MUSE: /mju:z/ Source of inspiration for a creative artist
People often ask me "How do you go about designing your jewellery? Do you sit down and draw different ideas and designs and then bring those pencil sketches to life?"
The answer is no. That's not how I go about it. As you may know I design two separate collections every year i.e. Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter.
So my first step is to research what the next season's colour trends are going to be. This is very important for my wholesale customers who run fashionable boutiques and who require jewellery that will coordinate with the clothes they have bought for that season. No matter how beautiful a design may be, if it will not complement their new stock they simply will not go for it.
So throughout the year I am constantly looking up what colours are going to be on trend for the following year and even for two years hence. I find Pinterest very useful in this regard as well as magazine articles. Many people don't realise that Pantone have a big influence in setting future colour trends.
I sift through all the available images of catwalk shows and then I decide on maybe half a dozen colours that look like they are going to be the big stories in the season ahead.
Next comes the pleasurable task of browsing through international bead suppliers' websites. My favourites are the ones that specialise in semiprecious stones. I could literally spend hours drooling over gorgeous stones. The trouble is I want them all! But I have to discipline myself to choose only those that will be compatible with the next season's trends. This is no bad thing in fact because it gives each collection a coherent look and theme.
When the beads arrive it's like Christmas! It's a great thrill to open the packages and see the gorgeous beads come spilling out.
And so to the fun bit - which is also exhausting by the way! I spread out the beads in groups of similar colours and this is where the Muse kicks in. Ideas for combinations begin to flood my brain: this colour would look amazing with that one; this shape would create a nice contrast with that one. And what about that large unloved oddly-shaped bead that's been lurking in a box for the last few years? Suddenly it comes to life when combined with a new bead or in a colour combination that hadn't occurred to me before. The Muse moves in mysterious ways!
When something kind of vibrates in my brain I know that I've got a successful design which comes after a long process of trial and error, of chopping and changing. My hope is that when customers see a design of mine that they love, they will get the same buzz as I did and experience joy and pleasure every time they wear it.
So there you have it - that's the creative process at work!
May your Muse be with you.
Til next time