Thursday, November 12, 2015

just be yourself - with Julie of Uglibeads!

There are many qualities about beautiful art beads and jewelry that appeal to our creative minds. From a design perspective, we all look for different elements that complement our own aesthetic, and seeing something that 'fits' can spark an idea - that *perfect* color, or shape, or material, or texture seals the deal.

But occasionally it can be something more.

Case in point: a recent experience I had with Tina Francis' wonderful work. I've been following her for a long time now, and I so enjoy it when one of her new creations pops up in my newsfeed on Facebook! Since I discovered her work, I've had the feeling that one day, something would call to me, and it would be the moment to add something of hers to my collection.

I have a deep connection with the moon, and with lunar events. La luna's power over the ocean speaks to me - ebb and flow - rising and falling tides. I always find a full moon, a lunar eclipse, or a new moon a special time for reflection and transformation. I'd hazard a guess that many of you can relate to this. 

I saw this beautiful set of Tina's ceramic art beads the other day, along with the following quote she shared (as she always does with her pieces):

“The sea is calm to-night. The tide is full, the moon lies fair upon the straits." — Matthew Arnold

With yesterday's new moon on the horizon - I knew that they were my beads, and I bought them immediately.

I love everything Tina makes, and of course, I thought they were incredible beads... but in this case, it was those words that made the difference.

And I think that happens more often than we realize. Someone may enjoy what you do, but one day, suddenly, something resonates deeply with them and it's meant to be.

Many of the artists I most admire weave little stories and magical thoughts around their art. Mary Jane Dodd's work is another beautiful example. Not too long ago, she shared this mesmerizing photo of her latest creation:

along with the following words:


Just four words. But so powerful and so inspiring. The poetry she writes to accompany each piece offers insight into her unique way as an artist, the ideas that guide her creative evolution, and the spirit behind all the truly special things she makes.

Marina Rios of Fanciful Devices often unearths an unusual word, full of meaning and wonder, and uses that in the title of her pieces. This incredible assemblage lariat she created she called 'Degrassé':

And in the description of the piece, she included the following definition:

Degrass√©- adj. entranced and unsettled by the vastness of the universe 

-Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

When we go to great lengths to honor those details that are so important to us, at times we may wonder whether it makes a difference to anyone else. It may, or it may not. That it matters to you is reason enough. 
But if a tiny extra detail one day means a great deal to even one person - and it surely will - to me, that makes the extra effort worthwhile.

It could be something special that you tuck into each of your packages. A philosophy that you share along with your work. A quote. A word. A poem. A handwritten note providing a few extra details. An unusual glaze, or shape, or style of painting or hammering. Taking the time to share the energetic properties of a certain stone or material you have used in your piece. Telling the story of your creative process and your development as an artist. Sharing the source of your inspiration and the things that make your soul sing.

I recently fell in love with an inspiring talk that Oprah Winfrey gave as part of her SuperSoul Sessions. You can watch the full video here, but my very favorite part was as follows - when she said:

"Life is unfolding according to each of our truths. You are creating your reality as you think and as you act upon those thoughts. Every thought, action, and feeling, all the time. And the universe is constantly reflecting that reality back to us - a reality that starts, for me, with my intention to do well. To be a force for good in the world. And in return, I get this phenomenal, forceful life, where I am constantly shown goodness and mercy. The way to your own truth, the way to a phenomenal life, that only you can manifest in the greatness that you were created to do is to just be yourself. Just be yourself."

Although she wasn't speaking about creativity in particular, I am convinced that the idea of being uniquely who you are - as you honor the details in your work that are important to you - is a wonderful foundation for creating extra-special things that capture the imagination.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time...


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Julie is a glass beadmaker with a passion for building community and inspiring conversation around her writing. Her best work comes from that magical place where nature meets creative flow. She is fascinated by all things weird and wonderful. You will find her hanging out most days in her Uglibeads Facebook group or on Instagram, and you're invited to join in the adventure by signing up for her weekly email newsletter.


Linda - said...

I loved reading your post Julie. I really admire the artists that find deep meaning with their work and are able to quote poetry to go with their creations but that is just not me. Maybe because I don't have an arty college background or a love on poetry. I find that most of my work develops through working with the glass or from a monthly challenge or competition theme. I find it very hard to come up with meaningful descriptions to sell my work.

Linda x

Tina Francis said...

Julie, this piece was so beautifully written it brought tears to my eyes. I love your thoughts on words, and I admire your ability to express your thoughts so well. Until recently, I didn't really understand why the quotes were so important to me when I present my work. I just knew that when I found the right words to go with a certain piece, it felt like the sun just came out! Thank you so much for loving my work, you know how much I love yours!

Ann Schroeder said...

You are so right. Artists who infuse that something extra into their work - the way they talk about and honor it - really do make a difference and influence me. The artists mentioned in your post (including you!) are perfect examples of this. Thanks for a great post!

DG Jewelry Designs said...

Another beautiful and inspiring message Julie! I visited the shops of the highlighted artists. Inspiring creations!

Janine said...

You are a true artist Julie. Not only in creating those little wonders of Lampwork art beads, but also in your writing and in your thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing.
I'm still on my journey to find my artistic soul. I hope someday I will find it, but until then, I am enjoying the ride :)