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Thursday, 7 October 2010

Go with the flow

I wanted to share 1 really important thing with you that I have learnt so far:

When it comes to creativity, go with the flow

Some of my earliest earrings. I would still wear them  :)
Let me explain what I mean. When I started making jewelry it was literally just something fun to do over the summer holidays while I was a student. During that time I made about 50 pairs of earrings in around 2 days! I loved it and I was hooked on putting together new combinations of colours and beads to make pretty earrings. Whilst I can't say that the quality of the work was amazing (after all, I had never done anything like it before and was completely self-teaching as I went along) it certainly didn't suffer for my speedy approach.

Fast forward a few years to several situations, all of which are similar. I made all the jewelry for my wedding. The bridesmaids designs came easily to me because they told me what they wanted based on other items we had seen. My own jewelry was much more difficult to design because there were so many different options and I felt pressure to make things that were "perfect" and which would also show of my jewelry and skills.

I started setting up a wedding jewelry website a few months ago and initially set out the categories and themes that I thought would look good and be popular. Unfortunately when it came to designing items to fit into these categories I really struggled. I would catch myself making wire-wrapped copper items which only a bride with unique wedding tastes would appreciate but which I loved for more casual occasions.

One of my first attempts at a wire-wrapped bracelet.
I gave up on it because it wasn't working out well :S
Very recently I have taken the wire-wrapped theme and run with it since its clearly what I enjoy the most. I still find myself always making either earrings or pendants and trying to force myself to try bracelets just ends in some wonky, warped mess that ends up being recycled or thrown away. Its only in the last few days that my designs have come naturally towards bracelets and I have made 2 that I am now happy with.

So my conclusion...
Go with the flow, don't try to force yourself to make things you think other people would want or things to complete a collection or anything. Allow your creativity free reign and make what you enjoy because if you like it the chances are someone else will and it will likely be of higher quality craftsmanship. Not to mention that fact that you will feel happier in yourself and less frustrated with your efforts :)

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