Simon Sinek, Start with Why.com
A photographer I once knew shared an amazing piece of advice. He said that all artists “run dry” occasionally and discover their well of inspiration is empty. So in good times, when ideas are coming fast and furious, write them down and stick 'em in a file, so that when you need a boost to your creative Muse, you'll have a stock of gems that you forgot about.
The name of my business, Stories They Tell, came straight out of my unconscious, a number of years ago. I hadn't even considered working in polymer and had no intention of starting a business so I stuck the title in a file and forgot about it. When I opened my Etsy store, I found that little slip of paper in the file-- it was completely serendipitous and completely perfect for what I do.
I always hope, when I create a piece of jewelry, that it expresses my values and beliefs. Nothing political but more spiritual and aesthetic, more about who I am and what my life's experiences have been, how they've shaped me and what they've taught me. My life has hardly been as full of trials as some but I have had my share of adversity and disappointment and now I feel my work can show the confidence I have in my ideas and processes. If you like my work, fine. If you don't, that's ok too. I don't need to please everybody; in fact, I don't feel I need to please anybody but myself and that doesn't come from a place of ego but a place of acceptance of my own style and imagination. I greatly admire the work of other artists but these days I don't long to create in a style like anyone's but my own.
So it's perhaps an appropriate time that a magazine I greatly admire has seen fit to acknowledge that style and feature my work in its Designer Collection article for the autumn issue this year. I'm speaking of Belle Armoire Jewelry, which will do a stunning eight-page spread to be published on September 1, 2011. I'm in great company, as some previously featured artists have been Stephanie Lee, Richard Salley and Robert Dancik. Ricë Freeman-Zachary has done an excellent job with her interview of me and captured my personality along with the facts of my artistic life and work process. And my honest and heartfelt thanks go out to Deryn Mentock, a good friend whose strong endorsement made my name known to the BAJ editor, which started my relationship with the magazine.
I worked for six weeks on the eight new pieces that I submitted, as I wanted to send them the latest and most thoughtfully considered pieces I had ever produced. It's pretty amazing what you can accomplish when you have a deadline like that-- and spending maximum time in the studio can produce results you never thought possible. When an opportunity this big comes calling, you'd better bring your “A” game! When the work was completed and I was packing it to send off, I was actually stunned to see the results of giving my imagination free rein and letting it lead me wherever! I think it's the most creative work I've ever done. A big “thank you” to my wonderful husband, Douglas, for supporting me throughout the process and for creating my fabulous new work room.
I've seen a preview of the article and my work looks awesome. It's very gratifying to see your pieces in print, to know that your story is out there in the world. I'm also encouraged that what is presented there are my values and beliefs, not merely my process. A technique is just a technique-- it's what you do with it that really makes a difference-- in your artistic life and to the people that see it.
Since the pieces below didn't make the cut for the article, I can post them. They are a couple of my favorites and in the near future I plan to expand upon the techniques they represent.
"Poisonous" - detail
"Tuareg" - detail