Welcome to the spring solstice! I'm Cindy Goldrick, and I'm welcoming you to my new spot in the blog role at Beadfx. Many of you will have taken classes with me at Beadfx over the last four years. Or you've met me through my role as Programming Coordinator or Chair of the Toronto Bead Society. You will know that my passion is metal and wire, but you might also know I love beads of all kinds. You might not know that I moved to St Catharines a few months ago and am creating and teaching full time!
I'm a spring baby, so I find so much joy in the greening of grass, the sprouting of leaves and the mild breezes that stir my hair and engender fresh inspiration as they blow the cobwebs of creaky February out of my head. So I wanted to start out my blogging life here by talking about inspiration: where it comes from, how I find it and ways to "bottle" it for later use.
Inspiration comes from the present and nature, first. I find such beauty in the veins of a leaf, the vivid colours of flowers, the layers and grains of rocks/gems, the way a cat's tail curls as it sails past my line of vision, the dry brown jigsaw of tree bark. It comes from the past: a remembered lace edging on a dress I wore as a child; Roman fibula brooches in the Victoria and Albert Museum; gingerbread trim on a Century home down the street; Art Deco designs in a Dover clip art book. And from the future too, since I often dream a design that then takes shape and becomes reality.
You can tap into this present, past and future inspiration by going on walks, reading magazines and books, going to museums or browsing their collections online or even taking an afternoon nap. The key, though, is keeping your eyes and mind open. Then, when inspiration comes, record it as soon as possible. Inspiration, I've found, strikes like lightning, in tantalizing, tiny bits, but is transient too and will slip away without some kind of record. That's why my camera is always close (well, my iPhone, ok) as well as a notebook, pen and pencil to write or sketch what I just experienced. If it's something you see in a magazine, tear it out and throw it into your inspiration notebook for later. Pluck that leaf or flower if you can't take a photo and press it in the pages of your notebook. Even if you think you aren't a great artist, sketch what you saw or write a description to help jog your visual memory. If you wake up in the night with a great way to solve how to finish your jewellery project, don't trust you'll remember it in the morning when you wake up. You usually don't. I wake up enough to write it down. Or create a mnemonic to remember it first thing in the morning when a notepad will be at hand.
Inspiration is messy. Ideas have to be floating around in your head, components have to be at your fingertips and tossed on your bead board or work surface, to see what comes together. That's why I buy components that appeal to me, but that I don't necessarily have a plan for yet. I've purchased beads, stones and components that have sat in a drawer for two or three years then inspiration or an idea comes and I go through my stash and find the right component sitting right there, waiting patiently for this exact moment. Serendipity in action. And that feels sooo good!
Inspiration is a combination of awareness of trends, a sharp eye for everything I noted above and your subconscious/creative impulse which pulls it all together. It also takes dedication and work to always be ready to capture it. To be successful, you have to trust your creative eye, be open to inspiration when it strikes and allow your creative core to bubble up and over these things to bring it all together.
Happy spring, happy creating and I hope that my weekly blog will help you along your creative journey as you share mine.
List of creativity blogs
I can get lost here for hours -- the V&A collections. Have fun!
Dover clip art -- you can create an account and either buy full books online or just a page for 99 cents. All downloadable now as .tif or .pdf images.