Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Those of you who create with beads often find yourselves living in such a way that you approach everyday objects and think, 'How could I improve this with beads?' After awhile, it becomes as natural as breathing to wonder how ordinary items can become extraordinary with a little beadwork. But what about those moments when you're stumped for ideas? It happens to everyone. Sooner or later, you feel as if you will never create again because, alas and alack, your fount of ideas is dry. Ne'er fear, dear beader! Inspiration can be found in places you may not have considered--your own life.
It seems strange to think your daily activities can provide inspiration for artistic expression, but it's true. One way to ensure you are able to draw ideas from everyday living is to capture as many things with a camera as possible. Either print the photos or keep them in a special folder on your computer, but either way, refer to them often. Inspiration and idea photos should be kept separate from all others since they are working tools. It is most helpful to limit each photograph to a single subject whenever possible.
For example, if you create a gingerbread house, be sure to photograph it by itself. Something about it might eventually become a spark of an idea that you can fan a little and turn into a flame. Whether it is the colours that were used together, the theme, or its shape, the gingerbread house can inspire you with ideas for more than one project.
When you walk your dog, take your camera. Study your surroundings and take notice of patterns in the bark of a tree, or the repetition of tables and chairs at a high street cafe, these items can provide you with ideas for beautiful jewellery. How? The tree bark's pattern might be found (or created by weaving seed beads in varying shades) in a hunk of jasper that can be used as a focal, strung asymmetrically, and then surrounded by leaf-coloured beads, be they green or the shades of autumn.
When attending a wedding, always photograph the cake before it is cut. Believe it or not, wedding cakes can inspire a burst of creativity. Pearls and crystals in the shades of the frosting and flowers will become a beautiful pair of earrings and a lovely memory of the wedding.
Baking a pie can also be a springboard for your next dry spell. Apples and a punnet of blueberries are beautiful sights. A picture of lemons and blueberries together in a bowl will be the perfect palette for summer adornment.
Let the fabrics of the quilt your great grandmother received as a wedding gift be your guide. Study it for a common theme, whether it is the family of shades used, the shapes of the pieces, or something else.
What does your favourite dress or jumper look like? Take them off the hanger and really look at them, then capture them with the camera. You love these garments for a reason, so photograph that reason and tap into it the next time you need to give your creativity a jump.
A dinner in your favourite Mexican restaurant can also inspire you. Indian glass beads are loaded with bubbles, much like Mexican glassware, and the beads come in many shapes and sizes. Choose clear glass beads, accentuate them with silver spacers, and throw in a few cobalt glass baubles, and you'll have a fun necklace that looks like you constructed it out of ice cubes and someone's favourite margarita glass - perfect for summer gatherings!
When in doubt, look to nature. Mother Nature is the perfect artist and her colour choices are never wrong. For example, the beach honeymoon you took might be represented in a bracelet that includes peach-toned pearls, gold spacers and aqua quartz.
A single slice of watermelon at a family picnic has wonderful hues of pink, green and black that can be translated into really fun pieces of summer jewellery.
Photos of exotic birds are crazy with colours waiting to be represented in pieces of jewellery.
The garden will have something inspirational, be it an old, rusted tool sitting in a patch of long, bright green grass, or a long forgotten stone wall covered with moss.
Ideas for the next wave of your creativity are everywhere. When you view ordinary items that we all take for granted in a new way, it helps unlock that strongbox where our artistic expression sometimes hides. Also, when the mundane is viewed differently, it can help keep beader's block at bay for longer periods. Dust off your camera and get ready to take pictures of things you normally never would, and see what happens next!