A routine chore becomes the seed of artistic inspiration.
I am new to spending a lot of time in my studio. I am more accustomed to the daily 9 to 5 routine with some studio time peppered in where I can fit it. I am trying, with this “new endeavor” (see my previous post), to spend the bulk of my working hours in the studio, building up inventory for upcoming shows and for a good selection to offer the public. With this change in creative time spent and the demand of work to be produced, I’m discovering a new respect for an artist’s relationship to her muse. I’m talking about artistic inspiration.
Where does inspiration come from? Why is it sometimes a wave of boundless ideas and at other times a desert of frustration? How can I maintain a more steady stream of vision? I don’t know if there are any real answers to those questions. But I have been thinking about it ever since I found a bit of artistic inspiration where I least expected – in the midst of a routine chore.
I recently opened an Instagram account to chronicle photos of my work. My marketing guru, Tisha, is often on my shoulder whispering at me to “post something new… share good content… open a Twitter account…” Sometimes I prefer to listen to the little devil on the other shoulder reminding me that the new episode of The Walking Dead is on! But often enough, I heed Tisha’s suggestions. And the other day I was thinking I should post a new image on Instagram, but I didn’t have new pieces I wanted to highlight. I looked out my window and saw our first daffodil in bloom. Of course! I could post a picture of something besides jewelry. How about that beautiful flower that just lifted my heart and warmed my day? So I did. And it got me thinking about what makes me tick and how does it relate to my designs?
Once I connected to the things that make my heart lift, the artistic inspiration was there..
Often it’s just a great stone that drives my jewelry work. I respond to the color, the patterning, the shape of the stone. That’s all valid and real artistic inspiration, but it’s not the end of it. Artists express their thoughts, loves, fears, hatred, joy, and humor through whatever medium they choose. Their art is a reflection of their inner selves and the working of their minds. So, what exactly am I expressing? Do I want my jewelry work to be the medium for that type of self-expression? My answer was “sort of.” I’m not interested in using my jewelry to make social commentary or plumb the depths of my psyche. But I do like flowers. And trees. And mountains and rivers and stones and skies. And, well, nature.
Once I connected to the things that make my heart lift, the artistic inspiration was there. Really, very much at the forefront of my mind. And I drew up a design within the hour and started it the next day. I have since experienced the roller coaster of vision as usual. But I feel like at least I have found a door that leads to my muse. And, I will be taking more pictures, for sure! I realize that artistic inspiration is never gone, just dormant, and likely to spring out at you when you least expect it!