***Flygirl Fridays***

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to take a course called "Flying Lessons" given by a very talented artist - Kelly Rae Roberts. It was an excellent course that covered such topics as letting go of yours fears, going after your true passion, and many other things. One of the best things about the course was, I got meet and learn about a lot of talented artists, all in on different paths, but all working towards making their dreams come true and learning to take flight. Flygirl Fridays is all about these wonderfully talented people and a little bit about them, so you can get to know them as well!

Please join me in welcoming
Susan M. Walls-Beverly

 Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Well, I am Susan M. Walls-Beverly, Mom of two great kids, wife of a geek, and an artist, a native New Yorker transplanted to California, serial entrepreneur, basically a crazy creative and Jane of all trades (master of none!)! My main focus (currently) is a line of whimsical thematic charm jewelry which I peddle all over Southern California and, as of this summer, am breaking into Arizona. I also have a collection (interpreted hoarder) of vintage jewelry and accessories that I sell on Etsy (without much enthusiasm because I’m attached to all of it). Just this year I started to sell some supply items too. And, until the housing market took a dive, I also designed and installed large residential mosaic pieces. Things like cut stone rugs, privacy walls, and fountains. I also teach some jewelry technique classes and some other fun ideas from time to time. I am passionate, loyal to a fault, and have been known to swear like a truck driver on occasion!

(One of my last wall projects)

What is something that you really love, and why?
Other than my family I would have to say the creative process as a whole. The ability to take an idea, however small, from your head and transform or create it into something tangible is a feeling that cannot be compared. Why? Because it’s just an absolute thrill! And add to that being able to guide others to find that creative spark in themselves, especially those that say they aren’t creative or artistic, it’s almost unbelievable to yourself that you find yourself in either situation.

What would your dream project be?
My dream project is difficult for me to pinpoint because I feel like I’m living a big piece of it currently. For more than 20 years I worked for someone else and for the past 12 years I’ve been given the time to be creative, write my own schedule, watch my children grow every day, take and pick them up from school (everyday!), volunteer, work from home, travel…it’s hard to top that! The only thing that nags at me every once in awhile is that I would love to have some kind of teaching/creative studio or retail something or other outside my home. A few years ago I almost opened a space where other artists could rent studio time, I or others could teach, some light retail, and maybe some gallery area. The only thing that stopped me was capital. In retrospect it was a blessing it didn’t happen because something like that would probably consume me and I wouldn’t be creating or chatting with our lovely group of Flygirls because I wouldn’t have a spare moment to do it!

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?
Live each day like the devil is chasing you! Or live everyday as if it’s your last, do everything you can, regret nothing, and sleep is optional!

Where does you inspiration come from?
I’m not entirely sure I can answer that. Being a product of the 70’s I’m swayed by the art of Warhol and Basquiat (pop art anything), I try to keep up on trends but I have a brain that I can’t turn off, even (especially) at night it’s a struggle. It chats with me constantly and I keep a notebook on my bed stand to jot things down if I wake up in the middle of the night.  There are so many ideas and creations floating around I have to create something or do something everyday!

What do you think is the biggest thing holding you back?
Ooh, myself, of course! I am the ultimate perfectionist and hardest on myself, always! If it isn’t just right I will trash it and begin again. My husband is much more “zen” than myself and he has tempered me over time. But it’s still that nagging voice (I’m starting to sound schizophrenic!) that says it isn’t good enough. I think we all have some of that. And let’s not forget about fear! There is always some part of myself that is afraid of the unknown. I’m working on it….

What change do you think would most help your business grow?
RE-prioritizing and (see question #6) changing my mind set. Up until this year I have been running around participating in about 20 shows a year! Although it’s been a great experience and I’ve gained tons of customers it’s hard work! Especially if you’re a one woman show! Which until last fall I was. So now that I have help, I need to re-focus on all the tidbits we went over in our flyers class. Integrating the internet, your life’s passions, attempting to be published, etc., and working on the things that really speak to your heart. Shedding the things that aren’t fulfilling to you and determining the difference between the two.

What’s the biggest thing that you took with you from Flying Lessons?
Two things come to mind right away. One I touched on above and that’s really identifying what you want from your life and going for it! Life is far too short to spend it being miserable and if you believe it you can do it! (no matter what your dream might be) Stop being afraid and just go for it!

The other thing is community. One of the Flygirls said it early on. Something to the idea that “who would have thought that the best resource from our class would be ourselves”! How true! When I signed up for Flying Lessons, I was feeling very alone in our social circle. People just look at you funny when you tell them you’re an artist or, I don’t know, we live in a very conservative area. It’s hard to make any true connections. But having our group to chat with, share ideas, and realize you’re not alone, what a fabulous thing! And it was unexpected. I feel truly fortunate to be a part of it!
Thanks so much Violet for letting me also be a part of your world!

You can find me at any of the following: