Hi guys!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I started to 'make' jewellery when I was just 5 years old...21 years ago! It has been a lifelong passion of mine, and whilst I have often dabbled in other art and craft interests, it has been the one love that I always return to...
A couple of years ago, I decided to take my hobby to the next level. I started doing jewellery shows, and craft fairs, and I built my own website. I did have sales at most of the events that I took part in, which although should have been an encouraging boost in my new venture, something just didn't feel right. I wasn't satisfied, and I could not figure out why...
Then one day, it hit me. I had started to make jewellery that I thought people wanted to buy, and not what I really felt passionate about making. When designing and creating a piece of jewellery, I would always have the 'sale' in mind...I was making a product that I believed had 'saleability', and not something that I truly enjoyed creating. No wonder I felt uninspired after an event that I had sold my work at...it didn't really feel like 'my work'..
I turned a corner then. I decided, about 6 months ago, to start making jewellery that I REALLY wanted to make. I mean..really let go, and just go with what feels right to me. I figured that if I worked with passion in my soul, it would come across in the end product that I create. So I set about experimenting..finding what felt real to me. I began to make jewellery that I myself would want to wear, and by doing so my confidence in myself began to grow. If I felt special wearing a piece of my own jewellery, then surely others would, too....
'Chloe' Necklace - http://www.etsy.com/listing/70031895/chloe-necklace-sweet-swarovski-heart
But here comes the sticking point! I discovered that the type of jewellery I like to make (and wear) is not particularly technical, and there is not a huge deal of skill involved in making my favourite pieces. I discovered that I have a passion for Swarovski Crystal, and my favourite creations were those that were very simple, and not fussy. Even though I loved the look and feel of the jewellery I now feel passionate about making, I often wondered whether I could legitimately call myself a 'jewellery artist'. I would often compare myself to artists that spend hours and hours creating just one piece, and somehow my work felt insignificant.
But here is the key! I soon realised that comparing myself to other artists was not only self-sabotage, but also highly unproductive. My lack of confidence in just going with what I felt was right was really holding me back, and I knew I had to change my viewpoint on the matter. Some of my most successful pieces have also been the simplest - just a single Swarovski pendant on a Sterling Silver chain can be the perfect finishing touch to an outfit. I realised that not every potential customer is looking for jewellery that is elaborate and complex - sometimes simplicity is just what is needed. And it wasn't a matter of not having the skill to produce more detailed designs - the pieces I had been making for years were extremely time-consuming and intricate, with a lot of skill and practice involved to make each one.
I evaluated my inventory, and now I really believe that the jewellery I create is a reflection of me. And because I now really enjoy what I do, I believe that this enthusiasm really shines through when I talk about my jewellery to potential customers. So the moral of the story is...I learned not to procrastinate by ignoring my instincts, and to just jump in and get creative! I have learnt to be brave, and not be afraid of others being quick to judge my work. I have now realised that jewellery is very much a case of personal taste and preference, and there will be those who decide to purchase my work (and enjoy wearing it), and those that won't. But one thing is for sure...I will continue to feed my passion and will always follow my instincts.
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