Artist Sharon Gellerman of Color Vibe Designs makes stunning accessories in her studio. She presents her collection and talks about starting a small business.
ABI: How did you get your start as an artist?
SG: I began my life as an artist serendipitously when I saw a scarf in a boutique. This was when I first arrived in the U.S. and the scarf captured my heart, but it was beyond my budget. I left the shop that day empty-handed. Of course, the scarf had mesmerized me and the next day I found myself returning to the store to purchase it.
At that time, I was selling merchandise for other artists and on a whim, I decided to contact the maker of the scarf. Her name was Zohara. She agreed to let me sell her scarves. Soon thereafter, she asked me if I would like to learn the craft and assist her in making the scarves. With Zohara as my mentor, I learned all about the classical art form of marbling on silk. I immediately fell in love with the entire process, for me it is very meditative and expressive. I began experimenting with different dyes, colors and techniques.
As I became more skilled, I developed my own style and design. It was a natural transition to create my own scarves. In the beginning, I was happily surprised as the scarves sold quickly. I decided it was time to venture out on my own.
ABI: In your collection, you make women’s tallits. How important is this to your business?
SG: As an artist, my life, spirituality and business are all intertwined. One does not separate from the other. My spiritual life is very, very important to me. Because of this, the making of a tallit is a natural extension of my reverence and devotion.
Each tallit is constructed in a specific manner to symbolize a particular element in the Jewish tradition. When making a tallit, I absorb myself in the process. Each knot is tied with a prayer. To make a tallit is an honor– I create each with an open heart and giving spirit.
ABI: Are you working with any new techniques or materials?
SG: I am always changing and experimenting. In a way, each scarf represents these subtle modifications. At the moment, I am fascinated with silk modal, which is more of a gradation and shifting of color. I love the way the color flows vividly across the silk.
ABI: Where do you envision your business in the next few years?
SG: I am very motivated and inspired by this work. I feel the business is just beginning and I have a lot of intensity to offer and always there is more to learn. I view art as expression and as I continue to grow as an artist and a person, I expect my work and business to reflect that passion.
I see my scarves in galleries, juried shows and on magazine covers. Above all, my intention is that each person who wears one of my products feels joy wearing it. It is the individual who wears my scarf that is uppermost in my mind when I am creating.