Thursday, November 30, 2017

Make a Plan That Works for You!

What kind of creating system do you have? No matter where you are on the expertise level - pro, amateur or beginner- if you make jewelry, then you follow some kind of a procedure.

Yes, at times you pick up a piece of wire and start twisting and adding beads or you put a length of leather through a gorgeous slider you just found and, with a clasp...voila! You have a pretty one-of-a-kind bracelet that you didn't plan at all.

But there is almost always a series of steps that leads you to the final, finished product, especially if it is a deliberate and purposeful effort. Of course, depending on your personal style, your routine is fashioned by the way you work and that in itself will ensure the finished product is original and unique to your inspiration, imagination and talent. In my opinion, these are the four steps in the creative process that, in my experience, are fairly common.

Step 1 - Make a Plan. Get inspired. Whether it be by the person who'll receive your creation as a gift and what they like, or a cause that captures your interest or a memory from your childhood, you can be inspired by the tiniest speck to the universe around us. Will it be simple or extravagant? What elements and colors will most represent what you want it to say? How much time do you want to invest? Then devise a plan to pull all that creative thought into a tangible piece of jewelry.

Step 2 - Put It on Paper (literally or figuratively). This step will let you see your design. Sketch it on paper or use one of the available computer programs and bring your ideas together so you can see an image of your final piece. It doesn't matter how you draw it as long as you understand it, but the more detail you add in this step, the less chance there will be for design hiccups when you are doing the actual work. Here is where you can move elements and focal points, re-position beads or change the style or types of closures, etc. This would also be a good time to make a list of all the materials you will need for your design. If you are using a pendant, decide how you will attach it. How many beads do you plan to use and what lengths of chain will you need? The more information you list now, the more efficiently your work will go.

Step 3 - Prepare and Organize. This is when to get yourself, your tools and supplies organized. Believe me, there is nothing worse than holding a tiny chain link in the perfect position and then realizing you don't have a crimp. Your surroundings are important when planning a successful project, too. Set aside a block of time when you will not be disturbed, someplace without a lot of distractions. Light an aromatic candle, turn on some music you like and put yourself in a calm and assertive mind set to work. Especially if you are making jewelry as a business, this is an important step to promote productivity in any way that works for you.

Step 4 - Just Do It! Be guided by your plan and your original inspiration. Refer to your design, but remember, you can alter it as needed while doing the actual work. If it's a time-consuming project, take an occasional break to avoid cramps or tired-induced frustration. Take pictures, especially if you are in business or you're going to sell your pieces online. Shots of the different phases of your system will tell the story of the finished piece and stories sell product. Pictures of your finished pieces are a must for your portfolio, which every designer should have.

And most importantly, enjoy the process!

So, what do you think? Do you have a similar system or a different procedure altogether? I would love to hear your story. Anything you offer can help your jewelry-making colleagues and is appreciated by all of us.

If you need inspiration, Antelope Beads has a variety of suggestions and how-to's on the website. Browse through our samples to find ideas to make, remarks from the designer and a list of components.
Click Here!

Thanks, Everyone! I'm glad you're on our team.