It’s been a full year since I moved to Toronto with my lover and set up a home studio to grow this mystical crystal world I live in. I had a fairly nomadic life from when I left home to my mid twenties so “settling down” has been entirely new to me. However, the wonderful grunge of west end Toronto had us hooked immediately and we found a loft apartment with an extra room for a workspace.
It's hard to articulate the feeling of having a space that you can dedicate entirely to YOU and your creativity. I had never had one before, usually working out of a messy bedroom or parts of the house that I always had to pack up at the end of the day. Finding this little gem in the city couldn't have made me happier.
I eagerly painted the walls, set up two desks (because apparently one is not enough for me) and found an old bookshelf to store my materials. Stepping into my studio is like stepping into a sunny crystal and copper cave with dried flowers hanging from the walls, fresh flowers in vases and a dodgy looking chemistry corner where I hook up my work and impatiently wait for the copper to grow around the stones. Learning how to electroform opened up a totally new path into design that is fairly untouched in Toronto and I dove head first into it.
I was recently looking back at some of the original work I did and was in awe to see how much it has changed with trial and error, design tweaking, technique tweaking and a level of persistence and determination to grow and become better. It’s taken me many years to feel genuine pride in my work but as I continue to exercise what I have already learned and mix in new ideas, I find a deeper fulfillment in myself daily.
Now that I think of it, a lot of that fulfillment has actually come from turning up everyday regardless of how I’m feeling and putting in the work. The persistent effort to grow and depend on myself has brought me more confidence and self assurance than any external person or thing could ever offer me.
I write this after the dust settled from a whole year of putting in full time hours into Tala and a full time job. It hasn't been a smooth road. Rather, quite a lonely one that made settling into an unfamiliar city hard and meeting people even harder. As the holiday crashed down and the insane hours I was forcing myself to do became too overwhelming, I took a break, put down my tools and put more time back into who I would be if I didn't work two full time gigs.
Now that I've actually been able to achieve some equilibrium in my days, I have fallen in love with Toronto and I'm stoked to be making my mark on it as an emerging jewellery artist. Here's to making it through the first full year and (fingers crossed!) smashing the next.
Artists shots taken by Jazmina Alzaiat https://www.jazminaphoto.com