THERE'S NO payday in Sophie Blokker's line of work, but she really doesn't care - she's doing something she loves.
The Hawke's Bay freelance artist says it has taken a lot of hard work and determination to get to where she is today.
Sophie is a talented, successful artist. Her Bay-themed and kiwiana works are sold in numerous shops throughout the country as well as online.
She has recently added another string to her bow, releasing an Art Deco-themed jewellery collection.
"I love everything about the Bay and get a lot of inspiration for my work right her. I had this idea about making some Art Deco jewellery so I drew some sketches and took them into Bruce Jackson at UNIO Goldsmith & Gallery in Havelock North," Sophie says.
"He saw my vision straight away - he just got it. I went in for the day when he was making them. He is amazing."
The collection consists of a ring, pendant and earrings, all Art Deco themed and made in sterling silver. They are also available in gold.
Bruce said that he liked Sophie's design's instantly.
"Funnily enough I had an idea in the back of mind for quite some time about a range of Art Deco. "Sophie's are different to what I was thinking but beautiful. I liked working with her. I've seen and admired her artwork for some time."
Bruce was recently commissioned to make some earrings for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"I'm a sponsor for the Edible Fashion Awards and I really like the arts so when Toitoi approached me about making the earrings I was more than happy to oblige. The design was done in collaboration with Toitoi. I was thrilled when the PM put the earrings on straight away."
Sophie is delighted with her Art Deco jewellery and says she is always looking for new ideas.
"I try to push the boundaries and think of different ways to express my art. That's where the idea for the jewellery came from. I also have artwork on scarves."
Sophie's mother Clare, who helps her run the business, says she sees first hand the hard work and determination that goes into her daughter's work.
"She has always loved to draw. When she was 13 our neighbour who worked at New World was at our house. He saw the cards she had made and asked if she wanted to sell them in the supermarket. From there we started selling her work at markets," Clare said.
"The thing with Sophie is that she listens to people and she understands how to draw what people want."
At 19 Sophie illustrated her first book. She quit her job and "worked hard at doing what I love," Sophie said.
Her mum says she is very disciplined and works set hours. "Usually 9am to 5pm but some days she can still be going at 10pm."
Sophie is in the process of getting her private pilot's licence, and flying above Hawke's Bay has given her a different perspective which can be seen in her recent artworks.
She says the advice she would give to aspiring artists is to listen to feedback.
"Don't get too precious about it and be willing to do what other people want you to do."
At 29 Sophie says she would never have thought she would get to where she is today.
"I'm blown away. Yes it is hard work but when someone buys your work it fills you with confidence."
*To see Sophie's work go to sophieblokker.co.nz
Artist Sophie Blokker and UNIO Goldsmith & Gallery owner Bruce Jackson with the Art Deco jewellery. Photo / Warren Buckland