I don’t know if I was introduced to Emily on Instagram or Twitter, or who recommended her, but I do remember the first time I saw her work. I was holding my iPhone, being a bum for a moment, when my eyes nearly popped out of my head because of the total beauty I was seeing. Lovely ceramics, modern shape, glossy finish, gold circles…… I was smitten. I still am.
I’m so happy to introduce Emily Reinhardt to you. Her story is so real and genuine. I know it will inspire you the same way it has me! Emily is a ceramicist and blogger who creates pieces of artwork that people use and connect with on a daily basis.
When and how did you begin your creative career and The Object Enthusiast?
My blog was the first chapter of The Object Enthusiast…I created my blog as a way to keep myself busy after graduating from college. I lost my ceramics studio upon graduating, and felt like I lost my most treasured creative outlet. After a few years of clean hands and absolutely no clay dust on my clothes, I was finally able to set up a studio of my own! My boyfriend bought my professor’s wheel for me for my birthday, and his old kiln, and suddenly we were set! My Etsy shop opened up a little over a year ago, and I’m more determined than ever to make this my career.
So many creative people have 1,000 creative outlets, how did you define who you are and what exactly you make?
I have always been a collector. I celebrate objects beyond just usefulness or aesthetics, but also the meaning behind the object. So after my first few weeks in my beginning ceramics class in college, I knew I wanted to spend my life creating objects, and things for other people. Nothing makes me happier than making something that speaks to another person’s individual style and taste.
When did you take your love for creating and turn it into a job? Can you describe that process?
I believe I’m in that process right now. I still have a ‘job job’ that I go to every morning until about 2. Then I work from 2:30 in the afternoon all the way until it’s time for bed. The hours are long, and I struggle with balancing it all. I feel crazy some days. But I know it will pay off!
I look forward to the day when I can quit my day job and focus on my art full time. I have so many ideas and thoughts running through my head about how I can make it happen. But at the moment it is just busy days fitting everything in, and dreaming about the day I can wake up and be a full time artist.
What tips do you have for creating a sustainable lifestyle as a creative small-business person?
Just don’t lose your momentum! Keep going, work hard even during “down-time”. If you can’t do your dream job yet, do whatever you can to set yourself up so that someday you can start your dream career. In 2010, after graduation that meant networking, contacting artists I admired, creating an online presence and most importantly, research. All of a sudden I had supporters and fans even before I had a product to sell. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I feel ready to dive in and truly start my business. I know I’ll have some setbacks, but it is all part of the career path I’ve chosen.