Sunday, March 16, 2008

Where does inspiration come from?

It's interesting to sit back and reflect on what exactly inspires you and causes your ideas take tangible form.


I think some people work very hard at their craft and have a formula that generates creativity (or, at least, creations). Others are inspired by what they see, borrowing from it to create something new. Then there are those moments of inspiration - ideas that come from who-knows-where.
I don't think a single one of these describes what goes on in my head. For me, personally, I feel that it's a combination of the three.
I know my creativity is limited to a certain extent on my likes and dislikes, as well as my abilities, knowledge, as well as my medium. And it definitely has its limitations. In this sense, I'm working within a certain formula.
Inspiration also comes from around me - it may come from nature or from someone else's designs.
And then, sometimes I have a moment of epiphany. An idea, almost completely formulated, comes from seemingly nowhere!
Do you ever doodle, trying to make ideas take form? I know I do. I can't help it, but when I go to meetings at work, my notes end up being covered with all kinds of weird shapes, scribbles, and spirals. Designs that seem to have some promise get transcribed in a notebook that I keep specifically for potential projects.












Oddly, almost none of these doodles ever amount to anything. The ideas may seem promising on paper, but once I transfer them to metal or beads, they're completely hopeless.

For me, sitting down with my medium - beads or wire - and physically manipulating and playing, seems to result in the best designs.
For example, this past week, I wanted to create a new earwire design - perhaps incorporate a spiral to make something unique. So I started playing with some copper. These are exactly the steps that I took:
Photobucket
They didn't seem right. But I kept looking at the patterns I created. The more I looked, the more the patterns reminded me of my Unraveling Earrings. Those earrings are really nothing but swirls that become hoops. Then suddenly an idea came to me: an inside-out swirl incorporated in a hoop!
The first two prototypes were made in copper, as you see above. Essentially, these are backwards Unfurling Earrings. I was so excited with the concept that I couldn't go to bed until I transfered the design into silver:
I can't say whether this design hasn't been created by anyone else. In fact, I'd be surprised if it wasn't. All I know is that I created it independently. And, for me, that's all that matters.

(These earrings are now available at my online shop.)

If you'd be interesting in subscribing to my blog and receiving it by e-mail, just click Subscribe to Contrariwise ramblings by Email.

4 Comments:

  1. knitsteel said...
    I like how you sketch in copper. It would be fun to see a pair of these in action, on some real ears.
    andrea said...
    That's funny you mention that your sketches never really translate to real pieces because I was thinking of the same thing today. Very few of my pieces are results of sketches but usually from playing with wire and whatever beads I have around. I love those earrings, you do beautiful work!
    treasurefield said...
    Your notebook pages look like mine!
    I dream up jewelry designs, sketch girls and clothes and nature-y things, and sometimes just doodle. Later, it's great to go back and realize I like something I did enough to incorporate into some new thing.
    I LOVE those curly earrings of yours! I can easily imagine them on MY ears! ;)
    Keep up the great work,
    alisa R. :)
    Scott Bulger Photography said...
    I really enjoy watching others create. The process is a wonder to me.

    I, too, have a notebook. Inspiration typically strikes when I least expect it. I blogged about the same thing last week.

    "Inspiration in the Closet"

Post a Comment