Monday, January 7, 2013

Jump Starting Your Creative Year!

Posted by Lora Hart
Artistic Avisor

It's the end of December and as I almost always do, I'm thinking about the year to come and wondering what it will bring. I'm imagining the creative inspirations that may present themselves, anticipating new opportunities, and considering how I can be proactive by having an open mind, taking chances, and putting my best foot (or fingertip) forward. In short, I'm preparing myself for unforeseen opportunities, renewing and re-imagining my artistic and professional practice, and laying out a game plan for the year.

The media at large is always good at making suggestions on how to start the year off right. There are top ten resolution lists, reports on those who have resolved NOT to make resolutions, and suggestions to choose a word for the year instead of consolidating a catalogue of perceived faults in need of modification. I've stopped making resolutions myself - don't want to set myself up for failure (statistics show that about 80% of people break their resolutions by June - most of them much earlier). Instead I have intentions, which I break down into manageable steps. Never plan to run a marathon if you don't own a pair of athletic shoes. Walk around the block, then around the neighborhood, then up a hill, and then you'll be able to climb the mountain.

This year this is how I intend to get started:

My 1st BAM (Brooch a Month)
Creative Paper Clay, Beads, Oil Pastels, Silk, .925
• Cyberspace is at it again with another personal jewelry making competition - there's nothing to win but satisfaction and no one to compete against except yourself. The EtsyMetal team has conceived the 'Brooch a Week' challenge that starts this week. If you have a Flickr account you can join the group (everyone is welcome to join - you don't have to be a member of the EtsyMetal team), you can post pictures on FB, or you can just keep the challenge a private endeavor. If you don't think you can commit to 52 brooches - modify the rules to suit your own schedule. Perhaps you could make a Brooch a Month?

Why do I like these challenges so much? They ignite my imagination, inspire me to try new jewelry making techniques, and tease me away from familiar, safe, and comfortable default designs. The thought of making 52 sellable brooches is a little daunting (to say nothing of the expense) - so I'm going to take the opportunity to use alternative materials and explore new shapes and styles. Even if they only end up decorating a wall in my studio, I know I'll learn a lot that I may be able to adapt in my regular work.

• I tend to forget some the things I have to do, or could do, or want to do. And then I miss out on opportunities. This morning I put up a huge chalkboard sticker in my studio to keep track of ideas, dates, deadlines, and other "To-Do's". I have a calendar on my wall (the beautiful one by Holly Gage) and one in my computer, and I do manage to put dates in them, but if I'm not diligent in reviewing them - sometimes months in advance - I let opportunities pass by. I'm hoping that seeing important intentions writ large on my wall will help me to keep abreast of things I thought were important enough to record.

Don't you forget about the Tales of the Heart competition sponsored by Mitsubishi Materials with prizes from $500.00 to $1,000.00! The deadline is January 14.

• And I'm going to choose a word for the year that will help focus and support my intentions. Persist. To hold firmly and steadfastly to a purpose, state or undertaking.

I hope to see some of you in the Brooch a Week group, and wish you well in all your endeavors this year. If there are any creative conundrums you face, or New Year's negotiating you'd like help with - just ask. That's what an Artistic Advisor is for. :)


Janet Alexander said...

Great writing Lora. Can you give us ideas on how to find out about future competitions?

Lora Hart said...

I can and I will Miss Janet. In my next post. ;)