Yes, there is, isn’t there? I might not always tell you but there is always a story. This is a sample of the experiment beads I did yesterday. Now, they’re not experimental as if I were playing around…there was definitely a plan and a design. But, they were experimental in that I don’t usually do jewel tones. My Monets have been about as close as I get with to that.
So anyway, on to the experiment. It’s more of a sales experiment. You see, as I talked about yesterday, what I like and what the majority of the people like are often two very different things. Don’t get me wrong, I probably won’t give up my quirky, of-the-beaten-path style any time soon but it is fun to jump out and try different things sometimes.
An interesting thing happened after I made this set too. I took out the element of the sparkly encased silver foil, threw in some dichroic glass (which I’ve not worked with before) and pulled out my trusty enamels and BINGO! The Bead Nerd strikes again and turns it into my own style. So, there IS a way that I can use my style with elements I never thought compatible. Pictures later!
Time and time again I see beads on auction going for high (to me) prices and I wonder “how”? C’mon, you know we all do it. Bead sellers, that is. We wonder, what do they have that I don’t? I can do that! Why don’t MINE sell for that much? I might even have more skill than those take. Well, I’ve come to somewhat of an answer and it really is no revelation in itself.
We as artists see it differently than the untrained eye. More is not always better. We see it through the eyes of what skill it takes or what process was used to get to the end product. The consumer (for the most part) just sees something and either likes it or not. It doesn’t matter to most what went into it or how many layers there are.
Another reason this comes up for me quite frequently (especially after shows) is because the things that I think won’t sell are the first to fly off the shelf. This happens almost every single time and it’s usually a really simple design. Kate Drew-Wilkinson taught me that simple is good…it’s elegant. It sells. So, why do I keep trying to be so intricate? Huh? Because it makes me feel good. It’s what I love the most about what I do. It’s the creating, the process.
Which brings me to the third reason this comes up for me. Again, after a show and seeing what people are up to and what is in and out and selling and not. How does one make a living as an artist? The way I see it, if you’re like what I mentioned above you gotta have your bread and butter in order to be able to enjoy the lobster. Meaning, you have to have those tried and true simple hits to sustain you so that you can support the artist inside.
I know what you’re thinking. It doesn’t have to be that way. I’d love to hear stories of it not being that way! Some interesting things to think about.
Egyptian Collar sounds a little kinky to me for some reason. But anyway, here they are. It’s a new way for me to work and I’ve done some more today to work on pefecting it and getting the collar shape every time.
It’s not about the shape though, it’s more about how the design is applied so it goes symmetrically around the whole thing.
Ideally, the other side of the bead will look the same or at least equally symmetrical. It’s a lot of fun to try and do things in a way that no one else is doing them. Now, I know there are other people out there doing this kind of thing but I’m coming at it from my own perspective and quite by accident, not by trying to do a technique that I’ve seen.