I started creating and designing with resin in May 2020. When I think back on my experience there are some things I definitely wish I would have known prior to getting started. Like why didn't anybody tell me these things??? I could've saved myself a lot of time and certainly a lot of money. But you don't worry. I got you. I won't dare let you make the same mistakes I made. Why? Because we're better than that. That's why. So let's get into it.
1. You will not start off making the best designs in the world right away.
I know you're probably thinking "Brittany what are you talking about? You're always talking about speaking things into existence and being positive." Which is true! However, I'm going to keep it real with you. Anything that we start takes time to master. You CAN start off amazing. But wherever you start will be at the bottom compared to where you'll be a year from now if you're consistent and intentional about this craft. This craft takes time. It takes consistency. It takes energy. It takes patience. I don't care how many videos you watch or how many blogs you read. Please know that these people have been working at this for some time now. I am not at all saying this to discourage you. I am telling you this so that you don't quit when you initially start. I want to prepare you for what's to come. I want you to come in KNOWING that there will be mistakes and a not so pretty beginning. The same way a boxer goes into the ring knowing he's going to get hit. You got me? Okay great. I have gallon trash bags FULL of coasters that were straight disasters. I didn't realize so many mistakes would come with this. But I don't know why. Anything we initially starts takes time to get it right. When I first started driving I HATED it. I was the worse. I wasn't the teenager who was like "ouuu Mom can I pleaseeee drive!" It was more like "No Ma, I don't want to drive." But the more and more I started driving I started loving it. Now, you can't keep me from behind the wheel. Just be patient with yourself. You WILL be great even if you don't start out that way.
2. Pick where you craft WISELY!
Oh my gosh y'all!! When I tell you this is so important. I should've put it as number 1. But none of these are listed in any order. But trust me when I say this is important. I first started in my Mom's kitchen and I don't know how many times I said "oops". Resin is unforgiving once it cures. What does this mean? This means that once it dries it gets hard and there is no turning back from that. Hold on y'all .. my oven just went off and I'm backing a sweet potato pie for the first time this Thanksgiving. I'll be right back .... Okay I'm back! It looks good by the way. Anyways let's get back into it. You will literally be wasting time trying to scrape resin up, soak it with acetone, or whatever you may think to try to do once resin has cured on a surface. So with that being said, choose your work space VERY carefully. I've damaged hardwood floors and carpet. I strongly suggest using drop cloths. I talked about this in my previous blog ("Top 5 Resin Tips for Beginners"). But yeah .. save yourself money by using drop cloths wherever you decide to craft with resin and be very strategic about where you work. Don't be like me and think "Well I'll just be extra careful." Why?? Because I promise you you won't. I've damaged UGGs thinking "I'll be extra careful." Don't risk it. Trust me. Which brings me to my next point.
3. You cannot just wear anything you want.
Well I mean you can if you just don't care about life. Like I just said above, I've damaged UGG boots. I'm emphasizing this because those boots are not inexpensive and you literally cannot get resin out once it's in. I have designated outfits that I use when I work with resin because yes, it's that serious. If it gets in your clothes it will harden up and I can guarantee you that you will not be able to get it out no matter what you use. Just go ahead and say "bye" forever. It does not matter if you only plan to do something "really" quick. Damage only takes .2 seconds. Just do yourself a favor and wear clothes you don't mind getting messy.
4. This is an expensive hobby.
The more and more you progress and expand with resin you will spend more and more money. There is nothing at all that is cheap about this hobby. In no way. I buy resin by the galloons. I have not seen a high quality batch of resin costing less than $100 USD. Keep in mind that this is just the resin alone. This does not include pigments, paints, wood, molds, glitters, adhesives, tape, wooden sticks, broken glass, crystals, cutting boards, handles, I mean just stop me whenever you're ready. This may start off as a hobby for a lot of people but I see why it ends up being a business. You're going to somehow someway want to be compensated for the amount of money that you spend on these products. I will forever pay whatever I have to pay in order to work with resin because I have truly grown a passion for it. But please do not try to come into this resin world being cheap because it won't be beneficial for you.
5. Journals will be your best friend!
Often times you will make projects and want to show them off on social media or to your family and friends. But the thing is your memory won't always be your friend. Because resin is so therapeutic we sometimes get lost in creation and we don't even remember what we did or what pigments we used to achieve a look that 20 plus people will ask us to recreate for them. Keeping a journal will take away the guessing game of it all. No matter how unimportant something may seem, write it down anyway. This will help you with recreation AND it will help with not recreating as well. Meaning, maybe you created something and you didn't like the way it turned out. It will help you to not make whatever mistake that was again. You want to always document your processes. It will be SO beneficial for you even if it doesn't seem as beneficial in your current phase. Trust me, when you get to the point of wanting to hire help you will thank yourself for writing and documenting everything (even if it's on video) because it will make the teaching and training phase that much easier. Don't second guess it. Just do it. Include details of temperature, pigments, colors, measurements, products, materials used, how long it took, etc.