Friday, September 05, 2008

Solstice by the Sea...

Michelle Mach of Interweave's Beading Daily just spotlighted the web exclusive project I did for Stringing Magazine called, Solstice by the Sea. CLICK HERE to download the instructions for free. In her piece, Using Leftovers, she discusses different ideas of what can be done with beads or other components (like chain) remaining after a project is finished. Not only does using leftovers really stretch a budget, but I think they are also a good "personal style indicator."
At the last show I was at, I had several nice discussions with different people about how they didn't know what to make or that they were just dabbling and how nothing they did seemed to fit together. I think in a day and age where selling is so integrated with the continuing of making things, identity branding becomes so much about who someone is as a designer. Some feel as though they must assign themselves to an artistic enterprise to be successful. It's easy for some designers. They find what they like and they stick with it and never vary too far from what's successful for them. But... for those of us who like to dabble or have varied interests, it's daunting to feel successful when there doesn't seem to be an overt cohesion within the work. It's painful when we try to super-impose an idea of what we think we should be doing or making. It's harder to recognize our voice within the work. I think this opens the door to a lot of self-doubt. What gets lost is remembering that all those tangents and experiments and dabbling forays, enriches our perspective. We add layers and dimension to our understanding of our craft. It is important to feel confident as a designer to express a point of view or create a story with your work. Self-doubt is the mind-killer.
Looking at leftover beads is a great tool in getting a more in-depth look at your own personal style. Patterns start to form. You'll start to see which colors, cuts, and materials you're most drawn to. What at first may seem disconnected in their individual states, collectively takes on a new face - your face. It becomes a mirror to understand better who you are as a designer. This is empowering. Knowing your preferences and style, allows you to make more informed choices.

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