It’s true. I admit it. My creative energy is absolutely the boss of me. After the intense burst of creativity I felt all throughout January, I should have expected to be a little burned out, should have made a lot of notes and then took a break when I first felt creatively blocked. It might have passed sooner. But then we all got sick, and that always slows the momentum, and the creative block lingered and then there was no momentum, and the idea well dried up. Part of me quietly begins to panic – but then most of me just waited at the table moving beads around and making list after list of stuff I ought to be making and maybe will but first these beads that are pretty but aren’t really working, and then the resignation. I put off that resignation as long as I could, but the longer I waited meant I was making pieces I didn’t like just to be working. But I kept hoping for that flash that will point me in some direction. And…nothing for a week. Which is forever. I made a rule when I started the business, I have to show up at that table every day and try, and a lot of times, it just kicks right in. What I should and wish I had done was pull a book off the stack on my bedside table and ignore the work the way it was ignoring me. But I didn’t.
This creative block was solid. I thought maybe I was just as abruptly done with this craft the way I have been about others I’ve tried. I’ve never liked any craft or hobby the way I have enjoyed making jewelry, so I really hoped that wasn’t happening. Finally I sat down with my copy of Good Omens, by Pratchett and Gaiman, which I am determined to finish before the show airs in May. I read it once long ago, been wanting to read it again, so I just gave up on the creativity and enjoyed myself. It’s such a fun book! Silly and cynical, very chatty, so imaginative, I love it. (And recommend it highly, check it out if you need something new to read.)
And then, all of a sudden, my creativity was back: EARRINGS, it said, WE ARE NOW MAKING EARRINGS! (Which was great, because they were next on the list and I’d been drawing a complete blank.) And then I started taking out bags of metal beads, of which I have too many because I hardly ever use them. I don’t know why. I like it when other designers use them. But when it’s me, I don’t know, I don’t. But now I was going to. I challenged myself, mainly because I felt like doing something new and I like using beads I love but never use.
So first I started with some chandelier forms. I love the look of these, but I am never happy with my own results. And then I put these together, and the strike me as art deco-ish, with the straight lines and the curves in the same piece.
And then I pulled out a bag of random metal beads, and found pairs of these metal beads and founds glass beads to go with them to make this white and gold, and black and gold pairs of earrings:
This last one here is a double challenge. I inherited a lot of beads that I wasn’t sure what to do with, a lot of these purple metallic glass beads. I am super happy that I found a great use for these beads with this big gold plated sun bead. I think that one looks kind of art deco-ish too.
You can see all of these earrings (and more) on my website Juicybeads Jewelry. I really love the way they came out, it was a surprisingly easy challenge (given how long I’d had those beads without wanting to use them) and there are still more to come. When my creativity finally returned it was like a spraying hose of ideas. I really missed my creativity while it was on vacation. I wish there would be some way to know if there’s time to read a book or just wait a day or whatever, I’d like to plan accordingly. Wouldn’t that be great? Burnout sucks, and the panic that comes right along behind it sucks too. But I’m glad I (eventually) sat down with a book and waited it out. I was really stuck, but these earrings worked out better than I could have expected. I hope you like them too!
Well, Jool Lovers, I’m off to finish Good Omens, see you soon ~