Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ch-ch-ch-changes!!!!

It's been a mighty long time since I wrote a blog post. Lots happened since. 

 By now the dear reader might have gotten used to my constant work related angst and gorgeous pictures of my young coworkers. Well, the angst - and thank god the retail job too - is gone, but unfortunately my access to young and  beautiful models and my spacious studio setup at the back of the shoe store I used to work at are gone too. 

How did this come to pass one might ask. The short version is that I spent about 4 years finding my artistic voice with beads, and then spent another 4 more to figure out how to make a career of it, and worked towards it.

 There were no short cuts, it wasn't like one morning I woke up saying I am going to be a bead artist, and quit my job. Truth be told, as long as I can think back, I have been always making some sort of art, (and yes, I always considered what I did art, and not hobbies or crafts, but some efforts were worthier than others. Like I am an ok trompe l'oeil mural painter and a crappy sculptor, but all of that was art, just not great art.) But beads.... Well, I fell for them. Real hard. I really felt like with time and energy and patience, I can make things that  somehow ring more true than other things I made before.

In many ways I think that being an artist is like being a being a funnel. There is an opening on top. Dreams, imaginings, nightmares, fears, experiences, visions, memories all pour in on top. A cacophony of unfiltered creative juice goes in, and then the artist collects this and is able to process it into a stream of visually comprehensive harmonious something. Something like a painting, or in this case, jewelry.

I know that many people feel like making jewelry is not art, but a craft.

 I would argue that it is as valid a form of self expression as any other form of high art, and just because I personally think I am an artist, it does not make me any more elite than any one else who thinks of themselves as craft people. All I can say is that I think it's art, but it's also work, work that can never be perfected, yet one has to keep on striving  forever making better pieces. There is always so very much to learn, and so little time to do everything!

That brings me back to my initial point to while there is never enough time to make everything I want to make, I now have much more time indeed. When it became clear that my designs are in demand enough that I can line up enough teaching jobs nation wide to finally quit my job, well, I did just that.

Let me take this moment to remind everyone to be nice to their fellow humans in the service industry. It's full of people like me. Big plans, not enough time, not enough money, and not everyone gets a chance to go out into the world and do what they want to do. I have worked with writers, poets, painters and all sorts of dreamers, and what we had in common was a nearly minimum wage job with bad benefits and cranky customers. I hope they all get to get out and chase their dreams too. ( Disclaimer: this is not a reflection of my now ex job. It's a reflection on the system we live in, where only the toughest survive, and oftentimes barely so, and if you don't fit the mold, life can be ever so difficult. )

It's been two months since I quit. I have been off to teach classes in Chicago and Orlando since, and have all sorts of engagements coming up very soon. (Please see my list of classes if you are so inclined.)

Meanwhile, my production of one of a kind jewelry has slowed down. But I have been designing class and kit material, and I have also completed my Bead Dreams entry, which I will post very soon if it doesn't make the cut, or if it does, as I hope so, then I shall post pictures of it and of course the story that goes with it in late May. It's quite something. It's my favorite creation so far.

For now I shall leave you with pictures of my last handful of one of a kind pieces I made since the last post.