Kate Miss can do it all. The L.A. based graphic designer, jewellery maker, photographer and blogger has risen above and beyond the challenges of all her creative endeavors. Her jewellery designs are simple and unique; each piece created with a specific vision in mind. In this interview for Lola Who, she tells us about her inspiration, her creative process when making jewellery, and the music that will make anyone feel creative and productive.
Lola Who: Your pieces are simple but unique. What is the inspiration behind your jewellery?
Kate: I take inspiration from all over and it’s always changing, but right now I’m really inspired by art deco designs and shapes. I’m also really interested in the idea of amulets and talisman—pieces worn for luck and protection—as I’ve always been a superstitious person and I can be very habitual about the jewelry I wear. Lola Who: You don’t only work with jewellery, but also with many mediums. Which medium is your favourite to work with, and are you planning on expanding to any new mediums?
Kate: When it comes to what brings me the most joy, I would say that the initial conceptual and hands-on process of making jewelry is my favorite. But graphic design is what I spend most of my time doing, as it’s what I’m actually able to make a comfortable living off of. Right now I’m learning how to sew, but I have no plans to use it for products. It’s important to have a hobby when you turn your passion into a job! Lola Who: How does your background in graphic design influence your jewellery work today?
Kate: When I approach the shapes and designs I create, I come at them with sketches exactly in the same way that I do when starting a design project. I’m sure everyone does it a little differently, but mine is just like any other design project that I do, with different rounds of sketches before I even make anything. I even create paper versions of necklaces before I carve into the wax. It’s such a laborious process, so I like to cut down on missteps in the beginning as much as possible. Lola Who: Has your style changed as you have gone forward with your career?
Kate: Absolutely. My taste has become more refined as I’ve gotten older, and I’m more inspired by style that is interesting and unique, rather than what is traditionally flattering. The Man Repeller has an excellent post about this topic, about certain pieces making you a more interesting version of yourself, and I think about it every day I get dressed and make new jewelry.
Lola Who: Who do you create your necklaces for?
Kate: It was and always has been necklaces for me and my friends. I started making them when I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for to buy. Sometimes I’ll put an outfit on and realize I need something in particular for it as an accessory, and I’ll jot down an idea and go from there. My audience is mostly awesome ladies who appreciate good, clean design and a hand-made feel. I would say it skews somewhat younger, but I also have two friends who have given their moms my necklaces as gifts. I’m happy to say it appeals to a big age range.
Lola Who: Have you always been a creative person?
Kate: Yes, always! I always knew I wanted to do something creative when I grew up; whether it was art or music. Both of my parents are very creative, my brother is as well, there was never a question of that being my path.
Lola Who: Los Angeles is a place where there are many different styles and is very diverse. How does this influence your work?
Kate: There’s a wonderful laid back desert vibe that influences a lot of artists here. I try not to get too deep into it and keep my work unique, but the influence of vintage L.A. is everywhere and hard to not be influenced by. There are so many awesome creative people here to meet and talk to, so many great museums and natural beauty… But it’s getting more and more expensive, and that does put a damper on creativity, but for now, it’s a great place to be an artist. Lola Who: What is your ultimate goal regarding your design work?
Kate: Oh man, I wish I could answer that but I’m still looking for it myself! Currently to just create an end piece that elicits joy from whoever is wearing, using or viewing it.
Lola Who: Do you have any specific music or genres that puts you in the artistic zone for when you are designing and creating?
Kate: I can’t ever have it silent, so I’m always listening to something. You can listen to my mixes on my Spotify account, and when I really need to get down to work and have no distractions, I have a playlist that’s just for productivity that has little to no words or singing. I send it to people all the time and they swear by it as well, it has magical powers of productivity!
Lola Who: What advice would you give young jewellery designers?
Kate: Everyone is a jewelry designer these days, but if you have something unique to bring to the table, don’t let that bug you down too much. And don’t be afraid to expand what you make. Join or build a creative community/tribe—whether in person or online—and help one another and you’ll be so much happier!
Visit Kate Miss Creative Studio for more all-around creative awesomeness.
By Gillian Cluroe