Katie Hacker Talks About Creativity, Trends

An Interview with Katie Hacker 

I think it's close to impossible to bead for any length of time and not come across some of Katie Hacker's work in a beading magazine, book, or at one of the large bead shows in the U.S. Katie is the author of Hip to Bead and many other books. (She published her first book at 23!) She also writes the "Ask Katie" column in Simply Beads magazine and presents jewelry design tips on the PBS series, Beads, Baubles & Jewels. If there are such things as beading rock stars, then Katie is definitely one of them!–Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor

Michelle: What's your creative process like? Do you tend to sketch or plan your ideas first, or do most of your ideas come to you while you are working in the studio? Do you have a schedule? Do you work on multiple projects at once?

Katie: I tend to get an idea and then let it percolate for a while before attempting to recreate it in my studio. I carry a little notebook around with me so I can jot down ideas when they come to me. I always have a lot of projects going at once, but I make a little schedule for myself so I can feel like I'm accomplishing things as I cross them off the list. I'm very deadline-oriented, so I have daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists.

Clever Candle Wrap
by Katie Hacker
(Instructions in Hip to Bead)

 Michelle: What current trends in beading are you noticing? What beading techniques or types of beads are popular now?

Katie: Right now, there is a big crossover between traditionally crafty techniques and jewelry making. Lots of designers are mixing beading with image transfer, rubber stamping, crochet, and other crafting techniques. Also, while intricate beadwork is always going to be popular, there are a growing number of beaders who want to make something tonight and wear it tomorrow. 

Fruit Salad Choker
by Katie Hacker

Michelle: What's it like to be on TV? Is there anything about the filming process that surprised you the first time you were on TV?

Katie: It's really fun to be on Beads, Baubles & Jewels. I enjoy meeting the different artists who visit. Since everything seems so spontaneous on-camera, it's surprising how much preparation goes into a three-minute Beading Lessons segment. We start planning the segments about four months before the taping, then I start writing scripts and making samples to show on-camera. Each segment represents a couple of hours of work.

Michelle: Many Beading Daily readers have children or grandchildren. Do you have suggestions on how to enhance their children's creativity—and maybe their own creativity at the same time?

Katie: I'm lucky to have grown up in a very crafty environment. My dad sold craft supplies and my mom is a creative person, so I had a great combination of access to supplies and someone to show me how to make things. I think the key is really just providing a time and space for kids (and yourself) to play, imagine, and create. It helps to have an area of your house that's dedicated to craftiness, whether it's a card table or a little desk. Then you can sit down and create whenever you get the urge.

Learn more about Katie Hacker on her website, www.katiehacker.com. Information about her book Hip to Bead may be found at: www.hiptobead.com. 

Travel Storage Tip from a Beading Daily Reader

"The plastic containers you buy your DVDs or CDs in make very useful storage/travel containers for beads. They have a very secure lid and can be stashed one on top of the other occupying very little space. Plus they are transparent, so you always know what's inside at first glance."–Paola Filinesi

Coming Friday: Do you use your kitchen or dining room table for beading or jewelry making? I'll share the surprising poll results and a few of the more than 750 comments I received on this topic!

Have you voted yet on the latest poll? I have no idea how this one will turn out, except to say that very few people are feeling neutral about the topic of beaded home decor! Vote now.

Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She is trying to organize her beads before her next big beading blitz!

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