April 8, 2008

Hearts and Bones

I have a bunch of things I have been wanting to blog about lately, and they are all sort of mushing together today. Let me see if I can focus on something. I have had a few "lightbulb" moments lately, just in the last few days. Based on a variety of experiences and conversations, and things I have seen and read. I am still sort of defining these things and discovering what they mean to me. Mostly things to do with my time and where I am putting my focus. Maybe tax time has made me consider the past work year, which was full of changes both good and bad. But I am feeling lately that I need to really strip things down to the heart and guts and bones of what I do, and really examine it closely.

***yay, look! New beadies up on the Memento Mori Page! A new rock heart bead that will be out in the press soon, and I brought the bony bead and charms to this page, which makes sense, plus some new bone toggle beads that will be out in a Halloweeny project in October, but I added them now while I was digging around that page.***


I think the main thing I am thinking about is that I would really love more time to spend designing jewelry and spend the time that I do have for it doing things that move me more. Last weekend I spent most of Sunday working on a piece that is really elaborate and very "earthenwoody" and I adore it! I think I have been too erratic with my beading, mostly because I worked really hard to fill last year with projects in magazines year round, in lots of different styles. I think I spent too much time trying to be everything for everyone and I think that has taken its toll on me. I am thinking I need to slow down and really focus in on what I love to do most, and really define my style.

I am going to just list a few things here that I know I really like lately, to help me define it in my head a bit: I really enjoy unusual metals and stringing materials. I love working with the vintage and antique style with filigree and ornate metals. I love sort of fairylike, woodland, mystical looks. I am really into this steampunk style, and bringing more of an industrial and found object look to my pieces. I also really like a fun, contemporary punky look, something a little dark but also with cute kawaii details, (like the Memento Mori beads shown on this page...rocker chick/punk rock, but also cute and anime at the same time)

Ok, that's enough blabber for today. Do you sometimes feel like you have to step back and consider your style...pick it apart? and just sort of really examine things. This is how I feel today.

12 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about focus. Being an artist can be a very scattered proposition. Most people can see all the great work you do but thankfully not the calamity behind the scenes. At least that's how I feel. Having two little ones makes me at least attempt to focus more. I can't wait to see what direction the fairies will take you to next!

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  2. Lately I find myself taking apart things I made in the last few years and reworking them. And I've been playing more with metal than seed beads. As I was reading the list of things you like, I almost felt like I was reading my own list.

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  3. I know what you mean about defining your style. I have been thinking about that a lot lately, too. I think it comes from making a living doing art - how much is art you would make anyway and how much is art you make because you're doing it for money. There must be a way to balance both?

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  4. I completely agree. I must say that I have been least successful when I try to design things to suit other people's taste, eg, trying to design something to suit a specific publication. When I stick to what I really love, it seems to show up in my work and create a better piece. For my part, I really love the way you use non-traditional materials and your unique eye for giving traditional materials a unique twist. I can't wait to see what you do with your new steampunk line!

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  5. you say, "I think the main thing I am thinking about is that I would really love more time to spend designing jewelry and spend the time that I do have for it doing things that move me more. Last weekend I spent most of Sunday working on a piece that is really elaborate and very "earthenwoody" and I adore it! I think I have been too erratic with my beading, mostly because I worked really hard to fill last year with projects in magazines year round, in lots of different styles. I think I spent too much time trying to be everything for everyone and I think that has taken its toll on me. I am thinking I need to slow down and really focus in on what I love to do most, and really define my style."
    I really understand this. i love doing what i do because I love it. I have a hard time getting the time to actually DO it, lately, and I feel crummy when i am not making things!

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  6. Gaea,
    Yes I do think people have a romantic view of the life of an artist. Its not easy or glamorous, at all!

    I marvel at how my *mom* friends like you do it. Maybe having less time for your art and buz makes you focus more, while I am scattered thinking aobu tit all day? I am amazed!

    Christina,
    That's what I love about beading, its usually just wire and string, and you can take stuff apart and totally retransform!

    How cool that we like all the same stuff!

    Katie,
    Exactly! The line between business and pleasure is so blurred for me! I am trying to focus on it and do what I REALLY love. I don't even know how to describe it, but I think you get it...

    Melissa,
    I knew you would understand, I see this passion for what you do in your work too.

    I am playing with the Steam Stones in a piece now, it is exciting!

    Jean,
    Isn't that the truth, the problem of finding time... This is why I am wanting to really make the little time I have work best for me... You get it!

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  7. It's a process, ya know? I find my work is always moving in new directions and sometimes that's good and sometimes maybe I'm getting sidetracked. I think it's good to know who you are and be clear about that in your work, for me, it's about doing what I feel at that given moment based on the materials at hand. Which means my work is eclectic. That being said, more often than not, I do what makes me happy. It doesn't mean I sell it all or others always get it, but eventually they all find a home!

    I love your design work because you seem to have an innate talent for listening to your materials and letting them guide you. I do say it's always best to do what feeds your soul.

    xoxo
    Margot

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  8. I've struggled with this issue for a long time too. I think, as Katie pointed out, some of it is due to the fact that I primarily design for purposes of making a living now, not just doing it for myself. But some of it is that I like to work in so many different media, that I find it difficult to just stay in one place when it comes to my design work. You've given me a lot to think about.

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  9. Tammy,
    Well I do have the one thing to tie all my design work together...my beads. Everything I design is to promote or showcase my beads. But that said, my beads are pretty eclectic, so I can have range. SO I am trying to reign it in design wise and work with what I love from my own line.

    It is a lot to think about...

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  10. It's true what they all say. I think there's something to be gained by trying something that isn't what you would do to suit someone else's style. It's a good creative challenge. But I think you also have to set aside time to do things that please you and you alone. You started in this business because you enjoyed it, and sometimes when your passion/hobby becomes your business, you lose the joy of just creating to satisfy yourself. It happens on this side of things as well.

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  11. Thanks for the comment Linda. Yes I agree, and I think the thing you touched on is time. I just don't have the time anymore to work on a lot of ideas, so I think trying to really buckle down and focus is good for me right now. And someday I will get restless againand want to try all sorts of new crazy stuff, lol!

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