Build A Collection, Create A Story....

It's tough when you feel like your work is bits and pieces. A bit of this and a piece of that. You want it all to paint a beautiful portrait yet you are enchanted with this and with that.

I know, I've been there. Just today in fact!

And yet, success hinges on your ability to create a collection. If you dare to venture into wholesale your buyers will demand it and if you choose to retail at shows your sales will soar with it. Those buying your work need options. Big, small, short, long, chunky, thin..... need I go on?

It's a difficult balance between having all the freedom in the world to create and knowing that at the end the pieces must tell a story.

As I have a difficult time not giving in to my creative will I have to work extra hard to try to pull it all together. One of my solutions is the story board. I allow myself time to play and create. I find what works and what I want to build a collection around. Once I have the beginning pieces formed and fabricated I begin a story board.

As you can see above I begin arranging the pieces in small groups looking for gaps. How many pieces are there in each grouping? Do I have enough necklace or earring options? Is there a piece that stands alone? Is there an earring that could be shortened or lengthened to offer another possibility?

With a story board I can see most clearly the gaps and pieces sticking out like an island unto themselves.

I thought I would share this idea in hopes that it will help others. I am getting ready to start show season so as you can see I have a lot of work to do!

Plan b.

At one time I had a manager who had only one frame on her desk. It wasn't a memento or a picture but a collection of words that impacted me and I draw on still; the key to success is how well you deal with plan b.

If you are anything like me, you don't have a plan b and trying to swing from the hip quickly can be a difficult and precarious combination of moves so stunningly acrobatic that it leaves you standing on the tips of your toes and hopeful that there were no witnesses to your near perilous and sudden drop to certain death.

And yet we push through.

It is a wonder to me how we evolve as artists and individuals in any given climate. Perhaps it is the simple truth that we so often have few choices; change or die. Evolve or fail. It is a certainty in life that as soon as you think you have found a perfect balance and harmony, the dance will change.

With the given economic climate and the rising and fluctuating cost of precious metals I find this daring adventure as a jeweler even more of a paradox. How do we face these challenging difficulties.

For each the answer will be different.

The key I know however, is in the elusive plan b.