I would love to start this post by giving a big THANKS to Heather Powers for inviting me to be a contributor to the Art Bead Scene Blog. I have never blogged before, so this should be a fun and exciting challenge!
Recently, I had found that I was having trouble coming up with ideas for new beads. I was stuck in a creative rut (as all of us sometimes are). I had seen several other artists challenging themselves to create something every day for 30 days. This could be an artwork, jewelry, photographs etc. I decided to embark on the same challenge for myself, and I have to say that I haven't been perfect. I miss days sometimes, but the experience has been very valuable so far.
On my first two days of this challenge, I sat at my desk and just stared at my blank beads. I was completely lost! No ideas, no thoughts, no inspiration. I had such high hopes, but when the time came to execute, I had a whole lot of nothing. I decided to go visit a board of mine on Pinterest, 'Paintings I Love'. I was really inspired by all of the abstract paintings I had pinned and decided to do something a little more abstract.
On the third day, I decided I wanted to improve on some beads I had made in the past. I do this with jewelry as well. If a particular piece hasn't sold in a while, I will pick it up and try and improve upon it. Sometimes it is a matter of changing the focal bead, sometimes it needs to be simplified, and other times it needs to be completely torn apart. In this case, I decided to take the moon phase design and transfer it to a bracelet bead.
These days I decided to randomly pick a shaped bead that I hadn't really used much and a random color from my paint drawer. Leaving the color up to chance helped me to use colors that I normally wouldn't. I have a deep love for teal, so it is hard for me to expand and use other colors. This could also be useful for jewelry design. Make a pile of beads you rarely use, and then close your eyes and pick one or two. They may not match, but sometimes you will get great combinations that you wouldn't have otherwise.
On day 7, I took inspiration from days 4,5 and 6. You can see many similarities in design, but I experimented with different colors and bead shapes.
On day 8 I wanted to create some nice simple designs that I could easily pair with brighter beads. I don't normally do neutral pieces, so I decided to give it a try.
Day 9 was an easy day for me, because I got all of my inspiration from the Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge. If you are feeling uninspired, it might be a good idea to check out the blog and make something for the monthly challenge. I really liked the colors in this inspiration artwork. The bright hues were a nice change, considering January is such a gray month here in Virginia. I decided to make a long daisy bead following the color scheme.
Day 10 was another variation of an earlier design, this time in shades of blue.
One of your greatest resources can also be members of the beading community. Lorelei Eurto is a super talented jewelry artist, and is also a little obsessed with owls. (healthy obsession though :)) She had the great idea for me to translate an owl design to a smaller bracelet bead. I have to say, I LOVE the idea. I also like to use the Creative Bead Chat, Facebook group to share ideas. All of the ladies in that group are so supportive and happily give advice if you ask for it.
On day 15, I was inspired by something I use almost every day, my paint cup. I often look around my house and will get ideas from random things like ceramic plates, blankets, or foods I happen to be eating. Today I was staring at my paint cup and admiring the many layers of colors that I created from days and days of dragging my brush along the edge. I decided the take out about 15 different paint colors and randomly brush them across some round beads. The effect was really nice, and I would love to try it again.
What I have learned so far, now that I am halfway through my challenge, is that there are countless ways to find inspiration. I look forward to seeing where the next 15 days of creativity take me.
To follow my challenge check me out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/summerwindjewelry