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Meet the Maker: Eleanna Kotsikou of Zdrop

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UK-based Eleanna Kotsikou of Zdrop is a professional jeweller who trained as an architect in Greece. She's also a craft instructor for Crafttuts+ and has a passion for handmade creations. Today we chat to her about her work, how to stay motivated and how to photograph your craft for selling and marketing purposes.


QHow did you learn your craft?

I am self-taught; mainly through books, practice and experimentation. I guess a creative environment is always a plus: my dad was a painter, my mum draws and sews beautifully and my grandma was a crochet master. My studies in architecture also helped.

Eleanna Kotsikou sewing a softie toy

QWhat are your favourite blogs for inspiration?

I love Design Sponge, papernstitch, Lana Red, decor8, Etsy blog and the Etsy Greek Street Team blog.

Eleanna Kotsikou's pins

QHow would you describe your style?

I think my style has two main directions: my creations are on the one hand are colorful, playful and a bit boho and on the other hand they are more geometric, industrial and minimal. Sometimes the kid prevails inside me and sometimes the architect.

Eleanna Kotsikou's necklace

QWhat inspires you?

Inspiration comes from everywhere: from a plant, from the sea, from a notion, from a material. Having a lot of creative input by visiting new places, museums and art exhibitions or browsing the web helps develop new ideas. My most creative moments are before I go to sleep or when I get up - when I am somewhere between dream and reality.

Eleanna Kotskou's organic rings

QHow do you stay motivated?

Firstly, by being active. I believe that creativity flourishes through creation; the more you do, the more ideas you get. Secondly, by being organised. Having a plan and goals to reach. This is something I strive for, to be honest. I always calculate half the time I really need - but I know it is super important. Thirdly, by challenging myself and trying out new things.

Paper flowers tutorial

QHow do you market your jewellery?

I have a Facebook page that I update often. Here you can find all the things I am up to, like special orders, fresh ideas, news, sneak peeks from my studio, as well as special offers for my fans. I also have a Pinterest account, where I keep all the goodness I find and love, as well as flickr, where I upload a selection of my creations.

Eleanna Kotsikou's millefiori earrings

QAre you on Etsy? What's your best tip for photographing and styling your work?

Yes, I actually founded Zdrop when I opened my Etsy shop. I love Etsy because it is not only a marketplace, but also a community and a creative hub.

Good photographs are a must for selling online. Keep it clean and simple so that your product can be seen well. Create an atmosphere with an interesting frame or with a background that makes your image more recognisable.

It is helpful for the buyer to show the scale of your product by using a model or by including a hand in the shot. The most important tip is a basic one: always shoot with natural light.

Paper flowers tutorial

Thank you, Eleanna!

You can find Eleanna's amazing craft tutorials for Tuts+ here. You can also follow Eleanna online on Facebook, Pinterest and Flickr, and you can buy her stunning jewellery from her Etsy shop.

Would you like to make some of Eleanna's projects for Tuts+? Have a look at her tutorials, where you can learn how to make:

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