One recurring question for everyone, in any art field, is: where do you get your inspiration? I certainly cannot answer that question for everyone, but I would like to share one thing that works for me.
The thing that I do, is join one of the many glass challenges that alway seem to be in progress. A challenge is started by any member that wishes. First, this member presents a certain theme, then other members join the challenge and interpret the theme. Themes can range from color restrictions (make black and white beads), size (make large beads), shape (make goddess beads or sculptures), to technique (color reactions). Really, anything goes.
Examples of two websites which present challenges for glass beadmakers are Lampwork Etc. and Wetcanvas. I am sure that other sites have them also, and I am sure that for whatever type of artisan that exists, there are some online resources that are similar. I do know that Wetcanvas does have areas for challenges in other media.
Giving a little background – over the years, I have written a number of software programs. I discovered early on, that starting with some sort of code is always way better than starting with a blank file. I search for something similar, and start to make changes. Often, probably even usually, the resulting piece of code has absolutely none of the original. I have heard that this is true for writers also, and is a concept that seems to very similar to what JC Herrell wrote about in her previous post, Breaking Creative Blocks, about her victory beads.
The thing to remember is that the challenge only gives a starting point that allows you to develop new ideas, and that the results can be very unexpected.
In my next post, I will write about a challenge was my catalyst for developing my favorite bead (for now!) to make – my donut beads. It will be an odd journey, I promise.