Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Inspires You Most?

It used to be that when someone asked me where I got my inspiration from, I would reply the most typical answer that many artists give "I am inspired by textiles and cultures, and the beads tell me what to do with them blah blah blah ... "

In fact, I used to really believe this. The funny thing is this, it really goes so much deeper than that but most people struggle to put it into words. WELL, if you can figure out the true source of your inspiration and understand it, then using it as a tool in your jewelry business is SO much easier ... trust me o n this.

Why This All Came About:
I am a picture hoarder, and I literally have thousands upon thousands of photos both electronic, hand-drawn by myself and torn and collected paper pages from all over the place. These pictures represent jewelry that inspires with materials or techniques and style, locations, photo styles I like, artwork ... you name it!  When I decided to make a bone fide jewelry business for myself, I realized that it was important to have a unique and consistent line and style through out the business. Knowing that I have so many diverse styles and ideas,  I really struggled with how to narrow down exactly WHAT to do, and this indecision really tangled and prolonged the whole business model creation process (not to mention stall my creative juices).

I didn't want to get put in a design "box" set by the parameters of my business, so I just never decided. It is important to have a cohesive vision for your jewelry business and having a product line that can be clearly identified is hugely important! So I decided to go to the root of the root -- the very heart of my inspiration for all things I do. If I based my business model on that, then it would always feel comfortable and I could transform it this way or that and still be within the bounds of the business model and yet maintain consistency. 

How I Discovered My True Inspiration:

I looked at all those photos, my collection of materials, my wardrobe, the jewelry making books and artists I adore and follow and even the music and movies I love and wrote down the top four things that I was drawn to for each one. It was all over the board: salvaged style, Victorian, grungy, antiqued, steam punk, color, beads, folk, faerie, etc, etc, etc. At the end of this exercise (and it took about a month for me) I became really good at identifying what it was in each item that I found attractive and there were certain things on the list that kept reappearing. It was a big eye opener for me as it became apparent that my inspiration was based on classical literature, history and world cultures. For instance, I am drawn to anything and everything that reminds me of the quaint innocence of Jane Austen or the enigmatic, powerful and meaningful resourcefulness of Jean M. Auel's heroine, Ayla.

Knowing this key information about what inspires you is so helpful. It is freeing. I don't feel limited because I know that if I want to create an ethnic piece that comes straight from the pages of Alibaba and the Forty Thieves, or perhaps a wonderfully lacey and pearl cameo from Sense and Sensibility... I can. And you can too.

Ready ... Set ... Discover!
Okay, so now you have some work to do so dig deep and get ready to set your designs loose. Have you already uncovered your root inspiration? I'd love to hear about them.

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