SIN #4: LOOKING AT BEAD WORK
(In which she thieves the excellent advice of Bead Maven, Mikki Ferrugiaro, with a completely clean conscience and passes the advice on to you!)
Rule: When critically stuck, bogged, blocked and creatively brain-dead, do NOT under any circumstances look at bead work, saith The Mikki.
There comes a time in the lives of designers (any medium) when the flow of inspiration dries to a trickle and then stops. Or at least that happens in the life of this particular designer. It's not that Brenda, my Muse, has gone AWOL (although she is prone to doing whatever the hell she likes) - It's plain, ordinary, exhaustion. The dark side of the Superwoman syndrome. All work and no recreation or rest for a very long time.
I hit the wall about a month ago. With my face.
There's a lot of daytime TV in the vicinity of the wall. I developed the habit of watching strangely afflicted people on "reality" TV and I hate reality TV. I would wonder, in a kind of half-hearted way, about my odd behavioral changes and then, because wondering was an effort, I would shamble into the kitchen for potato chips and cake to keep my energy up. It wasn't pretty. Or slimming. And I left the cake plate in the sink, unwashed.
Of course, there were fitful, doomed efforts to goad Brenda the Dysfunctional Muse into producing at least a glimmer of artistic ambition. I had a September deadline for a gallery show. I turned to my stack of beading magazines and books and spent hours imploring Brenda to look at 500 Beaded Objects and back issues of Bead & Button with me. Brenda wasn't having it. In the end, as Mikki later pointed out to me, the only conclusion I could possibly draw was that everything has been done. At least twice and by more talented people than me.
I fell back into the television during an episode of reality TV concerning a woman with a chalk-eating addiction.
Fortunately, Mikki dropped an email my way before I succumbed to the urge to take my Etsy shop off vacation mode and set up selling every last bead and finding I owned. Instead, I shamelessly wailed my plight out. Apparently (although she seems to create with blinding speed and steady enthusiasm), Mikki has been to the wall, herself.
Her advice was to look at the new runway fashions or to watch a movie set in Victorian times.
To do anything, anything but look at beadwork. And suddenly I remembered that my best inspirations have never come from looking at actual beadwork - but from Fiber magazines, pictures of flowers, patterns in shadows, ceramics, paintings, wearable art clothing, books of wallpaper samples. Random sources that range from National Geographic to Popular Mechanics, basically.
Dress by LeMuse on Etsy
So I did. And I have a plan! And I have just enough time to make my September 15th deadline for the Wearable Art show at The Moorings. I'm doing a neckpiece that would work with any of the pieces shown here.
Take it from Mikki and me - When tempted to burn your beads, put the beading magazine down!