First, I ask you:
What sources of inspiration do you draw upon in your artistic and jewelry designs?
We’d love for your voice to be a part of this space. Please click on the Comments bubble in the upper right of this post and leave a comment with your answer!
I asked the same question of our beading superstar authors in Lark Jewelry & Beading’s Beadweaving Master Class series. We’ll be doing weekly Q-and-A’s with these six master teachers in a panel-style format on this blog each Monday. Enjoy, and please do leave a comment with your own answer to each question!
Historical costume, anthropology, archaeology, art, architecture (wow, that’s a lot of “A”s), and the weeds in my backyard.
I have bead ADD. My inspiration one month can be totally different the next.
Shapes and colors fascinate me. Weird objects in embroidery challenge me to create a piece. I love using license plates and auto parts in my work.
I also love architecture and try to incorporate the strength and shape that I see in various forms of it.
Rachel Nelson-Smith, author of the Fall 2011 release Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs:
I like order. I like color. And I like beads.
Those things primarily drive the designs. In the case of my work that is abstract and geometric in nature, spacing and placement is based on harmonious arrangement. I pay particular attention to contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity.
The same principles are more organically applied when working with beads from glass artists like Ronit Dagan, Wayne Robbins, and Patty Lakinsmith. It is a thrill to work collaboratively with another artist, because the actual outcome is a far cry from anything my brain could have projected on its own.
This spring there was a little bird outside the open studio skylights that sang minutes of song. He’d sing a repetitive line for 30 seconds, and I interpreted it into a pencil sketch. I have pages of sketches of his songs that will be translated to beadwork someday.
In general, everything around me–and, more specifically, catalogs, paintings, flowers, architecture, and geometry–is food for inspiration.
Maggie Meister, author of the Fall 2011 release Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance:
Architecture, ancient jewelry, and mosaic and rug patterns. I can spend hours and hours in a museum or at an archaeological site taking photos or sketching.
I love looking through old costume jewelry books, but I am often as inspired by an idea that may have started out as a piece in an entirely different medium. A felted piece might inspire color choices, or a metal piece might inspire a shape.
Inspiration is everywhere. Be open to it and remember to record that brief glimpse of something you saw in your mind’s eye to help keep it accessible.
Now, go back and read earlier questions to our panel — and I invite you to answer them yourself in each post’s Comments section!
*Also read great recent Lark Jewelry & Beading interviews with leading creative beaders, jewelers, and metalsmiths—please leave comments and let us know what you think:
Laura McCabe (with free project PDF)
Jamie Cloud Eakin (with bonus project PDF)
Nathalie Mornu (with two free project PDFs)