Most of my inspirations come from making gifts for friends. That is when I feel my true creative self come out. When you really Love someone, it is a joy to create something for them. My first figurative bead was actually a gift for myself; the “running” bead. A tube decorated with stringer, with a figure running on it. Coming home from work feeling exhausted all the time, and not satisfied with what I had accomplished all day. Then I made that bead. I was reminded of being in a hurry and that, in turn helped me to calm down. I kept that bead on for 6 months (January/Feb. 2006-summer 2006). From there I created a series of running beads.
These beads were inspired by my “Soul Gestures” I have been drawing for years. The idea of the “soul gesture” was to create figures that inspired reminders of self growth. The growth we go through personally and traditionally. The idea of the women as the “Odalisque” comes from my Art history that I continue to study.
I am drawn to the idea of taking Fine art to the next level. The odalisque, at one time was portrayed by Picasso with Syphilis, and other artists as “Savage beasts”. Today in “Playboy” as sexy, and in my work, the women are simply beautiful, alone and free. These beads are celebrating the possibilities for women today. Each piece is made to have a personal reminder or response.
The “family beads” I make are derived from a gift I made for my sister for her birthday. Four “soul gestures”, Mom, Dad, baby girl, little boy portrayed loving one another. I believe my art is very personal at first and then, I create forms that I know could be “touching” to someone else. The picture attached was a custom order for a women that has a partner with one child ad another on the way. I use to paint landscapes and I enjoy applying them to my beads today.
The “boogie down” beads remind me of my tour days; touring around the country at random to see different music and “Boogie down”. I sometimes use my sketches from those days as a reference when I am at the torch. Dancing brightens our soul and allows us to really respond to our surroundings; experience art. Thinking of it is a good thought. They make wonderful gifts. I am very happy to provide people with good thoughts.
The Yoga gestures, Surrender gesture, Meditational ones…all inspired by my desire to make all things good in my life. These are the things that make me strong and it is what I have to offer.
On a daily basis I sketch people, objects and landscapes. I then take those sketches and see how they would fit on a bead. When I get stumped, and I draw a blank, I just open my sketchbook, and go from there. Most of my earlier glass bead work came from sketches and sculptures I did 10 years ago. I also have the list of my different pieces that I keep close by. I have found that having a product line can really help the bills get paid.
Each day starts with a cup of coffee at the computer. The kids like to watch morning cartoons and eat breakfast. My children and I spend time together during the day, playing games and going places. Both of my kids draw on a daily basis while I draw. They also ask me to make things that can sometimes lead to an entire series of work.
I enjoy finding color relationships in toys and dinosaur books. By 3:00 or 4:00 I am in the studio getting set up, mixing color. I make dinner from 5:00-6:30 (usually while my youngest helps). I am at the torch by 7:00 on a week day. I start early on the weekends. I usually work every day, and I enjoy Life that way. I always have.
I do not watch TV. I enjoy being in the garden and thinking about art. I Love my boys more than anything but that does not mean I spend all day with them every day. I believe we all need time to our self. And I know that in the real world you only have yourself. I am not going to give my boys a false reality. I think it is good for them to have to occupy themselves for long portions of the day. Sometimes that means drawing with me, and sometimes that means reading alone. Below is a drawing by oldest son, Nathe.
In the real world, tomorrow, you could lose every friend you have. I want my boys to be very confident and independent. I believe that is the best gift I can give them. Some guilt comes from being that way. Sometimes I feel I do not pay enough attention to them. That is why I keep them aware of the work I do. They see everything I make and we talk about it. It is important that they take the packages to the mail box or they will not be able to get a slurpee and a treat from 7-11. I try to plan at least a couple fun events every week. I bring my camera and take pictures of inspiration as often as I can.
Creating art is a career I chose not to be a “poof poof” Artist. I really am passionate about what I do. I do not feel whole when I am not creating on a regular basis. For 15 years I thought about making the art I make today. It is hard work to establish ourselves in the art world. My process of creating glass beads today derives from that desire I have carried with me for so long.
When I was working in construction I really put my ALL into it. The only problem was, once I knew the job really well, that was it. It was the same thing over and over. Being yelled at by contractors, having my mistakes circled in red pen. I tried to put that desire to create to use, by perfecting everything I did. It really was never good enough for everyone. I needed an out. I needed to create to spread the good thoughts. I am way too sensitive to be absorbing bad ones. If I can create pieces that inspire people to have and spread positive energy, I am happy.
The responses I have received from my customers has been uplifting for me, and from what they say, my work has been just as exciting to them. The creative process, for me, requires that reciprocal event to take place; and it has been, even with a stranger. I get wonderful feedback; “Beautiful art piece, Absolutely love it!! Thanks much!!!”, “I am inspired by your art. I have started beading jewlery. You are fantastic. Keep up with your beautiful creations. I love my Sheila Beada’s more everytime I wear them.”
The art is working! It is all good.