Miss Me? I also miss me.

Look at this lovely thing! Even though it's kinda minimalist- for me- every bit of it is so precious.Apanthropinization. Rustic assemblage lariat choker necklace in grey.Apanthropinization.
It centers on this swimmer's medal from Uruguay.
How to explain though, in the concise language of my listings, that Uruguayans are crazy and would take this gorgeous thing and engrave "LOSERS" on the back? Yup. What we have here is a participation medal from 1929.

I was looking back through my old pieces and realized the ones I liked most were the minimalist ones, so there you go.
Apanthropinization. Rustic assemblage lariat choker necklace in grey.
Humanity's Dilemma.
The essence of humanity’s spiritual dilemma is that we evolved genetically to accept one truth and discovered another.
—E. O. Wilson

I love this freaking quote so much! And look at that enamel ring- RomAntiqueSoul made it and just gave it to me for no reason!

The reason I've been blogging less and less, if it isn't already clear, is that the creative frenzy I've been in over the past six or seven years has been winding down in the last year or two.
Gaudiloquent. Rustic assemblage necklace in cream and orange with druzy geode.
I've been making on etsy since November of 2008, when I opened my shop in a flurry of inspiration. Before that I'd never made jewelry and in this medium I found my perfect artistic niche.

Inspiration came at me like a fever, like an attack. I'd go some days without eating for 8 hours a stretch just because I couldn't leave my work space. I'd furiously fiddle at the bits all around me, in such a rush that despite wanting to grab something just out of reach, I couldn't get myself to get up and grab it because I couldn't stop whatever I was doing in the spot I was in. My poor bladder, I won't even tell you.
Pregnatress. Rustic assemblage cluster necklace in white.
I was stupid happy. my supplies made me squeal in joy. My learning curve was nuts, my success humbling. I devoted myself full-time to scratching that itch.

Well, it's been scratched. My listings manager page shows I've sold 948 necklaces, 1,125 pairs of earrings, 335 bracelets/bangle stacks and however many rings/brooches/pendants/beads. So it's no wonder.
Ephydriad. Rustic assemblage bracelet.

Yeah, all is as it should be. Except that when artists are... lets say between inspirations, we are absolutely in mourning. The world is colorless and life has no point.
And the thoughts are all: what if it never happens again and life reverts to this endless grey tunnel? What if I'm a sham, etc. You are all probably intimately familiar with this whole rigamarole.
Isangelous. Rustic assemblage bracelet with antique Kuchi and baroque glass pearls.
Not to sound dramatic. I mean, I'm ok, I'm down though not depressed. If I weren't medicated I would be for sure, so thank god for that.
Pandemonism. Assemblage bangle stack, bracelet set in earthy neutrals.Pandemonism.
And its funny cuz so many times when other artists and makers on line have reached out to me with these same concerns it was so easy for me to be all, "This is a natural part of the creative cycle and the fact that you're upset about it proves that you are an artist.." Blah blah. God I'm unbearable.

So yeah, obviously when it's you going through it... not so "natural" a creative cycle...
Palingenesis. Assemblage bracelet set in earthy neutrals.
But because I am medicated and stable and I have counseled so many artists through similar things, I know to go easy and not fight myself. I always loose, lol.

My issue is that when I'm not motivated by my muse, I'm not motivated at all. Meaning, I don't do anything other than stick my head in my ipad all day. And I read about refugees and immigrants working 3 jobs and single moms and I just can't, I can't. I have no excuse for myself, but I know if I even try to become a contributing member of society I'll just get the flu or something and be laid out for a month.
Oblivion Ends the Coil. Assemblage bangle stack, bracelet set in earthy neutrals.
Oblivion Ends the Coil.
Which by the way, yeah. During this stretch between posts, right before my cat bite, I was laid out for two weeks with just a cold. The kind of thing Mr. Devices gets and still manages to function through, going to work and being on his feet for 8 hours, etc. Meanwhile, I'm like delusional with fever dreams.

So yeah. And don't think I haven't tried a different medium or whatever. It's like I'm tired of all of it and not interested in any really new thing enough to get me active on doing that.
(These aren't listed because I only just realized the size of the bangles is huge, while the cuff is tiny and women with two very different sized wrists aren't a huge customer base.)
I have had some minimal motivation to do a bit of cooking and go to the gym, though with recent health I've been gone for like a month and when I try to dance around the house I'm winded in 5 minutes. So yeah. I might not be around much for a while. I still love my supplies I have left and all... just not enough to get me going like I used to...

But this too shall pass.
Oh but about the cooking thing- check out what I recently got from bobsredmill.com

Cuz I was reading how though we only eat, like, wheat/rice/corn for grains, there's all these others with amazing nutritional properties. Protein, fiber, minerals, amino acids, gluten-free (if you need that), amazing. Next I'm going to try Amaranth and Teff. I just love the way they sound! And I make them all in my rice cooker. AND! I'm a huge cheapskate, and I found Bob's Red Mill crazy affordable. I also like the not-huge packages they come in, which means you can try a bit of everything.
Now look at these dumb babies being helpful:

And this girl playing fetch with a very excited emu:
Baby duck feeding fish had me like:


Saraccino said...

Yes, I missed you! :) But reading your comparisons about others who suffer more, who are able to go through it... please stop it. Going through heavy depressions in the past and nowadays nearly paranoid about trying to detect warn signals (I never ever want to go back there... it is so damn hard to see how much biochemical reactions rule how I live my life and if I am able to enjoy it...) I know how easy it is to compare one with others (wanted to write how hard it is to stop but realized the other way is more true and more human).

But... and this is a but I slowly had to learn during the years and still fighting for it: You have a right to be down from time to time without justification, without comparing to others who seem to manage so much more...

Sometimes I worry and stress so much, that I forget how enjoyable my life is (change sometimes to more often than not). I really mean it, with my partner I want to share everything, with my friends who would come in the middle of the night (who actually did this when I was depressed no matter how hard I pushed them away for years), with the sun shining right now and a coffee in front of me and seeing your work which is art for me because every piece inspires a highly emotional response.

Honestly, I don't care about the circle. I am struggling too, doubting myself in research as well as in my creations, but self-esteem struggles are to be find in surprisingly most people. Also not about the be-over-the-top-happy-marketing that seems to be life expectation from so many (and ruins real relationships all the time). I try to shut down the worries about the future, especially the not real ones that could or could not be and are not at all influenceable (is this a word? in german I am allowed to mix words ;)), try to let the past go and just be in this very moment and enjoy it. To enjoy life while it happens and also to even allow myself to be down.

RomAntiqueSoul said...

We have extensively talked about creativity and I love our convos...mental "abnormalities" help us be different in a good way. I've always though that "normal" people are far from being so...after all what is so normal about conforming? Sure if you're a sheep, that makes sense...and what do sheep do? They follow the leader sheep that jumps in the well! So there! (at least that's what we say in my country, so I dunno if it makes sense).

I recently read an article about how people that are anxious are more likely to be geniuses (my sis sent it to me) because they utilize their brain much more to calculate steps and possibilities...Is it a curse? I like to think of the "abnormalities" as gifts that expand our mind (I'm not talking about psycho killers...they have extreme mental problems...I'm talking about people that are still able to function and are sensitive enough to care about humanity).

I think you are extremely talented in your medium and I think it's the right one for you, so keep challenging yourself...I'm still searching, but I keep experimenting until something strikes!

I LOVE what you did with the stash! OMG...I couldn't even have thought of any of it! See? That's talent combined with genius and hard work, my friend! I'm so glad I could give you something to use, and my reason is I love see what you do with it! It makes immensely happy and above all you inspire me!

Much love and keep going...do 10,000 more necklaces, I can see you still enjoy what you're doing! :)

Anvil Artifacts said...

Awww, sorry to hear that you're feeling down. Life is such a wild roller coaster ride. Just keep hanging in there and doing the things that make you feel happy and hopefully you'll feel better in no time. Your recent work is beautiful. That swimmers medal necklace is fantastic! Sending you virtual hugs and sunshine (to combat your Tupperware sky)

Penelope said...

Dude, I am so not surprised. I mean all that stuff you put out in 8 years, it's probably twice what most would do. You've been in a fever all that time; a nice one (though your bladder might not agree) but still. It was only a matter of time for you to hit the wall. We go through phases- that is the natural part of a creative process. what you need to do is listen to it when it says stop. YOU MUST. don't drag it out desperately like I did, don't force it.

My swan song was really public, at least it feels like it. Maybe no one noticed but I struggled and fought and refused to let go for months and months, constantly giving up and going back to it and giving up again. I bet a million pounds that 'I'm giving up jewelry' is the most oft-used phrase in my entire (dead) blog. It was messy. And really since then I've fought hard to keep an interest in anything else. I keep saying I'm doing projects and it's true I am, but all I really do is dick around with 100 things and not progress. I haven't made anything serious for at least a year; I want to but I try and it's just...bleh. I have the supplies, I have folders full of inspiration, I have ideas...the actual work never gets done. I am cold and passionless so I throw myself into vintage and now that it's losing it's shine for me too. I need to create but the door is still closed.

You might not be like that, you might just need a break for a couple months. You could move to teaching making for a bit; run an online course or write some more tutes. Or just stick your head in your ipad like what I do. But DO NOT push the muse because she will not like it.

Maybe ask yourself what you want from your work now - and if it's different from what you used to want. It might be time to go deeper, or raise your skills (more metalsmithing? clay? PMC?) Your pieces are getting simpler yes but the materials are really reaching quality levels; there's no more 'cheap junk' in there now, just singular stuff and your scratch-made beads etc. No filler. Maybe you're burned out because you want something higher.

Unknown said...

U r so amazing! I have admired u forever, so full of talent and always making incredible art, I check out your blog for inspiration as I have been in that stupid funk for years now, I just gave up on it and sometimes I create and a lot of the time I dont, u definately can't beat yourself up, pls just know u r way more amazing than a lot of us! Love and aloha, angi in hana

Rebecca S. said...

Sometimes you need to let the fields lie fallow. Despite what we expect of ourselves, you can't be endlessly productive (and as amazing and prolific as you have been for MANY years). Your process and honesty are absolutely authentic. It is as much of a treat to hear about the struggle as it is to witness the wild productivity. I savor every bit of the magic I have gotten from you--blog and treasure from your shop--all the more valuable because you are who you are and you invite us along for the ride and let us see behind the curtain...

Beatnheart said...

yes...sometimes you do just need to stop...and veg and watch a "my 600 pound life" marathon...and do nothing at all...It's all ok...I have stopped beating myself up so much, I still do, but it is less than before...
I think if you push things it only gets worse, so relax, watch the tube, read stuff, watch netflix, who cares? who's counting...Your lucky you don't have to go out there and slave at a boring horrible factory job...you have a husband who loves and cares for you, we all love you so....so enjoy your beautiful self...cause we do....

Anonymous said...

It's always easier to give advice to others than to your own self.....
I know about depression and not being able to do as much as some other people - and then, there are a lot of 'people like you and me' out there - we do what we can and what we should. Think of all the beauty and happiness you have sent out through the years!
Kick back, read some good books (and some less good) - enjoy the beauty of the autumn - just be.....

Melinda said...

Even in the midst of your misery, you're still an inspiration. Your work is stunning. I don't know if hearing that helps. I've been "missing" for awhile, absorbed in my own grief. It does pass, like you said, and one day you'll wake up from your fog with so many ideas that your hands won't be able to keep up with your head. Because that's what you were meant to do in the world. I think they are inescapable, those creative impulses. They're just in the background, building up... and whatever happens between now and the day they come bursting forth, well that's okay too. Wishing you peace renewal. xo

TheEuropeanMarina said...

You've spead so much beauty to the world, you deserve to get yourself some time in the valley of comfort- until all this creative zest will get you back on board in no time, I'm sure about that! You are my Muse after all, there's no way you can leave my world, hehe. I so hope I will find my own voice at the end, until then, my Muse, I am learning from all you are creating and writing too!