Saturday, October 3, 2009

How I Perform Demolition on Creative Blocks

{It's not too often that my personal blog and this jewelry blog intersect, but this post seemed to be relevant to both - particularly because two new favorite jewelry artists are featured! So it's here and it's there!}

Someone recently asked or input on how a creative block looks and feels to me, and how I get past it. The first part was easy: a creative block for me is apathy. There are no interesting ideas in the world - and certainly none in my brain, which is both disheartening and depressing.

The second part of the question, how I get past a block, was harder to answer. But after thinking on it for a while, I realized that — whether I do so intentionally or not — I am almost always rescued from creative blocks by immersing myself in excellent work done by others. And in fact, sometimes I get so inspired that I end up with the problem that lies opposite on the creative block spectrum: a tidalwave of new ideas so huge I'm nearly crushed by it. (I do prefer this problem, but it has its own set of challenges.)

All that to say I've recently struck gold (somewhat literally!) in finding three new sources of major inspiration, and they've gotten me all aflutter with new ideas. Thought I'd share them here.

Line Vautrin: A French jewelry designer who worked in Paris from the 1930s through the 1980s, Vautrin's work, life, and style are all so fascinating, beautiful and charming. I'm already interested in learning how to work with precious metal clay, and Vautrin's aesthetic is pushing me into desperation-to-learn mode. (More information about the bronze bracelet above is here.)

Heather Moore: Moore, a.k.a. Skinny LaMinx has been a favorite designer for a long time, but I just started reading her blog recently. Somehow she manages to be witty, fun, substantive, intriguing and inspiring all at the same time. Her work makes me want to drop everything else and start designing screens for printing. The above fabric (which you can find and purchasehere) was inspired by cave paintings. Cave paintings!

David Neale: An Australian goldsmith with a blog, his work and his ideas and his inspirations are just so resonant for me. He is also ridiculously smart, funny and charming and generous with sharing his process.

About the series of brooches the above image belongs to (see them all here) David says: "I realise that the making of botanical jewellery is so historic and commonplace,- like some sort of universal default decorative subject...which leads me to ask myself: 'is it boring if I do it too?' Well, I am never bored by plants themselves, be it the humble Lawn or the honoured Flower Behind A Girl's Ear. So a challange hangs over my work; 'Can I say something unique and valuable in the age-old conversation that is botanical jewellery?'" I believe that he has succeeded in doing so!

How do you get past creative blocks, I wonder?


Tayler said...

agh that gold bracelet is to die for!!

devinemom said...

great post. I would have to agree that in immersing myself in work done by others I am able to get past the rut. but like you I have to then balance the deluge of ideas and yet maintain my focus.

it's all still a learning game for me. thank you for these great thoughts.