Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Finding Your Creative Muse

Carol Dekle-Foss

How do you deal with your creative muse? Can you summon it instantaneously and just begin working on your art? Or is it elusive and fleeting and require moments of solace and peace to show its face? I believe everyone has creative ability, and that some have no idea how talented they actually are. I think it's just a matter of slowing down, unplugging from all the chatter and listening to your inner muse.

We all have our own ways of invoking our creative force as well, be it lighting candles, playing music that lifts our spirits, or even well placed crystals or natural elements collected from a cherished family outing. What helps you to be creative?

My creative muse and I, well we have issues. Sometimes I have self-doubt about myself and my ability, and also, at times the need for perfection overrides my passion to explore and create. But...when I do create something that makes my heart sing, or if I get a compliment while wearing one of my pieces, well those moments make me feel validated as an artist, and give me that extra nudge to create even more.

If you are just starting out designing jewelry or you are trying to create and are in a rut, I invite you to look past your fears and self doubts. Don't worry about perfectionism, and start being open to what your muse is saying to you. Also, just enjoy the creative process. Grab a pencil and paper, and start drawing to see what happens!

I recently discovered or I should say rediscovered what makes my creative muse come out and play. I read that it's a good idea to draw out your jewelry designs. I never fully grasped this concept until I saw this image. I'm grateful to Erin Prais-Hintz for posting this drawing of her necklace and showing one of her creative processes. This picture made me have an aha! moment and helped me realize how to rekindle my inner muse. Thank you again Erin!

I take a journal everywhere now. I have one in my car, in my purse and also by my nightstand. You just never know when creativity will strike. Sometimes I will be driving down the road, working out, or just daydreaming and my mind will drift to a design I am working on. I immediately grab my journal or whatever I can find and start to draw.

For example, I was recently giving my chickens some treats and noticed my roosters tail feathers flopping in the wind. They were long and wispy, so I tried to capture them here in these earrings.

 He is a damn fine rooster isn't he? Such a sweet thing too, not aggressive at all. Although at times I would like to ring his neck for being so loud and annoying!

Here is another example of how drawing out designs was helpful. I have this mound of leather samples from my previous job and wanted to make bracelets from them. The problem is they are only 2.5" by 4" in size. TIP: If you are looking for leather, you can try furniture stores to see if they have any discontinued pieces.
So, while enjoying a cup of coffee this morning, I drew out this design. Drawing it out really helped to see what it would look like and also helped with the actual size because of the graph paper.

Here are a couple more designs showing how drawing helped with the overall creative process. 

The dragonfly necklace was at first supposed to be a ring and then by drawing it out I realized I should make a necklace instead.

I have no idea why the heck I keep creating with swirls and flourishes!

Etched nickel bracelet.
Necklace made with a raku bead from Star Spirit Studio.
 These earrings were originally going to be round! I didn't like how they looked on paper and changed the shape.

This Pleiades necklace took me about 4 drawings before I came to this design.
I would like to share this special box. It was a project in our last metal smith class. I etched the hand drawn image on copper, then fire-kissed it with a light torch flame. The location, Ruth's Pond, is special to my family, particularly to my mom. She passed away in 2004, and it was her favorite spot to go and have fun. I made the box as a tribute to her. She would have loved where my creativity has taken me and sometimes I even think she is here helping me along. I also engraved the inside with her actual handwriting. Hopefully my family will appreciate the box and cherish it as a family heirloom.

I hope this post will help you find and embrace your creative muse!

Some of the above designs are not listed on my website because I have been prepping like a madwoman for the American River Music Festival, my biggest event of the year.

 Over the last couple of months, I have been more focused on creating than marketing. My website has suffered. After the festival, I plan to find new ways to drive traffic to my site, and will share any that work. Stay tuned!


stacilouise said...

love this. I sketch all the time....because for me, most of the time, my muse never shuts up! so I need to be ready for all those ideas that come and go so fast! love seeing some of your inspiration and sketches. I really love seeing sketches and origins in work

Carol Dekle said...

Thanks Staci! Great to have you back!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Wow...I always find it amazing how a sketch becomes reality. I particularly love your Rooster Feather earrings...he is a beauty for sure. Personally, I only sketch pendants for some very strange reason..and my sketches are so rudimentary.

Carol Dekle said...

Thank you Patti! I used to be like that too, I only sketched designs for my sandblasted pendants. That's why I wanted to do this post, sketching has really opened up my creative ability and I wanted to share what has worked for me, and hopefully motivate others to try sketching to see how it works for them. I love your work, I recently saw some bracelets you made and they are beautiful!

TesoriTrovati said...

Miss Carol! What a nice surprise! I am so honored that you shared my drawing and my design and even more so that it kickstarted your creativity! It reminds me that I don't do enough sketching, mostly because I just plop myself down and dig in rather than planning things out. But I do find that when I have a vision the end result comes out so much more fully realized than if I just go at it. What beautiful designs you have come up with! I am particularly smitten with swirls and I adore those curled feather earrings, something that I would love to wear! Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your creative inner workings and inspiring others as well! Enjoy the day. Erin

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