This interview, with Madalynne Homme is from July 2015
1. Tell us a little about yourself
I’ve been a multi media artist my whole life. It wasn’t uncommon for me to lock myself in my bedroom and make something. I started out at 5, drawing pictures of horses and hand sewing my own Barbie doll clothes. At 11, I started sewing my own clothes, crocheting, knitting and hand embroidery. My mother had given me a box full of fabric scraps and I put a paper bag on top of it as our dog liked to sleep on top of it. My dad thought it was garbage and threw it out. I cried and cried.
In my early 20’s, I would cut my friends hair for $5 to make a little extra money. And around mid 20’s, I went to cosmetology school. I got married soon after and started a family. While raising 5 children, I started doing various crafts to supplement our income so I could stay home with our children.
Soon, I was participating in Christmas Craft Shows. I painted on everything from clothes, walls, accessories and garden items. Then Friendly Plastic came out in the 90’s and I was soon hooked on making jewelry. After that became unpopular, I moved on to the real stuff, stones, pearls, glass, shells and wire. 2008, I managed a big bead shop and taught wire wrapping techniques. Juried Art Shows came into the picture soon after, as well as being published in several bead magazines. That was the beginning and not the end as I will always love jewelry designing.
2. What is your “inspiration story” — where did your interest in jewelry all begin?
I was at the ocean in 2003 and went into a little shop and in the jewelry case was a gorgeous bracelet. I couldn’t quit thinking about it and when I got home I started searching the craft stores and the internet. That bracelet started me out with one shoe box size of beads, findings and wire. It soon grew to a small bead shop over the years.
3. What is your dream project?
My dream project would be designing jewelry for movies. I’m fascinated with all the different kinds of jewelry you see in different time eras. Even Avatar had a feather necklace that drew my attention.
4. What has been your greatest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenges so far have been marketing, taking good photos and submissions to jewelry magazines. As an artist, we all want to be creating not marketing ourselves. But we have to take the time, otherwise you won’t be able to afford to continue to keep buying supplies and supporting your habit. Thus, you won’t learn and grow. Taking pictures was a whole new learning curve for me. I had to learn to take good photos. I couldn’t figure out why my background in my photo would look grayish, when in reality it was white. I had to invest in a good camera, tripod and a photo editing software. Submissions was another whole story. They want them in certain sizes and pixels. The internet is a great source to learn anything. It’s been a uphill battle, but I prevailed!
5. What is the greatest gift that jewelry-making has given you?
Designing jewelry has given my so much fulfillment. It’s like art to me. I love to see peoples faces and hear their comments when they see my jewelry. It makes it all worth it that I’ve created something that brings joy to them.
6. What words of wisdom do you have for someone beginning to make jewelry?
To all new jewelry designers I’d like to say: Inspiration is everywhere you look. You just need to see it. Book, magazines, the internet, nature and the earth. We all copy in the beginning. Learning techniques is the most important part of the process. Once you have attained these, you can design anything and find your own particular style.