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My name is Scarlett Alexzandra Lanson. I am a native Arizonan, residing in Sedona - an artistic Mecca within the Red Rocks. I am a bead weaver and jewelry designer by profession; at the time of this writing, I am 18-years-old.
I first came on to the bead-scene when I won the International Swarovski Crystal "CREATE YOUR STYLE" Design Competition 2007, in February 2008. This was my very first contest attempt, and I placed "Fourth in the World" / Amateur Division. I was seventeen at the time, and competing against many seasoned adult designers.
Now I have back-to-back Swarovski-related wins, as of this month (March, 2009). I took First Place in the KGI Worldwide Design Contest, sponsored by K. Gottfried. My creation, "Flora and Fire" is a bib and choker style necklace. The design took me over 100 hours to stitch and uses a variety of off-loom beadweaving techniques such as herringbone, peyote stitch, brick stitch, right-angle-weave and more. K. Gottfried's will be posting a winners gallery in the near future, with my design, and they plan on showing it at the Wedding Channel Couture Show, in New York City, April 4th - 6th, 2009. The creation was chosen to be part of the Sedona Art Center's "Sedona's Daughters" exhibition in September 2008 for their venue's 50th Anniversary, as well.
My mother introduced me to beads at age three. We would make little dragonflies and flowers with seed beads and wire. I taught myself the varying beading techniques, and made up many of my own. I passionately studied beading magazines and experimented creating new stitches. I dreamt of someday working with one of these magazines. Today, I am a contributing editor to Interweave Press' BEADWORK magazine, with my own department, called "Scarlett's Style." I also participate often in their Beadwork Challenge and contributor's Q & A sections.
I keep many irons in the fire within this industry, as I am on the learning curve and the economic climate makes for more of a need of business creativity. I sell my collections in Sedona, at the Mii amo Spa at the Enchantment Resort and Marchesa's Fine Shoe Salon. I also sell beading kits on my website, featuring my BEADWORK magazine projects and "Use the Muse", do trunk shows / client commissions, create tutorials for the "Rainbows of Light" newsletter, and teach privately and on the BeadFest Instructional Circuit (Portland, OR / September 2009).
My labor of love is my "Use the Muse" beading design contest, that I produce. As I have so enjoyed participating in contests and the BEADWORK Challenge, I have created this contest series to share my zest for beading. The contest will be going international, in the future. The first one was open to US residents, and exceeded all our expectations! We invited beaders of all levels of expertise and specialties to purchase the online components kit, and email photos of their submissions. 60+ beaders did so, and the results were vast and extraordinary. It was the first contest experience for many.
The exciting aspect of the "Use the Muse" contest was the thought of people all over the US working with the same set of materials. The secret muse component, which happens to be my namesake "Scarlett", was required to be incorporated in the entry piece, as for the other materials... they were encouraged, but not necessary, and the artist's own beads and findings could be used to inject their personality. The submissions gallery and "Big Reveal" posted on www.thebeadersmuse.com on March 24th, 2009. Many fabulous "Rainbows of Light" (Swarovski crystals) and "Brass Bouquet" (hand patina-ed vintage-style components) prizes will be awarded. Please take a look at the amazing and inspiring artistry from around the United States. A map shows the hometowns of the entrants.
I invite you to sign up for my newsletter on my website. In doing so, you will be the first to know of upcoming events, such as the next "Use the Muse" contest, which is slated to go international, and have a cap on the number of total entries. Presently, there's a "Guess-How-Many-Crystals-are-in-the-Champagne-Flute-Contest" (thanks to Rainbows of Light) for the new newsletter subscribers.
I find much of my inspiration comes from nature and brand new materials. My mother and I recently attended the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show for our second time. I am really blessed to have it in my home state. It is amazing to peruse the seemingly endless sea of gem and bead laden tables and racks. My favorite finds were semi-precious polished cabochons. Bartering with the vendors was half the fun!
My advice to other professional beaders is really listen to your intuition, keep stretching yourself to grow your techniques - both in artistry and business. Like they say "Fortune Favors the Bold"... so go after what you want...don't be shy. It may take you out of your comfort zone, at first, but much of life is just there for the asking. Never hesitate to ask advice from the established professionals. Hone and update your skills - I worked and taught at a bead store for awhile - an invaluable experience.
As for my beading future, I am working on my book proposal. I have a lot of exploration to undertake. Ultimately, I aspire to have a bead store and I'm often working on my business plan towards that goal. I am most passionate about designing and staying connected to the vibrant beading community. It is those interactions that make this life's path so meaningful!
|Scarlett Alexzandra Lanson, Sedona, Arizona, USA|
|Website and blog:||www.thebeadersmuse.com|