Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Featured Maker: Scott Wilk

Earlier this year at the One-of-a-Kind spring show, I met a very talented designer and maker Scott Wilk of Wilk Watchworks. I was fascinated with Scott's work and made mention of it in my feature of the show. I have visited the One-of-a-Kind show over the years, and have found myself on many occasions with gaping mouth walking through the aisles in wonderment of the amazing artistry. However, I have to admit that over the years there has only been a handful of creatives who's work has really impacted me and who I think totally encompasses the spirit of creativity, style and imagination.

When I came across Scott Wilk's stunning watches, I was not only stopped in the aisles, but I just had to know more. I had to follow-up and find out more about his work, the process behind his watch creations and the maker behind the bench. His watches are not only beautiful and imaginative, they are stylish, well crafted and beckon you to take a closer look.

Scott has taken the time to share with us his process and provide insight into his creative business.

How long have you been an artist, designer or maker?

I've been creating jewellery for over ten years and making watches for over five years, but I've been interested in the arts in one form or another since before I can remember.

What drew you to your craft?

I've always had a fascination with very small intricate things. I really can't believe it took me so long to figure out that I wanted to be a watchmaker, but that's how life goes.

How will you describe your personal style?

I like clean simple designs, but I also like organic, flowing looks. Pattern and geometry is also something I dabble with every now and again. I try and work pieces that blend those two disparate aesthetics, but it definitely can be tricky!

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Everywhere. I try and pay attention to things everywhere I go because it's surprising how just catching a glance of the edge of a building, cracks in the pavement, or the pattern fallen leaves can make, can suddenly just give you the beginning of an idea. After that, it is a bunch of hard work.

How much time do you spend creating?

As much time as I possibly can, without having it impact my family life. It's tough with two small children, one is two and a half years old and the other one is almost two months old. Trying to balance everything usually means that I work at something, whether it be changing dirty diapers or putting together a custom watch, from the time I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night.

Tell us about your creative process?

It's kind of an 'all over the place' kind of thing. I just try and be creative in different aspects of my processes that allow for that. In my watch making, this can take place at many different points of the building process. Definitely, there is more room to be creative before a project even gets to a physical stage, meaning there is a bunch of designing before any building takes place. Though there is room for me to change aspects of a watch's look throughout the building process, though this usually just translates into colour choice.

Why did you decide to start your own business, and what challenges have you faced in building your business?

I decided partially because of circumstance and partially because I really disliked my job. I had been making jewellery and doing shows for a number of years, but it was never really enough to make a full time job out of it. Once my wife had our first child, I decided to stay home to take care of him and try to make my business into something more. It's probably been one of the most challenging transitions I have ever faced. It has really been an eye opener for me, though I didn't know what to expect. It's been a very rewarding and tiring experience.

Who has been the biggest motivator to you, during the development of your craft and business?

My wife and parents have been absolutely instrumental in giving me the freedom and encouragement to develop my craft. There never was any push by them for me to do something different, they have always supported me in whatever I have done.

What do you have in store for the future?

So many things I wouldn't be able to list them all individually here. My long term, ultimate goal is to make a watch where I have designed and made every part myself. Suffice to say, that is a few years away.

What advice do you have for others who are thinking of turning their creative passion into a business?

Be prepared to work hard. Be prepared to fail. Be prepared to do a lot of work that is not creative in the slightest. Take risks. Learn from your mistakes. Make sure you are extremely self-motivated. Don't do anything half-assed. Have a plan. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

How do you define success?

Photographs provided by Scott Wilk | Wilk Watchworks


Barns Art Market
Artscape Wychwood Art Barns
Toronto, Ontario
Saturday August 24th and Saturday October 19th, 2013

Queen West Artcrawl Outdoor Art Show and Sale
Trinity Bellwoods Park
Toronto, Ontario
September 21 and 22, 2013

Christmas One of a Kind Show
Direct Energy Centre
Toronto, Ontario
Nov 28 - Dec 8, 2013

Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale
Ernst & Young Centre
Ottawa, Ontario
December 12 - 22, 2013

If you will like to find out more about Wilk Watchworks, please visit www.wilkdesigns.com or email Scott at scott@wilkdesigns.com. You can see more of his collection at his online shop or follow and stay up-to-date with what's happening on his Facebook page.

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