Use every opportunity to go to art galleries, craft shows, and other inspiring places.
5. Don’t spend too much time on facebook!

Thank you so much for your answers, Rowan, that was a very uplifting interview!  

Now it's your turn! Link up your posts: Inspiration, craftsy blahs, tutorials, tips or business talk: We wanna know! 
Link up your blog and you might be the next artist featured in our interviews!

New to the world tour? Check our previous tours here!


Jill said...

What a great interview with Rowan! Such cute little dolls she makes - and really interesting to hear about where she lives too!

Jill @ Creating my way to Success

out of the frame said...

Thank you so much for featuring me and letting me part of the Creating Success blog hop :)

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