In our continuing search on how to become more creative, I offer Rule or Suggestion #5.
#5. You must think for yourself.
This is a very difficult one. It means sometimes bucking the system. But, this is one of the most important rules. Independent thought is your authentic self. We are constantly bombarded by the media about what we should wear, own or drive. I could care less what they are showing in NYC as the current “in” fashion. I know what looks good on me, and what I prefer to wear. I don’t own a “Prada” bag, and somehow my self esteem has survived. Thinking for yourself opens up such a whole new world for you. When you go shopping for something new, don’t take a friend along. Choose what you want, without any influence from others. No one can be like you, or have your exact experiences, so draw upon your individuality.
The same thing goes for designing your artwork. Don’t follow a trend, make a new trend. When you visit a gallery who you want to carry your work, don’t take something that looks like what they are already carrying. They already have that….they want something new, different. Everything will sell if you find the right niche. Look around you, if it’s already out there, make a drastic change for your designs. Yes, it’s hard to do. You have to push yourself really hard. It won’t come in a day or two. It may take a month, or even two. Look back at your old sketch books for inspiration, look to nature, see things differently. March, as I tell my students, to a different flautist. And do you know what’s amazing about this? When you get out there, if it’s really good, your work will be copied. But you were the first. And you know what they say about “imitation”. At first it may be hard to deal with. You created something new, a new way of putting things together, and that becomes your style. But remember, you did it first, you can do it again. And each time you do it, it will become less difficult.
Following my heart was a hard lesson for me to learn, but I learned it while living “out of my element” in Pennsylvania for 3 years. While I love the state and most of the people, my jewelry was dramatically different from most of my friend’s jewelry. My things, I guess in PC speak, are “bold”. They are large, demand you notice them, lots of texture, patinas, earthy. I think some people consider these words to be euphanisms for ugly. I was told my pieces were “different”, and at the Buyer’s Market of American Craft, (where so much of the work is tiny and very high polished) I had one buyer look at my things and go “EEEUUUUUU! Who would wear that?” I was hurt, until I looked at her tiny pearl necklace suspended on a tiny gold chain, and I understood. I probably wouldn’t wear that. But neither would I go “EEEEUUUUUU, look at that pearl!”. So I learn my first lesson…it won’t appeal to everyone. And there is a “reagionalism” in jewelry.
Will you have some flops? Of course. Everyone does. Check out the designer name factory outlet stores. They are full of things that didn’t sell well. Even Ralph Lauren makes some mistakes. But take the chance. The good thing about working in metal, stones and beads is, if it doesn’t sell, re-melt, re-set or re-string. You really haven’t lost that much. If you don’t take the chance, you will never know. Now you understand why I say this is the hardest of all. You must think for yourself, and allow others who haven’t read this post, to use you as inspiration. Go for it in a big way.
You’ll be surprised what happens. I hope this has offered you some insight.
Filed under: Uncategorized |