Today we’d like to introduce you to Caroline Youngblood.
Caroline, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started working with ceramics during my freshman year of high school. At that time I was hand-building and making mostly sculptural work. I continued taking ceramic classes all four years of high school. I loved working with clay and I decided that I wanted to get my BFA in ceramics from Reinhardt University.
When I got to college I discovered my love for making functional pottery. At this university, I was only making functional work and occasionally using my sculptural background to incorporate hand-built additions here and there. Originally, I began selling my ceramics through Facebook to raise money for a study abroad trip to Greece. This was the first time I considered the possibility of creating a business and selling my work. My time at Reinhardt abruptly came to an end because they built dorms where the ceramic building was located and they did not have a replacement facility for us nor did they have a plan to replace it.
This devastating blow ended up being a blessing in disguise as I began looking for places where I could fire my work and this is how I found Mudfire Studios. I began working at Mudfire and attending Georgia State University. Since I was now working at a pottery studio where we have the opportunity to learn so much about ceramics, I decided to change my concentration from ceramics to drawing, painting and printmaking at GSU. I am now surrounded by various forms of art, I teach and work at Mudfire and I have my own pottery business!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been expected struggles along the way, as in fine-tuning my craft and figuring out a balance between what I enjoy creating verses meeting the ‘demand’ of the buyer, but this would be a common struggle for any artist. It is also a struggle balancing my time… Time for my studies, my job, my career as well as making time for myself.
A personal struggle I have endured along the way is the university change. The original path I was on, I felt accomplished and like I knew what I was doing. Once I changed schools, I realized this was not the case. I moved from being a big fish in a little pond to a little fish in a huge pond. A new, unfamiliar school, a huge art program and an urban campus, it was almost like starting completely over once I moved to GSU. Despite the difficulties, I am appreciative of being forced into this situation as it has been path altering for me and the exposure to this vast world of arts has been career defining.
Please tell us about your business.
My business is Youngblood Designs, I make and sell functional pottery on social media and some of my work is in the gallery at Mudfire Studios. In my work, you can see my love of earth tones, I leave a lot of bare clay exposed on my pieces. I have also always loved drawing and sculpting flowers and they often find their way on to my work. Something that sets me apart is that not only do I sell ceramics but I also accept commissions for drawings and paintings. Drawing portraits and painting landscapes are my favorite. I decided to call my business Youngblood Designs so that I did not limit myself to just one type of art, although I love ceramics and have worked hard on trying to perfect this craft, my intent is to grow this business and sell other types of art as well.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moments happen over and over again. Each time someone is interested in my work or purchases my pieces, I am proud.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/youngblood.designs
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/cyoungblood.designs/