Hi everyone, I know I haven’t been on for a while. Sometimes life gets in the way. I’ve been teaching a lot, and have traveled to Tucson , AZ and Austin, TX these last few weeks, and all this traveling has given me a lot of time to think.
After the Gelattos and Sunset evening with my sister, good friend and student, Kathleen Krucoff, I started thinking of where our creativity comes from. I came up with several “rules” (or suggestions) to follow if you feel uncreative, or have “hit a wall”. Sometimes just sitting down and thinking where you are going will help. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed, sometimes you feel totally uninspired. Either way, look where you are going.
I will write these “rules” as a serial over a couple of weeks. As always please feel free to comment.
1. You will be given what you want, but you must know exactly what it is you want.
This is nothing new. It’s the old proverbial “Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.” Well, you will get what you ask for, that’s why I have learned that you must word your desires carefully.
Do you want to make jewelry for just yourself, your friends, or a gallery? Do you wish to teach, to own a shop or to have a nationally recognized name in jewelry? Where are you going with your art, whatever the medium? The decision is yours. Only yours. Think this through.
A friend wants to be a “big name” in jewelry. She only has a dream, no plan. She submitted a piece for acceptance into a holiday gift catalog. There will be 600,000 catalogs sent all over the U.S. The piece was accepted. She is thrilled. Now what? What if it gets 400 orders? What if she only gets two and she has 200 pieces made? Give your decision a lot of thought. Can you fill the orders? How long before they pay? What percentage will the company take? Don’t set yourself up for surprises. Plot out a map of where you want to be in six months, in a year. Make goals, both long term and short term. Write them down. Review these goals every few months, and if you feel you are off track, it’s not too late to correct.
As a logical part of being an artist, you need a good consignment contract. Most galleries work on consignment. I had a really long one, too long, in fact. Everything was covered, especially bankruptcy/closure by the gallery. The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) has a great contract. Look at (bear with me here, it’s worth it) http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/.docs/pg/10025 (whew!) for a really organized consignment contract, look at the contracts section and then select either the PDF or Word version of Guide to a Model Consignment Contract. If y0u scroll down to the end of the document, the actual contract is there, following a detailed description of what everything means. Edit it to fit your circumstances. It will help you set your goals and organize your thoughts.
While speaking of goals and dreams, I grew up in a household where Lapidary Journal and National Geographic were the magazines to which we subscribed. I became an archaeologist and a jewelry designer. Never doubt the power of the printed word. But I digress. As a teenager, I laid under the covers at night with a flashlight, reading exciting stories, long past bedtime. My dream was that one day I would be in one of those magazines. This month, I am the cover artist with one of my designs for Chinese Writing Stone, one of of my favorite stones.
Here’s a shot of the cover. I also have an article about pliers and the step-by-step on how to make the cover piece. I was inspired by the Chinese chrysanthemums and fireworks of the Beijing Olympics. Stop in your local book store and please pickup a copy If y0u like jewelry arts, it’s full of cool tool tips. I will be the cover artist for the December issue, also. It’s a brand new look with a brand new art director. I was really thrilled that he liked my red jasper piece enough to choose it for the cover. (Remind me to send him Holiday cookies!) I am so honored to be writing for Lapidary Journal, now for the last 2 years. It’s part of my dream come true.
So think about the direction your art is going. Visualize where you want it to be. Think of how specific you word your goals. Plan, write and organize, and it will come true.
Sweet, successful dreams.