Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Search of Uniqueness

Perhaps the nicest compliment I receive when shoppers view my jewelry is this one: "Your work is so unusual." It's hard to be unique in a market as saturated as jewelry design!

The single trigger to whatever creativity I've discovered in myself is AGE! Yes! At this point in my life, I've developed a level of shamelessness! So what if a creation is flawed? That's what recycle bins are for. Who cares if a brainstorm doesn't sell? I know I learned something from these "failures" that has enhanced my skills. I view them now as learning exercises. When I was younger, a total lack of confidence & fear of failure stiffled any urge to experiment & whatever artsy brain cell might have been lurking! Now I am entirely open to brainstorms -- The Unusual Design -- even if I haven't yet formally acquired the skill to create it. Such brainstorms are as much fun for me as producing a near-flawless piece.

Sometimes the unusual design is a simple one. My favorite example of this is the safety pin closure of Versatile Sail, allowing the wearer to swap-out beads or stones to match her outfit.

Some brainstorms are funny & quirky. The serious Cherylz is much too proper to claim them, so they are blamed on Crazy Cheryl, who escapes from the attic occasionally. The Spuds Family, Zany Ladies, & Naughty Nelly are a few of CC's offspring. CZ is NOT responsible for their misbehavior!

Other designs are based on a unique concept, where specific variations on the concept are endless. These are the best brainstorms! I'll create more instances soon of my U-adjust-art concept, like Floating Feathers. (Wearer can change the pendant's shape, since the copper feathers are connected by rivets.)

Many of my best (& worst!) ideas come while I'm dreaming, where self-imposed constraints are apparently set free. Other ideas come as I'm sitting around waiting for an appointment. Why not get creative instead of wasting that time? To document ideas from dreams & creative waiting times, I whip out my small Idea Notebook (always in my purse) because the memory brain cell expired long ago.

Unfortunately The Creative Switch in me is fickle & can't be flipped on & off at will. But when it's on, I try to draw & document as many ideas as I can. When The Switch is stubbornly off, I grab my notebook & make some of these designs.

Artsy types have blessed the world with countless unique concepts & designs. Since I find NO personal satisfaction in making sales on their creativity, I hope to keep my own creative brain cell well exercised, alive & brave.


Nora said...

You know, I sat on more or less the same idea for a while, but decided against it because I had a fleeting filling that I might had seen it somewhere already. And indeed I found designs on etsy that are similar. I guess it's just impossible to come with original design anymore. :( On the bright side, though - you can always add a personal touch to any design and you are very good at it, Cheryl!

Cheryl Z said...

Thanks, Nora- a provocative topic you raise. I absolutely appreciate the caveman who 1st invented the wheel. It's on bikes & cars, but was also used to create the concept of gears. Likewise, I'm grateful to the inventors of the safety pin, the rivet, & charicature art because, inspired only by their creations, I brainstormed Versatile Sail, Floating Feathers, & Zany Ladies, for example. I'm not surprised if other independent brainstormers applied these common forms to their art as well. Originality is a challenging goal -- but it's at least 50% of the pleasure I get from this passion. Thanks for your Comment:)