Saturday, May 9, 2015

Inspirations: Stories and Beads

So it's a few weeks before Bead & Button and I have been doing lots of sketching, inspiration gathering, looking over my current line of beads and working out a plan for what I'd like to make for the show. I always like to have at least 30% of my inventory fresh and new for the show. 

And sometimes in that gathering stage, I just let my muse go a little crazy and make whatever strikes my fancy. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't. But that's part of the creative process, you must take risks and not be afraid of missteps. They are in fact, stepping stones. So these may or may not end up on the table of Bead & Button but I thought I'd share some of the inspirations behind these beads.

It started with crabs, that were part of an inspiration bootcamp that I'm taking for illustration. I couldn't help think these would be super cute with all my starfish, beach houses and urchins, right? So they are keepers for sure. The first pair is going to my mom, who as a Louisiana girl has claimed a pair for earrings. Adorbs. 

And that got me thinking what else could go with these and fit in with my sea inspired beads. And somewhere in the back of my brain this little animated movie has been scratching at the door. So I decided to bring the Ballad of Holland Island House to bead form. Take a minute to watch the video, it's so charming and quite a story.

I think it appeals to me on many levels - standing strong in adversity, the sadness of change, nostalgia - longing for things of past and places you can't return to, the house imagery which is very personal to me and a symbol that I use over and over again. And the idea that time and nature have a natural progression that we can not stop. Heady, it's just a bead right! But stories and those inspirations are what make my beads more than just a cute image, there is always more there. 

And then further exploring related images this little guy popped up in my sketchbook. Seagulls, living in a beach town we aren't exactly fond of these little scrappers, but if you have ever read the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull you'll know why I thought this lone, brave soul deserved a turn as a pendant. Jonathan is a determined bird who leaves his flock to become his own bird in pursuit of something more than survival. It's not great literature, but as a young teen I found it quite inspiring. This also reminds me so much of my home town, I added in a tall ship in the background - which we have one here that sails daily during the summer. If I could do a lighthouse bead without feeling like a sellout I think that would be the next in this series. But I'm not sure I can go that far!

Hope you are finding all sorts of unexpected inspirations in your jewelry making. If you are feeling a little uninspired lately, look around at something you love and see how you can translate it with beads into jewelry.


Kristen said...

All your ocean beads are wonderful! I have an old (very old) copy of Jonathon Livingston Seagull and I have been using it for collages It also inspired me to think a bit deeper about life.

baymoondesign said...

I love the crab charms. They will be a very special gift for your mom.

Unknown said...

How fantastic to come across this in my feed this morning! I am the animator who made The Ballad of Holland Island House. Amazing to see how artistic inspiration spreads! I love these beads, and I would love to see what people make with them!

Silver Parrot said...

Okay, I NEED a Jonathan Livingston Seagull pendant. I loved, loved, loved that book!