I’ve been thinking about this a lot. First and foremost I want to be an artist but I still need an income I can live on. I find myself trying to come up with ideas of beads that other people might like and that’s a big mistake.
I’m discovering I have to do what makes me happy. If I’m stressed about making money and coming up with the hot new thing or whatever’s popular, it usually makes for a poor torch session. When you’re trying to do this for a living, a career… it can become difficult to keep the business side from pressuring the muse. This is my experience anyway.
So far, my best sellers are the beads I created for my own pleasure. The geisha, the sumo with their hinies hanging out and rhinestone cowboys. Creating something because you’re looking to make a buck is the worst inspiration you could possibly have, in my opinion. I do what I do because I like it, my geisha mean something to me and the sumo and cowboys are part of my sense of humor. I confess I do have an immature sense of humor and that will probably never change.
I’ve been so stressed out though, worrying too much about lack of income and it affects my creativity. I kept thinking, if only the studio would hurry and get finished, I could set up my duel fuel torch and work faster, actually make some bead sets instead of just focals. But would I be happy making a bunch of sets? Is production work the answer?
If I end up having to get another job it’ll really cut into my glass time, but that’s just life. I won’t be giving up my “art as a career” dreams, just postponing for a while. Why did I even start making beads in the first place? Because it was fun and I enjoyed it, it took my mind off things. I can’t let money put my muse in a head lock or the enjoyment is gone.
So for the past week I’ve been playing around and made these beads just because I felt like it. Cats, Dogs and to exercise my glass skills… teeny tiny sumo and ninja. I even made a geisha with…long hair! A geisha wouldn’t be seen with her hair down out in public but that’s too bad, I felt like making one with long flowing hair, so I did. 😉
And I had fun. I hadn’t made any dogs or cats in about a year I bet. I’m really going to try to keep the muse in charge and give the business side of me a timeout in the corner for a while. Just make what I like, no restrictions and then once I have a pile of beads in front of me, let the business side have it’s turn.
Tracy Jerrell Akhtar blogs from her home in Southern Michigan. To see more of her work click on TracyBeads