The Moment is Now

I spend so much time thinking about what next that I often don't notice what I am doing at the moment. I am working on relaxing my mind so I can be open to the flow. Seems like when I am creating something the hours in my studio fly by.

My creative process, great learning resources, and ways to help the planet by repurposing are the theme of this blog. You are about to enter "the world according to Jan." Hope you find it a-musing.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tips from How To Steal Like An Artist

I just finished this great little book by Austin Kleon called How To Steal Like An Artist.  This little read will put aside any worries you might have about someone copying your work or you copying another artist.    In fact, copying is the way we learn.  We all learned to write by copying, yet everyone has a unique handwriting style.  When learning a skill, it is important to copy at first.  Check out as many books as possible, copy pictures from the internet, look at other people's works and try to figure out how they made it. "Art is Theft" according to Picasso, so steal from as many artists as you can.   If you are like most creative people , you will bore with imitating other people's work and will very shortly develop your own style.  Transforming others work into something that is truly your own is how you add to the world. Thanks Kleon for that wonderful thought. 

My design
Gailavira Tutorial
Here's a little example, the red pendant I made from a tutorial I purchased from Gailavira .  While the wire wrapping was following the tutorial, I had to modify it because I did not have a round cabochon.  Nonetheless, it was from a pattern and I made a few of them with this basic design.  Soon I had learned the swirling technique and was ready to transform it into my own design.  Incorporating my basket making skills with this newly learned technique I started making a more freeform pendant. You can see the influence of the tutorial but the pendant is definitely not the same.  In fact, I could not repeat the pattern of the turquoise pendant because I just weaved and wrapped an added beads as I worked. Winging it rather than precision fits my personality.  

While there are many insights and great tips in this book, I also really like the chapter "The Secret: Do Good Work and Share it with People."  Kleon recommends sharing tips with other people which I totally respect.  I love it when I talk to other vendors at shows and they give me a tip.  I have a friend who has been a silver smith for thirty years, is amazingly talented and she is a valuable resource to me.  One afternoon, she was lamenting about having to polish up all this jewelry for a show.  Turns out she didn't know about using a rock tumbler with stainless steel shot to polish her silver.  I told her about it and was able to save her hours.  I learned the tumbler technique for my work with Art Clay and I use the thing constantly.  I sometimes tumble items instead of filing them because it works and filing is not my forte'. This also frees me up to work on something else.

The insights in this little book are many so you really should check it out.  Read it, collect ideas, and then go make stuff. 


Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Nowhere Land of Lost Items

Necklace that is currently being worn by Mrs. Selby
Ever wondered where all the paper clips and rubber bands end up?   When I was young I loved the book The Borrowers.  Little people who live in your house and take items for their own use.  If I could find the Borrower's hiding hole,  I could quit searching for this necklace. I photographed it to list on the web and then it disappeared.  All my other items made it back to my  shop no problem. 

When I was little my grandmother would blame her neighbor for items she misplaced.   She would go to get a can of tuna for lunch and when it was gone would say "That Mrs. Selby has been over here again."  Mrs. Selby was her neighbor, a working woman, and I don't think I ever saw her at home. I remember wondering why my grandmother didn't call the police if her neighbor was coming in her house.

Well, I can tell you even though I live a couple hundred miles away , "Mrs. Selby"  manages to make it down here and steal from me as well.  So far an axe has gone missing from the front porch, numerous shovels, my clippers, earrings galore, and now this necklace.  Sometimes Mrs. Selby even sneaks back and puts what I am looking for right in plain sight.

Really, why is it you can look for something and not see it .  I like to think it bleeps over into another dimension  for a while then comes back into the 3rd Dimension.  In the meantime, I made another Om Rock necklace to list.  This time it didn't leave my shop when I was taking pictures.  Hopefully someday the original necklace will bleep back into my shop. Or better yet, someone will admire "Mrs. Selby's" necklace and she will refer them to my site.