19/07/2024 6:34 AM


Adorn your Feelings

The Art Biz ep. 120: Always Looking for the Next Opportunity with Alicia Goodwin

4 min read


Some artists just know what they want. And some know what they don’t want.

My guest for this episode of The Art Biz, Alicia Goodwin, has a lot of clarity about both.

arm stacked with gold link bracelets artist Alicia Goodwin | on Art Biz Success
©Alicia Goodwin, Link bracelets. Brass with 22kt gold plate, various sizes.

Full disclosure: I approached Alicia with the thought that we were going to talk about presentations she gives. How she finds them and how she prepares.

But at some point during the interview I realized that the real story here was about an artist who was on the fast track.

Alicia worked as a jewelry designer for a number of individuals and companies—putting up with low pay and less than ideal working and living conditions. (Falling under the category of “I can’t make this stuff up,” you’ll hear her mention the office with 15 cats and rabbits and the apartment where she lived under the identity of a Russian man.)

I got a big kick out of hearing her talk about taking jobs that would be in a convenient spot, geographically, for potential future interviews. She knew what she wanted and created the circumstances to make it happen.

[ related: Risk, Rejection, and Resilience with Christine Aaron ]

While working for these companies, Alicia designed her own jewelry on the side, which people saw her wear and the buzz started growing louder. You’ll hear about how she was able to go full time with her jewelry business, Lingua Nigra, and what the transition was like.

jewelry artist Alicia Goodwin working on small work at studio desk | on Art Biz Success
Alicia working in her studio.

Alicia does presentations for art organizations because she is an encourager. She wants artists to go for it and doesn’t believe in even considering a plan B. You know, in case the art thing doesn’t work out.

Alicia says, “find your people” because she knows what it’s like to be an artist and misunderstood by those closest to you. She found support in an online community filled with people who were making things and talking about business.

Even if you’re not a jewelry artist, I hope you are inspired by Alicia’s desire to continually improve her circumstances and grow her business. She says, “You don’t need a lot of followers to make a lot of sales.”

[ related: Growing Your Art Business on Instagram with Jeanne Rosier Smith ]

One quick note. Alicia’s smoke alarm battery was low and beeping in the distant background, which couldn’t be edited out. So if you hear that beep, you’re not crazy. It’s probably on the recording. Unless it starts getting louder and louder, and then you might consider evacuating.


Alicia Goodwin Quotes

  • “I stuck with the people who stuck with me.” 
  • “Find people who also have your passion because your friends, as much as they love you, they don’t get it.” 
  • “You have to think about future you all of the time.” 
  • “I just try to set myself up for the next thing.” 
  • “You don’t need a lot of followers to make a lot of sales. You just need a really good core group of people who really believe in your work.” 

arms with gold bangles crossed over a book resting on a knee | on Art Biz Success
©Alicia Goodwin, Hand etched gold bangles. Brass bangles with 22kt gold plating, various sizes.

artist Alicia Godwin stands by window in animal print wrap dress | on Art Biz Success
Photo of Alicia by Anjali Pinto.

About My Guest

Alicia Goodwin is a Chicago-based jeweler who specializes in adding unique textures to her sculptural jewelry.

A graduate of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Alicia applies her knowledge of ancient techniques like reticulation and acid etching to her more contemporary designs.

Her love of complex ancient ceremonial jewelry created with minimal tools such as fire, sand and beeswax led her to truly admire the work throughout the Mesoamericas and the African diaspora in her own brand, Lingua Nigra.

Follow Alicia on Instagram: @linguanigra

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