So it’s a big change, and I can’t help but wonder where it came from. Is this a new facet of my personality emerging? Maybe it represents an energy or feeling(s) I want to bring into my life?
What does the color orange say or represent to you?
Ok, who was it that turned me on to Etsy? I’m not sure if I should thank you, or yell at you — cause I sure am spending a lot of time there lately! I’m delighted to find gorgeous work, quality supplies, a supportive network of creative people, and a green vibe that really appeals to me.
I opened an account awhile back, and have been trying to get a feel for the place from a buyer’s perspective. Gonna try my hand at selling soon (wish me luck! 🙂 — just need to polish off a few things first.
In the meantime, I’m just shopping (ok, mostly window shopping) and accumulating a ton of “favorites”. In doing so, I noticed that the things I’m drawn to can be sort of a barometer for my moods. The grouping below is from the last few days, and all of the items have similar hues. The stuff from the week before is all seafoam-y and mauve … kinda neat!
Thought I’d share the results of a recent trade with woodworker,
Morgan Reed. This group of handcrafted hairsticks includes osage orange, zebra wood, tulip wood, purple heart and padouk. They’re well crafted, and elegant in their simplicity.
When I saw her work, I knew that these would be perfect for some barrette ideas that I want to play with. I’ve used imported sticks in the past, and I love the idea of incorporating something handcrafted and unique instead. It’ll be a few months before I can start (from now through November, my world is all about masks) but I have several ideas that I’m excited to explore when I’m able, as well as a few older designs that I’d love to revisit.
For now, they’ve got a prominent spot in my studio where I can admire (and be inspired by) them. Three cheers for the barter system! 🙂
While that’s a lovely vision, it really doesn’t jive with my reality as a working artist. Putting food on the table via my craft means working as efficiently as possible. It means being disciplined and working every day (even when I’m not particularly “inspired”). It means balancing creative time with administrative time — and it means doing some degree of production work.
When I started selling my handwork, the mere mention of production work bothered me. I dislike repetition and the idea of assembly line art. “Producing” seemed counter to “creating”.
My dad had a different take. Rather than production work, he viewed it as formative work. He saw value in those little projects, and the way that repetition hones your skills.
As I grow older, I realize how much I agree with him.
Many of my simple designs remain popular — but I still enjoy (and learn from) creating them. Each time I make one, it calls me to focus on shape, color and detail. It challenges me to improve my existing ideas, and to explore new lines that are more graceful or expressive. This study, these skills become the building blocks (and often the inspiration) for my larger/more involved work.
I’d love to tell you that every time I sit down to my workbench, a brand new design masterpiece just leaps off the table — but that’s not how it works. For me, “inspiration” is most often a gradual process that evolves from simple (and consistent) work.
When I was a kid, I imagined that this lifestyle would be far more glamorous than it is. What I could not have imagined, is how much satisfaction I would find in the ‘boring’ parts ;o)
This is a sample of what my worktable looks like right now:
(okay — my worktable isn’t really this tidy, but it *is* piled with masks!).
At any given time, I usually have several masks & crowns in various stages of completion. The ones shown have been sculpted & painted with a base coat; they’re now awaiting finishing details like accent colors, glitter, beadwork & feathers.
Unfortunately for me (or at least, for my photos) it’s been rainy and overcast all week. I made valiant attempts to get some pics taken anyway, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
The rain kept dumping, and the phone wouldn’t stop. The cats absconded with my DIY light box , and no matter how hard I cranked the gamma, there was just no hiding the fact that they were lousy shots.
I got intensely cranky before it finally dawned on me that the best thing would be to just let it go. I gave myself permission to stop worrying about all the zillions of beads & cabs I need pictures of. The new masks, crowns, cuffs and hairclips … they’ll keep 😉
Instead, I put finishing touches on the masks I need to send to NOLA — and played with some new designs I’m hoping they’ll like. I worked on my pages for the Bead Journal Project, and doodled & sketched new book/journal ideas which was fun and productive.
My books are rustic looking, which is the polite way of saying that they’re a bit crooked and bent
Wish me luck! 🙂