The Branding of Sarah Grace
After uni, where I studied Interior and Spatial design, I went travelling, mainly to Asia and the far east… Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan which, as a country, was a culture shock to me.
Culture shock or not, I found the art in Japan to be absolutely fascinating, and one technique, in particular, that of marbling, really intrigued me. In Japan this technique is called Suminagashi.
As well as art, I have a passion for fine clothes. Some three years ago, I thought – “these passions can be combined… I can use my artistic gifts to design and produce wearable art on silk scarves.” But how do you transfer unique pieces of art onto silk scarves? I could envisage the finished result but not how to achieve it.
Then I recalled the Japanese Suminagashi technique being produced on fabric. Better than that… I remembered it being used on silk. This was about a year ago. It was then that I knew… this was the technique that I wanted to use.
I researched further into the process of marbling. I found that the technique is not exclusive to Japan or even to the far east. Far from it. My virtual researches took me to Turkey where the marbling method of art is called Ebru.
By the middle of last year, I was inspired. I decided that this ancient painting technique was the medium I wanted to work with but in a way that I could modify with a modern twist.
Being an artist is one thing. Earning a self employed living as an artist is quite another. I had no clue about business. But, on telling friends and family about my idea, I’ve had nothing but encouragement, such is the faith they have in me as an artist. And, also, I know people who’d just love the thought of sartorially draping themselves in exclusive art and would be prepared to pay for the privilege.
All things considered, I knew that this was a business opportunity open to me. And, if I wanted to follow my passion, it was up to me to learn about and understand the business world. But I had three hurdles that I needed to overcome… lack of time management skills, lack of business knowledge and, painfully, lack of confidence in my own name as a brand.