Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
This week's winner is Emanda! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box and Lynn will send you the pair of metal clay circle links!
Welcome to the Studio!
It's Color Week on my blog so I'm looking at color in a different way than I normally do. I don't think about color so much as I think about the physical properties of the glass.
I don't think color first, I think will it do what I want it to do? So I started to think about my work as
but when I said I needed to kick up the color, a commenter said I was wrong about my work - it was vibrant, colorful. Hmmmmmm.....
Maybe the high contrast on the Heartz n Skullz series is colorful....
...and the greens and blues mixed with the copper metal, ya think?
...ok yeah, the red, turquoise and yellow of Modern Folk Bird is colorful....
...ok ok OK! I give! Yes, I DO work with vibrant colors! Stop twisting my arm! The Rainbow Spiral is the epitome of lively colors!
As I rub my arm from having it twisted almost off, I realize I don't always see my glass as the customer or other artists might see it. Despite the fact I choose a glass color based on what it can do, I'm still choosing vibrant colors.
Does this mean I'm not boring? Wink!
Here is today's question: Do you think you see either yourself or your work as others see it?
Post a comment and I'll send you a surprisingly colorful bead! It will be a surprise because I'll pick one randomly from my inventory.
Look forward to reading your comments!
Great thought-provoking post and question, Cindy - can't wait to read the responses.
Color can be tricky, I find myself getting into a color rut, always combining the same colors I'm comfortable using.
You are a wizard with color combinations. I always wondered if using the rods of glass to create those beads was a magical experience - like sticks of glass crayon you can color with!
Uh-huh, it does mean you aren't boring! It also means that most of us look at our work in a different light than what others do. We think we're looking at the end result and assessing it for what it is, but we're seeing much more than the physical object. We're seeing the "aha!" moments, the mistakes we recovered, the times we took off in a different direction than what we intended, the way we tried to tie the parts of what we made together. Other people (even fellow creators) are looking at the end result and seeing it for what it is. . .beautiful!
Thank you :-) I agree with your comment about "color rut." This is my attempt to get myself out of it. Thanks for calling me a color wizard! I never thought of myself like that - it's a nice thing to say!
Thanks! Good points, I always see the flaws or what I think are flaws. It took 3 years of making beads before I started to sell them - all I could see were the "mistakes." A fellow beadmaker finally kicked me in the butt to start selling them because she saw them differently than I did. Color Week has been a good kick in the pants for me - to see my work from a different perspective.
I agree with Angelina:) An artist by nature must invest some of herself in every piece that she creates, and the finished piece always is so much more than glass (or whatever medium you use). You start with preconceptions and memories about colors and materials, which inspires you to select complimenting materials. A finished piece to me may represent something specific in my memory, or feelings or emotions, but to someone else it may represent something entirely different. And I think this is exactly the way it should be, and why beadwork more often falls into the category of art rather than just "handicrafts":) It's so personal and beautiful on a very individual level:)
Even though I work in a different medium than you, I understand your feelings about getting in a rut. In my bead embroidery, I sometimes feel I am doing the same thing over and over again. I think every artist, no matter what the medium, sees their own work differently than others do. We nitpick our work, seeing only the mistakes and how we could improve it. Others see it as a whole concept and accept it for the art it is.
I once had a pottery teacher that told me "There are potter's pots, and public pots." Pots that artists appreicate, and ones that the public like to buy. I think that's true for what we like to bead. If I get too into what I think will sell well, I loose a bit of me. And often times are not happy with it, and think it's boring! When I do it for myself, I am a lot happier with the piece and am wonderfully suprised when someone else sez "I love it!"
Cindy's work boring? No, not in the least, not ever. Do we get into color ruts? Absolutely! I do it so much so that my friends tease me about it and by beady things for me in those certain colors that I tend to keep using! But are they color ruts or do we instinctively keep using a palette that we know works well? Do I see any part of my work or my self as others do? Oh no, not ever. I believe that women may be hard wired to be extremely critical of themselves and their work. I see flaws where others don't. I don't like a color scheme that others love. The list goes on. And don't even get me started on my perception of myself!! But that's why we surround ourselves with loving supportive friends, right?
Thanks for commenting, Summer :-) The finished beads I make do represent more than a color palette - the spirals were created when I was at a difficult place yet I felt like I'd been there before - felt like I was spiraling back to the beginning over and over. Our art represents much more than the raw materials we start out with.
Some themes cross over into other mediums, this is definitely one of them since any artist is concerned at one point or another with color.
We do get in ruts sometime and thank goodness for those people who see the whole concept of a piece!
Ooo! I love that advice - potter's pots and public pots - right! It's great if you hit on something popular to pay the bills but don't lose your voice in it. Work to make both. I think that's part of what I'm trying to do and what we all try to do - find that balance to pay the bills and still keep our unique voice and art alive.
Thanks for those thoughts!
I agree that women can be too hard on themselves. The feminist in me says we're taught to critize ourselves so we silence our voice. It's not nice to put yourself out there and be strong about it. But I'll have to ask the feminist question in another Studio Saturday - LOL!!
All the points you make are good ones - we do gravitate towards the same because we know they sell well and or it's comfortable for us. We like those colors.
For example, I'm a yellow lover - three rooms in my house are a shade of yellow. The first flowers to come up in the spring are daffodils. I love yellow glass. It's so easy to see the heat in it and I love to use it. Yet I read that people hate yellow. Boo hoo! Yet I'll never give it up! You'll have to pry the yellow glass rod out of my cold dead hands to get me to stop using it! LOL!
Thank you for the thoughtful comments! Such great comments today - really has me thinking!
I just got doe redoing the inside of a house with a group of women who wanted to paint every room beige. Personally, I think that should be illegal and if I had to live inside a beige house, it would depress me. I have to have color.
Now, speaking of color in your work....I think a person has a knack for it or she doesn't, but she can develop that sense better with experimentation. Haven't you taken a commission designed by the buyer using colors that you knew were so wrong and it killed you to make it?
I too get into a rut by using colors I like and avoiding colors that are not my favs. And, haven't you seen work where the artist has used every color on the color wheel? Like if one or two colors are good, all of them must be great?
It helps me to rip out magazine photos with color palettes that I like and use them in my own work. It is better than experimenting.
Color, wow what a tricky thing, somedays do you not feel like some colors are the one to use and yet others are not. I say this but as I look at my supplies there are always more loud colors than pastels. So call me a rutter. How to break it that is the question. When I look at all of the creations you have made I am in awe.I am very critical on my stuff. Only see where I messed up, does this ever go away? Kerri
how do others see me, well i find it fun that since I'm new to the craft fair scene I asked my mum to help out (actually she assumed she would). Anyway most people approaching my booth and looking assumed she was the artist, as I'm a 20 something and she is happily enbracing her "technically" senior status. So it was a fun conversation. Cindy we've debated yellow before...even though it's not for me don't ever stop. I'm a blue addict so I purposefully tried to make things apart from blue and sure enough I got that comment last show: "do you have something like this in blue?"
oh well :)
I think you are VERY colorful!!! Even the colors you may think are more sedate, are very rich and saturated colors.
I'm a RED person, I have to really push myself to do pastels or naturals, and when I do they are saturated too.
so keep on, bursting with color!!!
Sometimes the colours artists use aren' t the ones I would use myself but I love the result (sometimes surprising) or it makes me think or remember. Colours anfd their combinations are a bit like smells or sounds/music, they can evoke memories of times past. Everybody sees everything in a different way depending on past experiences and their perceptions.
Art is however a form of communication, just as is writing or movie and music composition. It is related to what you are communicating or attempting to communicate. I use colour intuitively and then critically evaluate the result. (I'm a fibre artist). Sharon B on 'In a minute ago" is running a textile challenge called TIF where she gives a theme and a colour palette each month as a starting point. The variety of interpretations is amazing, as is the number of people who say "that's not my normal colour choice" -good for stretching yourself to experiment.
Cindy, I love love love your spirals! As well as the colour yellow ~ My favorite wall paint is a warm yellow & I have the recipe for it so I can have it whenever. Do we see ourselves and our art as others do? Impossible. I am always amazed at what sells first. It is never what I expect it to be. I have been a "green" lover my whole life, any shade will do. But I love all colours and to me, it's thrilling when a new combination happens~Sparks Just Fly! Gaela
I love the spiral rainbow bead! I love orchid in any color: lilac, orchid, light purple and orchid. I also love orchid. But I never use it in my jewelry because it limits me. So I use it in all my quilts. Yes, every one.
Thanks for sharing your experience, ideas and inspiration. Cindy I have been making beads for over 2 years and have not tried to sell any. However, I recently showed some of my beads to others in a beadmaking class. They told me to get busy and sell something. You are right it is good to have others look at our work because they can give us a different perspective. In some careers this is called the two eyes theory. In other works one set of eyes reviewing a project is not enough. Thanks again.
A whole house painted beige?! Wow - that's a very subdued color palette isn't it? I'd definitely have to add pops of color in that house! LOL!
Thanks for commenting - everyone one is full of such interesting perspectives!
I don't think being too critical ever really goes away but I'm learning to let go of it. I let others look at my work and if they like it, I'll sell it. Stay with it, you'll learn to let go of it! :-)
I don't think being too critical ever really goes away but I'm learning to let go of it. I let others look at my work and if they like it, I'll sell it. Stay with it, you'll learn to let go of it! :-)
I love blue too - blue and yellow are perfect together wink! I use alot of blue, especially aqua but I feel I have to defend yellow a bit because it's such an underrated color. Blue is a wonderful color!
Funny about potential customers thinking your Mom is the artist - in my house, people assume my 16 year old is the artist and he is. Smile! Sometimes it's good to have others weigh in on your work especially if you're overly critical of yourself but sometimes it isn't so good if they dont' think you're the artist! LOL!
Thank you for your thoughtful comments!
Everytime I see your work you always have something new and innovative in the way you use color. I wish I could be like that. I find myself not only going back to the same old colors but when I buy new beads on-line and then look at my cart I find that my color choices are the same old thing through out. I have been making a conscious effort to use and buy different colors and types of beads. It feels like i'm stepping out of my comfort zone but when it is done, I seem to have surpirsed myself. I never ever see what others see in my work. Thank God for that or I would never sell anything. LOL
I don't really think any of us see what out customers see.
Keep on beading it's good for the spirt and soul. I think you will be fine!!!
Oooo - I LOVE red! My Dad was a red lover, all his cars were red, his jackets were red, his hats were red - even his favorite candy was red! Red suits you! Thanks for the compliment on color - what would we do without it?! Thanks for the comments!
Hi Aussie Jo!
I agree about color becoming a memory - didn't I just reply to Barbe about my father and how he loved red? I think of my Dad when I see red and every year on his birthday I buy a big box of chocolate covered cherries (his favorite candy) and hand them out to everyone I see. I tell them to say happy birthday to my Dad. It puts a smile on their faces and I know it would make Dad happy too. It's a nice way to remember him - not in a sad way but with red and his favorite candy!
So color does tell a story and it is a memory in my "story of red." So interesting! I never really thought of it that way - such a great point!
I love Sharon B's idea! Thanks for mentioning it - definitely going over there to check it out!
YAY! Yellow lovers unite! I love green too - when I first got married, I choose a light green for a bedroom and I swear my mother almost hissed! LOL! Amazing what reactions colors can bring out in people, huh?
Thank you for loving the spirals! Love the enthusiasm! :-)
I agree, it's impossible to really see yourself as others see you - but sometimes I'm so far out of the ball park! I'm surprised what sells sometimes and what doesn't. I love my painted beads and they haven't been a great seller for me but I love them anyways!
Thanks for commenting!
Thanks for taking the time to comment. Orchid is a great color - I bet your quilts are just gorgeous! We have our favorites, it's always good to push ourselves to work in other colors for that reason.
I am certain people see my work differently than I do. I often get really down, certain I must make the ugliest beads in the world because I can go months without a sale.
But then I do a show or go to a glass meeting and I get such great reactions.
I do know that I can't worry about what will sell. When I try to make what I think will sell, I start to feel like a cog in a machine and never want to fire up the torch again!
So I now have a nice collection of beads I like and I'm making more jewelry.
Cindy, I love your colorful work. I love vivid colors myself, but I push myself to use colors that are hard for me to work with. Yellow is a difficult color for me to work with, but when you use yellow, because you like it, it works for you and therefore I like what you do with it. I also do many custom orders and orders for galleries and people like a variety. Not everyone likes the same colors I do, just the same as not everyone likes the same style that I do, therefore it helps to ve versatile and still be satisfied with the finished piece. I try to see my work as I think other people will see it, especially for the custom orders. I know the style and colors the customer likes and work with that in mind. I do beadweaving, but all art is a very personal expression of the artist, so to see it as others view it is difficult. I make what I love, and others seem to love it as well. For me, making something because I think it will sell is not being as creative as if I make it because I love what I make. I think personal satisfaction of your work is very important concerning creativity. My passion for beading is what keeps me going, and when others love it it just makes it that much more satisfying and energizing. I believe that if we love what we do others will be pleased with it as well. How we express our art is what attracts people in the beginning and our art reflects our personality. We can't be, and shouldn't try to do, something we are not. Just be yourself and do what you love! Keep those spirals spinning - they're great!
Thanks for commenting - you make a particularly good point with the"two eyes theory!" I made beads for three years but I started about 10 years ago and there was a feeling in the glass world then that you had to "apprentice" for about a 3 year period and then sell your beads. That's not true any longer. After two years of beadmaking, you can go out and sell your beads - go for it!
Good luck! Keep melting that glass :-)
Hi Valerie C!
*blush* thank you! :-) What you're not seeing is how I'm pushing myself too - I keep reading and trying different color combinations, I go into my studio and pick out rods and try to match them or coordinate them with fabrics, other rods, frit, paper, paint, on and on but at the same time can I achieve what I'm trying to in the glass - it's work and I have soooooo many "garbage beads." Sometimes I think I have more garbage beads than good beads! LOL! Keep challenging yourself but don't give up your favorites! :-)
Thank you for commenting, Creek Hiker! Don't let the fact you may go awhile without a sale as evidence your beads are ugly! Think of it this way, the right person hasn't seen your beads yet! So don't think your work is ugly, think of them as "undiscovered" - you know they can't sit at a soda fountain counter and be discovered like Lana Turner but they will be discovered! They're ready for their close up now! :-)
Don't lose faith - keep at it! :-)
Thank you - I do love vividness in color and in life! Why else would I over use the "!" :-) I agree, it's important to be open and versatile and I work on it by challenging myself to do something different. I never liked orange because I had too much of it from growing up in the late 60's early 70's - Brady Bunch orange and avocado green. Brown bleechhhh!! But I started with a yellow orange then moved into liking the orange so I think colors can grow on you. So you start to love different colors for what they offer - then it shows in your work.
I agree that if we love what we do others are pleased with the results too. I'll keep the spirals spinning! :-)
Like you said, be yourself and do what you love then we'll have lived a good life :-)
To All Commentors:
I'm so impressed with the thoughtful and insightful comments from each and everyone - you've all said amazing things! I seem to have lost the ability to be well spoken in any way so I'll just say
You guys are so COOL! You ROCK! YAY!
It's really funny that you asked about color--and all these other lovely folks have great comments that are helpful--I'm going through some color exploration myself!!
I had the typical..."make what you love even if no one will buy it" philosphophy, but then I realized, if I listened to my friends and family--whether they have good taste in my mind or not--they always had ideas that opened me up to new combinations. So, to try to expand myself from generally monochromatic designs that I tend toward, I've been taking classes in stained glass and polymer clay that have really let me explore mixing colors in new and really inexpensive ways!! I love the freedom of clay...if I hate it when I'm done, I can throw a few bucks away and start with many lessons learned!!
I'm starting now to see my work and myself the way others do...and I like it!!
Cindy, Thanks for the encouragement! I so appreciate it! I like what you said... I'm just undiscovered!
What you're saying is it's good to stay open and experiment. Maybe if you can't experiment in your regular medium, experiment in another one. I agree! I draw in pastels sometimes. They're so colorful yet so tactile. I love to get my hands into the color and smudge it around - like you're doing with the poly clay. It's fun and gets you thinking a little differently or seeing something maybe you hadn't seen before or even helping you to see yourself as others see you. Cool!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, JJ!
Colorfully yours ;-)
You're welcome! Just remember it when you're not making sales - it may be hard but many beautiful things go undiscovered - just because no one's found them yet doesn't mean they're not beautiful! :-)
I love working with polymer clay because of the limitless to the wonderful color combo's I can discover .I try not to be so critical of my work but other people love my beads and pendants while I struggel with the, "I think it needs something more",thats why I love your work I suspect . Wonderful colors in your spirals,Peace , DEB
I find that I'm often frustrated/disappointed in my mastery of the PROCESS and forget that the product may be quite lovely anyway! I get tunnelvision ;-( Some of my favorite work has come from mixing mud colors with their vibrant parents!
It seems I don't see my work as others do. It seems when I'm not quite satisfied with a piece, that's the one people comment on! BTW, I love your spiral rainbow! And I love using color in different ways. Thanks for sharing your insight and your work with us.
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