Stick to the plan. Always follow through. State your goals then go out and achieve them. Uh-huh.
How about… follow your heart? Now there’s a classic.
So why am i spouting these cliches? because after reading Lydia Muell’s blog post from a few weeks back about being perceived as a “snotty, selfish arteest”, i finally realized why i’ve been so blocked!
In case you’ve been wondering why i’ve been so quiet: until our November show, i hadn’t torched at all for the past several months. Why? because i’ve been stuck. My mind would either be spinning with ideas – so many i couldn’t single out one to action or i’d think i had one and then sit in front of the torch and watch it flit away. I thought maybe i was in a creative slump… yet i still had lots of design ideas so i couldn’t understand why i couldn’t get myself to torch.
Looking back now though, i realize that maybe i was trying to force myself into being something i’m not. Since i started selling my beads last year, in the back of my mind there’s always been that practical little voice that would remind me of: 1. how much money i’ve invested in this art form (my most expensive hobby ever!); 2. my initial goal for it to bring in a certain amount of money each month; and 3. to be practical so i could recoup my investment as soon as possible. THEN and only then could i let myself relax and just make… ART.
But unfortunately it’s just not that easy. Life – at least my creative life – just doesn’t work that way. I’ve been trying to make beads to fit what i thought i would have wanted as a former jewellery designer and it’s just not working. Why? Because i can’t stand making practical, wearable beads. I can’t stand making repeat beads. I can’t stand making little beads. And i especially can’t stand the beads i make when i try to make beads to fit that perceived market.
I had myself on an “acquire specific beadmaking skills” schedule: ok, good donut beads? check. good pressed beads? check (sorta). heat control? check. basic technique #1: stringers? check. Basic technique #2: florals? check… etc., etc. The problem? B-O-R-I-N-G!!!! Plus, i don’t even like making any of those beads: i don’t give a damn about fine lines, dots or flowers. I’ve been able to easily encase since my first attempt but how often have i ever made encased beads? I could count the times on one hand.
What DO like? Easy… frit, powders and big chunks of hot sculpted glass.
So what now? i think i’ve decided to become a “snotty, selfish arteest” – not literally of course… Just that i think from now on i’ll only focus on making glass art (beads or otherwise) purely for my own pleasure regardless of whether or not i think they will sell. I’m just going to make whatever tickles me and see where i end up on this creative path. Of course I hope i’ll continue to have buyers who appreciate what i create but if not? so be it…
Don’t worry, I’ll still accept custom orders – they’re so challenging and fun i doubt i’ll ever stop taking them. On my own time though, from now on i’m stepping completely out of the traditional glass beadmaking mold. I will concentrate instead on just exploring my creative side through hot glass and making only what my muse directs regardless of how mundane or bizarre the result… should be interesting!
I hope y’all stay with me for the ride…