Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Interview with Belle Armoire Jewelry's Christen Olivarez

Belle Armoire Jewelry Summer 2008 issue is currently on the newstands. This week I had the pleasure of asking the editor of Belle Armoire Jewelry her views on the magazine and creativity.

JS: What is your name, occupation and location?
CO: My name is Christen Olivarez. I am the Managing Editor of Belle Armoire Jewelry, The Stampers' Sampler, Take Ten, The Catch Up Issue, Inspirations and Stuffed: A Gathering of Softies. Our office is located in beautiful Laguna Hills, California.

JS: When did Belle Armoire begin a jewelry-only issue and why?
CO: In 2005, the decision was made to begin publishing Belle Armoire Jewelry and in 2006, the first issue was published. The need to publish a jewelry-only issue was inevitable, given the amount of jewelry submissions we were receiving for Belle Armoire. There was no possible way we could fit all the fantastic jewelry into Belle Armoire and still be able to show other kinds of wearables.

JS: Belle Armoire Jewelry is now published quarterly. What inspired Stampington & Co to make this decision?
CO: The popularity of the first three Belle Armoire Jewelry issues made the decision easy to go quarterly. People loved seeing a jewelry-only magazine and wanted to see more of it. Being a quarterly publication also allows us to show what is new and exciting in the art jewelry world, which is a wonderful thing.

JS: How many artists typically are featured in Belle Armoire Jewelry?
CO: Though there is no set number of artists we feature, we try to show about 25-30 artists, though you will notice that number changes each issue.

JS: What do you look for in jewelry submissions?
CO: What really catches our eye are well-made, unique jewelry that showcases a special technique. We work hard to select jewelry that will show a balance of all the different jewelry techniques that are out there. It's also great when people send in a couple of pieces of jewelry that exhibit the same technique. Being able to see different examples of techniques is so beneficial.

JS: Being a regular contributor to your magazine, I understand the hard work that goes into the process. It can be a bit intimidating! What can you recommend to prospective artists for proper submission guidelines?
CO: Before submitting work, please read our submission guidelines in the back of any of our publications or on our website. If you aren't sure of something, e-mail us. We have an excellent art management team that is more than happy to answer your questions about submitting. As I mentioned before, submit more than one piece of jewelry. For example, if you have a really great wire wrapping technique, why not show it off in not only a necklace but also a bracelet? And lastly, I want to remind you that you won't get published unless you submit! If you've been nervous about submitting before, now's the time to do it!

JS: As an editor, what or whom inspires you?
CO: My co-workers are truly an inspiration to me. Our jobs can become very busy at times, but everyone handles it all with such grace and passion. It's really a great environment to work in. Another source of inspiration is all of the outstanding submissions we receive. The beauty of the artwork really inspires you to work your hardest to show the pieces in the right light.

JS: Personally, what or whom inspires you?
CO: Anyone who is passionate about something in his or her life is inspiring to me. Having so many interests and passions, I love hearing about the things that inspire other people. I like to hear what makes people so excited that they can't sleep at night.

JS: Do you prescribe to any particular creative process?
CO: I am really getting into the process of "making do" with what I have. I knit, scrapbook (sometimes), stamp, paint, read (a ton), write, and embroider, so I have a lot of supplies on hand that I rarely use. I really enjoy going into my craft area and looking around it to see what perks my interest on that particular day. I don't like the idea of making myself do something. If I'm not feeling inspired, I can't force myself to be creative. The creative process is supposed to be enjoyable.

JS: Belle Armoire Jewelry Fall issue is due on newstands September 1. When is the deadline for submissions for the Winter issue?
CO: The deadline for the Winter issue is July 15th, so hurry up and send in some of your fantastic jewelry!

JS: Thank you, Christen, for taking time to visit Art Bead Scene Blog! Get out there, everyone, and send in your submissions!

Written by guest editor Jennifer Stumpf. You can read Jennifer's blog and see her art beads and jewelry at her website and etsy shop.


Lorelei Eurto said...

Nice Job Jen!
Very interesting article! I'm going to definitely look into submitting work! Thanks!

Gaea said...

Really lovely interview! It is always great to find and learn about someone new!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

A great inaugural post, Jennifer! All of us at the Art Bead Scene are happy you will be guest blogging for the next month.

Thanks to Christen for taking away the mystery of submitting to Belle Amoire.

Looking forward to more informative posts from you, Jennifer!


Anonymous said...

Nice interview..! Your really clear my some doubt about jewelry.

Jessica Moreau Berry said...

LOVE this interview! And I'm sending in my submission RIGHT NOW!