Designer’s Fix: Tips on Overcoming the Creative Block

April 23, 2008  |  Written by Dette on Jewelry Design Tips  |  No Comments  | 

jewelry designer's trinketsEver faced a creative block? Like it or not, artists wrestle with these inescapable dry spells from time to time – times when you want to create, need to create, have to create, and you just can’t. For some, these frustrating episodes seem to stick around longer. Jewelry designers, likewise, struggle through such long, futile hours unable to find the “inspiration” and ideas just seem to hide away in the dark. But, don’t push that panic button just yet. Here are some tips to help you get up and creating in no time:

Explore “new” materials and techniques that are not familiar to you. If you are a gemstones-and-crsytals designer, why not try the “organic and natural“? Here are a few examples of these materials:

  • Horn -Go tribal with style! These natural charms can replace amber and black onyx aesthetically. Horn beads are dense, with translucent shades of golden brown and red. Horn can also be polished into an impressive jet black. (Source: Philippine water buffalo or “carabao” horns)
  • Bone -Reinvent glamour with an ethnic touch. Bone beads come in natural beige and tea-dyed colors -mimicking the luxury of ivory. (Source: beef waste bones from Indonesia, and the Philippines)
  • Seashells -Nothing quite comes close to the natural beauty of shells (the hard, rigid outer layer of marine mollusks) with its wide variety of colors, texture, and “crystalline forms” (nacre). The natural hardness of shells (made of calcium carbonate) makes for countless possibilities in design. (Source: Philippine seas)
  • Wood -Always loved vintage jewelry? Do wonders with these exotic wood varieties -ebony, bayong, palmwood, rose wood, redwood, nangka, robles, and a lot more. Wood beads are often dyed or painted to achieve a desired color, while retaining its rustic appeal. (Source: Philippine tropical forests)
  • Seeds & Nuts -You’ll be spellbound with these rare, exotic selections of “organic” finds. Even in their natural, crude forms, these wild forest seeds and nuts can pep up the plainest design you’ve ever imagined. (Source: Philippines)

The list can go on and on….

Discover more ways of polishing your personal styles and techniques. Oftentimes, a unique concept just gets delimited by a designer’s own “old-line” approach on developing an idea. For example: Use horn toggles and locks (when metal locks are unavailable or do not “fit”) on a multi-layered necklace and render it with a more vintage appeal.

Bayong wood necklaceVary a jewelry’s focal point by “substituting” common materials with unique pieces. Make a typical jewelry form more interesting with unique (unusual) pendants and components. Repetition of usual materials tend to bore a designer’s novel ideas.

Collect images of nature’s delightful creatures and mimic their “forms” into a jewelry collection. This may not sound like a new idea, but how often have you seen a “wildflower-themed” jewelry collection? Go ahead, make your own now!

Associate various “emotions” on rather boring color schemes. Each piece of art conveys an artist’s emotion quite subtly. So, why not create an “ecstatic” jewelry collection, for example, to celebrate Easter sunday?

As Edward de Bono tells us, “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” So, be unconventional and feel those creative juices flowing in once again.





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