Friday, July 2, 2010

This is the month I'm just going to USE MY BEADS

You know the feeling--you see beads, you HAVE to have them, but you're not sure what you'll use them for. It doesn't matter, it FEELS right to buy them and so you do. And the beads sit in your bead stash, waiting for 'that perfect project' to be used. Nothing but the best will do for those beads, no sir.

Or perhaps you buy the beads with a design in mind, but when you sit down to make the design, it doesn't come out the way you thought, so you unstring the half-finished necklace and put your beads away, waiting for the next strike of inspiration.

Months pass, perhaps even years, and all the while you're accumulating more and more beads, faster than you're using them. Before you know it, your bead stash is out of control and your creativity is suffering from second-guessing design decisions as you try to make every single necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings a museum-worthy masterpiece of form, function and creative vision!

You can't live like that. Can't design like that. The 'great' traditional artists we all know didn't live like that (at least, not all of them); they made little 'throwaway' sketches or 'boring' drawings that didn't quite turn out. And it was ok.
Great artists know that just as they have great art inside them, they have a lot of boring/'bad' art.

What should we take away from this? That we MUST let the less-than-museum-worthy art out of ourselves right alongside the great designs that keep us up until 1:23 am. Trying to keep every non-great design suppressed will only lead to a creativity traffic jam.

It took me a long time to understand this and let my simpler designs take form, but this month, I'm going to do it! I will use up those beads in my drawer in nice-looking jewelry, but I will not pressure myself into making every single piece a show-stopper! At the end of the month I will have a creative collection of classy jewelry, more toned-down than my usual style, but still bearing my unique vision. Because if I make it and design it--it has part of me in it, and isn't self-expression what art is all about?


Creations by Juliann said...

I too collect beads ... They often interfere with my projects because I feel I should be using those beads that I bought a month ago instead of buying new ones. Finally, I have a solution... I sell what I don't use - and it helps me move on and buy new stuff that I hope - I will use right away. It’s a vicious cycle but it works, haha.

Michelle Mach said...

Using your stash is a great creative challenge. It's always tempting to think that you must buy another bead to finish a project, but often you can come up with another solution. One of my favorite necklaces is a "stash only" piece!

Kokopelli said...

Due to my financial situation I have to limit my bead purchases and that makes my creative juices flowing. Work with what I have! And sometimes, in between all the beadweaving, I have to make a simple, strung design, just so.

Anonymous said...

I do the same thing with my food in the pantry and freezer; when I get too much, I spend a week only cooking using my existing stores. Perhaps you could say my art is cooking, and I do have to get creative when I cook this way. Sometimes the results are surprisingly good!

I think you have said this very eloquently.

Mrs. O'Hara