Inspiration from Vintage styles.
A question I was frequently asked as I developed as a jewelry designer was how do you think of the designs. It mostly came up in reference to my Steampunk pieces because it’s hard, for people who haven’t seen it before, to see how it falls into place. I know I have a hard time trying to explain where my creativity or visions grow from, so for a long time I would get flustered, shrug or say ‘I just do it’. I could see it was frustrating for a lot of people because it seemed I was guarding my technique when really it’s just hard to word. Thinking back on it now the only way I could word it is to explain my process and inspirations.
I started by drawing designs that popped into my head. It didn’t matter how difficult or if I didn’t quite know how it would get done, in fact most of what I drew I never made or tried to make because I didn’t have the skill yet. It was just about visualizing. Now if you’re worrying about you level of drawing skills… you can see I don’t have much in the way of skills either, but the drawings were for me. At some point I got ambitious. I’d try some ideas. Many would not come out well and many would one day be remade, but the point is at some point you just have to jump in. It would be the ideas I drew and tried that would teach me the limits of my materials and direction I would eventually take my jewelry. At some point (probably after the first two years of drawing) I no longer needed to draw. The pieces I liked spoke to me, and my creativity stemmed more from individual pieces than from designs not based on any supplies. Sometimes I’d draw when I was stuck or when something came to me based off supplies that weren’t readily available, but slowly I’d taught my brain to see possibilities almost immediately instead of having to play around with designs on paper.
A long process to cultivate creativity, but to get to now it was worth it. Next time someone asks how I do what I do I think I’ll have to explain how I started. It’s definitely a trial to take imagination and make it tangible, and I don’t know anyone who was amazing at it at first, but I believe it is possible for anyone willing to travel that path.