Make Lots of Work to get Better Results

I saw a link to this video over on Polymer Clay Daily and I just had to share it here too.  I love Ira Glass and the radio program he does…it’s part of my inspiration in my work…creative story telling and unique people.

But anyway, even though he’s talking about the art of storytelling, what he is saying applies to any creative process and it’s encouraging.  Check it out.

How I Enjoy the Little Things…

Over at FlamingHot Susan asks, “What are the little ways you enjoy glass and the business you run?”

This, like many things in business, was a struggle for me. No matter how much you love what you do, there are going to be things that bug you. The little things like paperwork and phone calls that you won’t want to do. But you have to do them.

While there are many little things in my business that I love, there are many that that is not the case. So, I had to change my attitude, and I have to continuously adjust that attitude. If I didn’t, the little things would be miserable.

Here’s my little secret. If you do the little things you can’t stand, at the right time, you’ll feel good about them.

For example, I don’t particularly care for cleaning beads. But it has to get done. What is a good time to clean beads? When I only have a few minutes available. Normally, when we only have a few minutes we think, ‘what could I possibly get done in five minutes?’ and we throw that time out the window. If I pick up my dremel and clean some beads, I’ve just been really productive in a short time, doing something I wouldn’t normally like to do. That makes me feel good and bead cleaning doesn’t feel as bad.

How about spacer beads or simple production stuff? Can’t stand it. But, if I don’t have my mojo on that day or the muse is out dancing with someone else, why not sit down and make spacer beads? It takes my thoughts off being frustrated at the lack of creative juice and when I’m done, I have lots of spacer beads to either sell or have at my disposal. But then I gotta do all that cleaning. Hm.

Those are just two examples. How do you get yourself to do the little things that you’d rather not do? Do you do them begrudgingly or do you trick yourself so they actually seem ok? Let me (and others) know! Leave a comment!

We all have scars. Even my beads.

Stitched WedgeI am being overrun by beads. At one time I thought that was a bad thing because it meant, to me, that I had a lot of beads that I didn’t feel were sale-worthy. But now, it’s because they’re so beautiful that I don’t want to release them. I wrote a bit ago about the process that has been going on with these beads but I didn’t really describe the inner process.

There have been discussions in part of the glass community about the beads known as ‘end of the day’ beads or ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ beads. Two very different styles but two styles that have lots of activity in the design in common.

I’ve tried before to do busy-design kind of beads and I’ve not succeeded. But as these beads got more popular it was hard to keep them out of my vision as I surfed around the internet and eBay. I knew I couldn’t do them and when I can’t do something it bothers me…that is usually when I get my own motivation and inspiration to explore what it is that I can do.

So I started laying down some design elements that I knew I could do and was good at. I started ‘stitching’ them them to the surface with stringer and dots and holding them back from taking over the surface of the bead. As I worked I had the vision of not letting that busyness take over my bead!

Because I was more focused on the intent behind the design rather than the design itself, it started to take on a life of it’s own and other things started to come to me. The stitches that bound the design elements started to take on a life of actual surgical stitches in my mind…but they were beautiful.

It made me think that we all have scars and wounds and they are what makes us what we are today. The beauty under the surface of the scars is still beautiful too. It also made me realize more fully that we’re all the same. No one is perfect. We all have our stuff and it’s not fair to judge someone based on their wounds and scars. It takes something really superhuman to be able to live your life believing that every moment but it’s worth remembering and working on…for me.