A (somewhat) daily rambling on the life of a polymer Clay metal clay and Fused Glass artist/teacher/author.

Very soon my blog will move to my website...as soon as it is done that is. This blog will be my Theatrical life of directing The Secret Garden

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jewel Carnival.... What do you do to jump start your creativity?

What do you do to jump start or stretch your creativity? Our Jewel Carnival group has nailed it with this one. One of the most difficult tasks to engage in is getting design ideas. I think I will pretend this blog is one of my workshops and share how I help them. How to keep original and in fashion at the same time. How to find their own voice and how to begin to shout out their art soul. This is for you.

When I teach a metal clay or a polymer clay workshop, I tell you the student, to do the basics: make tons of sketches. Don't erase! Use tracing paper over a design you 'kind' of like to make changes and to improve it. Also, buy a fashion magazine once or twice a year. If the in-thing is big jewelry, for example, don't put a lot of time into small bling. Of course, this is if you want to sell your work to enable you to buy more materials. Well, duh? Anyway.... if you have a following, then stay true to your creativity but do stretch and try new styles and materials.

Okay, that said. What if you don't know where to start and don't want to come even faintly close to copying another artists style. You will always be at an advantage if you take workshops and become a workshop-aholic. Your artistic scope will be incredible and the ideas will not stop flowing through you. BUT if you are new at this, and have no idea where to start, why not try my Michael's technique.

Go into any craft store such as Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Joanne's or even a hardware store. Grab a cart and give yourself a minimum of two hours to 'wander'. Go up and down every aisle and look at EVERYTHING! Say to yourself, "Now, what can I do with this? With That? Oh... that is cool what if I......". This will take you out of yourself and start the process of unlimited creativity. For example. I found a great textured paper in the scrapbooking section. Took it to the studio, covered both sides with Kato Liquid Polyclay and baked it. Now I have this terrific texture to use with both the mc and pc (metal clay - polymer clay). Clay cutters can be found in the baking section... which leads you to the online cook stores or paper goods..... on and on.

This can be any store: brick and mortar or online. I have found many new tricks, techniques and design ideas in online stores.

The reason for the two hour time? This process cannot be rushed. Creativity cannot be rushed. How else can you find the bliss of being a maker of art without time. Easy time. Cool time. Time alone to flow without the pressure of every day stuff. Believe me this is good. This process is meditative and by doing it you will find the world will go away and you will have become energized by the process.

Oh, and keep your camera with you, you never know when you will be inspired by a landscape, face or a shadow.

And don't spend too, Too, TOO much time looking at other's work. You can be unduly influenced or your self-esteem may suffer. Do look at other's eye-candy and tell them you adore their work. Then go out and make your own.

Hey, look at nature, clouds, trees, color wheels.... see the texture in hair, picture frames, fake leaves, rugs, your pets coating or tree bark.... look at the lines and joins of bridges, buildings and school yard gyms. Watch the movement of fractles, jazz dancers and the human body. Play with off-the-wall ideas you see in everyday stuff. Play, play, play.

Whew... off the soapbox..... for now.

If you'd like to read more on this subject. Go to the following Jewel Carnival blogs (great artist's) and scroll down to the May 16 entries.... and read and absorb. I missed the 16th deadline because I was out of town.

Kirsten Skiles
Marco Fleseri
Angela Crispin (scroll for the English version)
Sherri Haab
Tamara Gentry
Lora Hart
Chris Parry
Lora Hart

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