Thursday, March 02, 2006
***I dedicate this to all the people who care about me and really do mean well...
I know how it happens for me, but almost every time I talk to most people about it, I end up feeling like a freak.
Ok, maybe I am a freak. I mean my beading comes from a place inside me that even I don't completely understand. I have had beads in my life as long as I can remember. My Nana had them and passed on her addiction to me.
I dream many of my designs. I guess that makes me weird. I tell people and then that makes me feel stupid... it's like I'm trying to share my soul and instead when I'm done, I feel like a freak.
Ya see it's like this...
I have the dream. It is generally pretty vivid when I wake up. IF I remember it, I remember it very clearly. I then attempt to make what I dreamed come to life, usually after making a little sketch in a book. So it comes from inside me. Then I talk to people, and many of them try to steer me in directions that just aren't in me. My beading is very much a part of who I am. In the colors - the choice of beads - the pieces I make and the pieces I wear are a direct reflection on me. I have never liked making things I didn't find appealing... One friend occasionally doesn't understand this and suggests things that will bring in money for me. But it's not about the money. Another friend tries to steer me in other directions in my work when I make affirmative statements about how the design is going to be done. It's when didn't ASK for them, and yet the offers for ideas come. Still another tries to get me to work in colors I don't care for. My mother seldom understands what I make or why I make the choices I make when I create. What none of them seems to realize is that it's all done in my head and until it gets completed - that piece won't leave my head. It's my design after all. I guess I would not be a good team player in a design group of any kind. I get tunnel vision. I have a goal in my head and I move forward toward it.
I do have people that help the beading flow. Sometimes they are the very same people I just mentioned. All are well meaning. All are great friends of mine and all only mean to give me ideas that I can build on. But it's inside me. Nothing anyone says will really affect the end result IF I'm clear in my head what I plan to make. These are the same people I can talk to when I'm stuck with a design. They can be the ones who help me get something to work that isn't. So maybe that is the confusion - they have become accustomed to me talking about things and needing input, so that when I don't want any - I am not clear in my communications... But then I had a situation where I was sent blown glass bubbles - and told that I should make hot air balloons from them and it was almost instant - the right inspiration at the right time, and I had it done in less than 24 hours. It has a lot to do with the timing too... See - typing out my feelings here isn't such a bad thing. Maybe I need to be more vocal that I have an idea in my head and I'm meaning to get it out exactly as I have envisioned... maybe that is it.
It comes out sounding very Zen and maybe it is... I mean I bead what I feel. I can't produce beading like an assembly line. I can make pieces in colors I don't like but I have to like the design first.
When I first started beading, I had a "wanna be just like you" roommate who started beading too. She was pretty good at the mechanics of it but she didn't really do much designing. She had a customer who wanted her to make a pair of earrings that by her own description, she HATED. So she spent 4 or more hours working on a pair of earrings that even she disliked when done. She then put them on a card with her name on it and sold them. When we talked about it, I told her that I would not have taken the order. Even back then, I had a feeling for beading like I never had for any other "craft" I had ever tried. I wouldn't spend my time making things just because someone was willing to pay me for them. I told her I would feel like I was prostituting myself if I made things just because there was money involved. She claimed I called her a whore. I tried to get her to look up the definition of prostitute... but she wouldn't.
The definition according to dictionary.com is:
pros ti tute n.
1. One who solicits and accepts payment for sex acts.
2. One who sells one's abilities, talent, or name for an unworthy purpose
I referred to the 2nd one for me. I didn't say she was to feel that way - I made a statement of how I would feel in the same situation. I simply would not have taken the order.
It's never been about the money. I'm not independently wealthy or anything but I simply can't get motivated to bead something I don't like. It becomes a chore when I make a piece I don't like. It's art for me. I'm not claiming to be an ahhhhhtist or anything. It's just an expression of me and I want things that reflect on me to be things that I like. It's a skill I feel comfortable with. I live beads! Right now I'm in a very fluid, flowing state of mind right. I'm trying to keep that going and get the things in my head beaded while I still am in the mood to do it. I could wake up tomorrow and be in a total beader's block. I have had it happen before. Beading great for a long time and wake up in the morning and I just can't get a bead to lay right or I make more mistakes than are worth bothering with - my thread is getting chewed up from frogging so much. So I move on to something else or even worse! Nothing else!
I guess what is happening is that things are flowing so well right now, that I don't want any suggestions to make it stop! I wake up and can't wait to bead right now. It's pretty amazing actually. I am in a zone and I want to do as much as I can to keep it going!
I feel that if I put my name on a piece whether it be a kit or a pattern or a finished piece, it's got to be something I find appealing in some way. It's that simple. I will not put a product out with my name on it that I don't like. And no matter how many well meaning people try to get me to do otherwise, I don't think that will ever change. It's about creativity for me. It's my ability to create and right now, I do that with beads. It's from inside me and it won't be changed for the all mighty dollar. It's the definition for create that is: To produce through artistic or imaginative effort. It's my effort and it has to be what I like. When it becomes a chore, I will quit beading.