Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Commitment to Creativity 2011

The past week has brought some serious meditations for me on the nature of inspiration-- what are the best ways to be inspired, the surest sources of inspiration, the very nature of the beast.

2009 was a banner year for me as far as inspiration. I followed the Art Bead Scene challenges closely and submitted 10 pieces-- almost one per month-- and created a body of work by the end of the year that got the attention of an editor at a prestigious jewelry magazine. Finally being published by Belle Armoire Jewelry in 2010 was a goal I could never previously have imagined attaining.

Commitment to Creativity #1: I'm going to keep the momentum going by doing as many of ABS's new monthly challenges in 2011 as I can.

"Blossom" inspired by Van Gogh's "Almond Blossoms"

But more importantly, I was inspired to develop some new techniques and processses that I probably wouldn't have stumbled across left to my own devices. I really love doing my clay work so I don't need any push to sit down every day and spend most of my waking hours playing with the stuff or sketching new ideas. What I need is a focus for all this rampant energy-- therefore, a creative goal on a regular basis.

In 2010 I engaged-- and was engaged by--other artists in collaborations, something that gave me goals to achieve and new directions in which to travel. I very much enjoyed working with Claire Maunsell and Rebecca Watkins - Artybecca for a collaborative Hallowe'en necklace and we are currently engaged in another with an “outer space” theme.

Bead by Claire Maunsell

Bead by Artybecca

I was truly honored to be included in making beads this past summer for Erin Prais-Hintz's ambitious gallery show and used that opportunity to push the envelope quite a bit, inventing a new process for metal-effect beads that I have yet to fully explore. But sometimes I like to let new ideas simmer a bit, like a good stew that's better the second day.

Beads by Stories They Tell for Erin Prais-Hintz's "Inspired By....." show

It seems to me that if you fully engage in your work, opportunities will crop up to play with others and goals will appear that will challenge you. So with a cornucopia of opportunities out there, why not choose the ones closest to your heart and passion?

Polymer Clay Daily recently posted about the RAD—Ring a Day-- challenge that ran for 2010, which had a fair number of polymer artists participating and while checking that Flickr site I found one that resonated for me—TADA, True Addicts of Daily Art. Their purpose is to “Commit to making progress every day of 2011 on your art jewelry creations. Show your daily steps forward with photos. Blog if you like. Goal is at the end of the year you will have at least one collection or series that is Show Ready”. I also like the tongue-in-cheek play on “tada!” I know that I personally love to see how people progress through their work, so I thought that maybe some of my readers might be interested in seeing how I do what I do. I can't commit to the everyday blogging part but getting feedback from you, my readers, will be immensely helpful to me since at some point I'm planning to write a book and need to know if there's clarity and inspiration in my explanations/instructions.

Commitment to Creativity #2: more blogging about process and sources of inspiration.

As you have come to expect, I will continue to pass on interesting insights into the nature of my creative process and provide enough eye-candy to keep you reading until the last line.

As some of my first creative forays of 2011, here are some new cuffs using a nifty mokume gane technique from an Etsy-available tutorial by Tonja Lenderman. Another mokume gane technique-- I'm in heaven!

Confetti Mokume Gane cuffs

Montezuma pendant - confetti mokume gane

And here are my first efforts into the twisty-tangly world of cordmaking, courtesy of the Diva Cordmaker available from Fiber Goddess.

I'd love to hear what you have planned to jazz your creative juices for 2011. As far as I'm concerned, there can never be too much inspiration available in the world around us. And that's definitely something to celebrate in the New Year.


  1. Wonderfully outlined goals, Christine! 2010 was a big year for me as I stretched my limits creatively and forged relationships with so many to collaborate on creative endeavors. You were one of the first artists on my list for my "Inspired by..." show, a show that I am still running high from! I would love to do more and more collaborative experiences like that because it is hard. It does make you think. You have to step out of the light that you shine to take in anothers' glow and allow them to be at the forefront.

    For me, I am pushing my own limits with this new line of jewelry that I am working on. And you will be interested to know that polymer clay if figuring prominently! I have to get back into it when all the materials are in place, but I am very excited about the things I am teaching myself and making this truly a reflection of me! I have you and our truly in depth conversations to thank about how I view creativity, inspiration, collaboration and relationships with others.

    I am excited to see where your journey takes you and would be interested in TADA. Sounds like something I could really enjoy.

    Enjoy the day, Christine! Here is to hoping that 2011 brings us face-to-face and heart-to-heart!


  2. Sounds like a great idea - I am looking forward to seeing your process unfold.
    I have been spending quite some time lately thinking about where I want to go this year - I will give this idea some consideration.

  3. Hello Christine
    I enjoyed reading your reflection on 2010 - it really was an eventful year. I was so proud of you to see your work in print in BAJ. I LOVE the "Blossom" necklace you made for one of the ABS of my most favorite color combinations. And your "Montezuma" pendant is just gorgeous...your work with mokume gane is in its own league. I'm looking forward to seeing where 2011 takes you - I just know many great things are ahead! :-)

  4. Christine, What a great post. I love retrospectives ... especially when there is so much good. It's amazing what time in the studio does ... it's where all of the answers lie! Can't wait to see your work adorn the pages of many more publications ... you deserve it!

  5. I am looking forward to watching your artistic progression and your eye candy~ you always present us with the most interesting and colorful creations. A Happy New Year of exploration and inspiration!

  6. I believe you have a workable action plan. I wish I could join you but I seriously do not have the time to devote to all these wonderful creative goals. Love the beads you posted!

  7. Just found your blog. You create lovely things. I will check out your etsy shop when I get a moment. :-)