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Creative Path Forward

A very interesting post over at Something Sublime got me to make this mosaic depicting my "Creative Path Forward." Looking at how your body of work has evolved over time.
Click on it unless you have superhuman eyesight.
So what I see first is horrible photography. Which is good cuz it means that's how much I've learned.
I also see tons of memorable pieces, on the plus side. On the con, I never wanna look at another piece of filigree again! I see a clear movement toward grungy and away from ... complicated. What I mean by that is:
I remember my early pieces being so hard to make. Like I was forcing things to be what I wanted. Now I feel more like I let things be what they want. In part it was my inability to buy anything for more than a dollar. I'd use soda cans as my sheet metal, for example. So I'd have to work for hours to add paint finishes and stuff to make soda can aluminum look antique and like something other than soda can aluminum. So cheap supplies = lots more work. Also, this sorta 'fake' look to things. But also this overworked look showed a lot of time and attention and care put into each piece. A lot of encased assemblages in my early sold items. A lot of thought and intention. 
It was a huge learning curve I just now feel I'm starting to plateau on. I don't feel like everything is such an all-out experiment. Before I'd take an idea to the end and not know if it had worked or not for days. Or ever. Now, I can let go ideas and change things as I make them to make them work. Everything I made early on seems like such a "Concept". Now it's looser. And I can recognize much more quickly when something works or doesn't aesthetically. I definitely feel like I've found myself, artistically. (And photographically! Shit!) Each piece sorta comes flying out of my hands. Before, it felt like I was carving them out of a little stone with a rusty old knife. 
It has been a glorious, glorious experience, though. Each step was taken in pure joy of discovery through play. I almost wish I didn't always ... like, belittle what I do as being silly, shallow, some little-girl's playtime. I wish I could get myself to take myself seriously. But maybe my clownishness and self-deprecation is how I deal with the voices in my head. Like my family from my childhood sorta teasing me for liking to put on too much make-up, not realizing it was an artistic expression. Like, I wanna protect myself from the memory of their criticism. I was very over-sensitive as a chil- er... as an un-medicated person and little careless criticisms hurt me waaaay too much. And made a home for themselves in my subconscious.
But it's all good in the hood. Even when I'd barely started, there was an impulse toward making mysterious, evocative pieces that came from some alternate history in my imagination. Even my very first pieces, when I barely knew how to operate a jump ring, are pretty all right:
Poppy's PoisonCosmos, erosPhenomenology, a peonyPremonition DevicePremonition DeviceOpiates, Pablums
I mean, these are from my first week or two and they're still cute and kooky to me. I wouldn't take 'em back.

(note: beadbug just commented on my last post that my prices are so reasonable! And here I felt so bold pricing them that high! I am having serious issues moving up to the next tier price-range, y'all. And I do want to slow down sales, since they're hard to keep up with at times, but I feel guilty pricing so high! Arg!)

13 comments:

Beadbug said...

I guess I said your prices are so reasonable because I know exactly what kind of work goes into some of these pieces. They are worth more in my eyes.

Deryn Mentock said...

So glad you decided to put together your own mosaic. It's so helpful...don't you think? I definitely see your personal style coming through in all your pieces, including the older ones. Isn't it great to see your own evolution and the fact that you grow comfortable in your own creative skin?

fancylinda said...

You have created a wonderful body of work that you should be really proud of. I am always interested to see what you do next.

carol said...

the mosaic is amazing.

i really love your early pieces.
they are so different to your current work.

your prices do reflect the work you put into your jewellery but it is getting out of the reach of some of us.

stregata said...

OMG - your work just keeps on taking my breath away - if you keep it up, I will need an artificial lung...LOL.
Looking through your past work is amazing. You have so much talent, girl. And I guess, when we do something we love, it just doesn't feel like work, even if it is.
Love the Roumanian Witch piece - I think the first pic is more you.

Anonymous said...

fanci, my only regret is that I did not know of you sooner! your pieces from the start have always been beautiful!

Anonymous said...

As for pricing, how does one determine value? I think the standard practice is to double the price of the cost of materials and then assess the value of the time spent on the piece, but lately I've been on an Art documentary kick and wonder how does an artist then justify pieces that sell for thousands/millions? I think it's your audience that determines price. If you have clients who are willing to pay your asking price and your business continues to grow and sustain itself, then you might be on to something.

personally, I've been priced out since the hike but after watching a documentary on famed art collecting couple, The Vogels, both were working class and able to collect amazing pieces of art! For me, it may mean that the pieces I purchase from you might be less frequent and different (smaller, less expensive). Perhaps payment plans might be an option you may consider if pricing concerns you. In the end, I think that for me this might be an exercise in delaying gratification, I'm sure there's something of value in that.

steufel said...

So much talent! I love all of your pieces and I'm mad about your grungy-look!

steufel said...

So much talent! I love all of your pieces and I'm mad about your grungy-look!

Cynthia said...

I found your site via Something Sublime and think that your work is fabulous. Every piece looks like it has a layered, intriguing story to tell.

jamberry_song said...

These are gorgeous. You are so inspiring! Wonderful, wonderful work. :)

Little Brown Sparrow said...

It's amazing to go over your old work and see an evolution (or a downhill slide, as I see when I look at my stuff...) and with your things I can definitely see a confidence in the more recent pieces, as if they were easier to be born. The early pieces look much more involved, whereas the stuff you do now looks almost instinctive.

I dunno how many times I need to say your prices should go UP!

vintagesusie & wings said...

Hi Friend,
I too found Deryn's post about making a mosaic with your designs to take a glane back & look toward your creative path forward thought provoking...so I made one too! Really a wonderful exercise in finding what you truly love about your work.
I'm amazed at the wonder & beauty of many of your pieces. I'm glad i found you through this project...i will be back for more of your goodness!!!
Smiles,
Susie