Hi, all! During my time as a Maven I'm delighting in getting to know my fellow designers! I love learning about artists and their design processes and inspirations. I've learned that designers differ in their approach: Some plan everything out and have a routine, methodical way they go about things. Others are spontaneous and don't plan anything- they go with the flow. Still others are somewhere in between, a mix of the two. I thought you might want to see how I approach design and what inspires me.
I like to think of myself as a "breezy" designer, an easy, breezy, go-with-the-flow artist. I don't really plan anything and I have to wait for the inspiration to come to me. I don't have a routine, I don't calculate or plan, and I only sketch a design if I get an idea while working or when I'm busy and don't have time to run to the beads and try my idea. I'm more apt to sketch a design after I've made a piece in preparation for tutorial writing so that I can remember what I did.
When I'm designing I go with the flow. I may start with an idea of a general shape that I want but the beads are the boss and I do what they tell me to do. Most often I will bead, ripping it out if it doesn't look good, re-bead, rip out, re-bead... until I like what I made. After I have a prototype figured, I sit down and try to remember how I made it. I do rough sketches and sometimes I'll do another prototype based on those sketches. When I have it down correctly, that's when I begin my illustrations and tutorial writing. Below is an example of my scribbles of my Romanov design prior to writing the tutorial:
My scribbles and chicken scratch! :)
What inspires me? I don't usually design for something specific. I'm more inspired by a feeling, a color, a season, an idea, a time period, something broad and nonspecific. I also design around a shape; for instance, a bead shape.
Sometimes I design around a color. I'll pile my beads on my desk and play with them and pick a color! I then go "shopping" in my inventory and pick out beads to accompany the one I chose. I'll pull contrasting colors, complimentary colors and monochromatic versions based on the color of the bead. I'll then sit down and cull the color schemes. I toss the beads together and then decide if I want a high contrast piece or a monochromatic piece. Once I choose my beads and color scheme I decide on my shape and design.
Other times, I'll design based on a feeling or a season. Do I want something crisp, clean, wintry and sparkly to evoke Winter? Do I want something light, carefree, casual and easygoing for Summer? Do I want something bright, clean and fresh for Spring? Do I want something warm, comforting, earth-toned or spicy for Autumn?
This was created with Winter in mind- it was purchased to be a Winter Wonderland parade costume accessory!
This was created with Spring gardens in mind.
This was created with hot, Summer sunsets in mind.
This was created with Autumn in mind.
I have been known to design around the shape of a bead (in fact, it's what I do best!) I'm passionate about Super Duo beads and most of my designs incorporate them. I'm also in love with Czech rounds and I love them so much more than crystals! For me, there's something soothing about simple, no-frills beads and rounds fit the bill for me. Recently I was asked to design something that incorporates Brick beads and this is what I came up with:
My Pathways bracelet, soon to be a tutorial.
Oftentimes I'm inspired by antiquity. I love to watch old movies and gaze at the jewelry. I'm a huge fan of ancient jewelry and when I do metalwork I like to try to capture the feel of something very old. When I was designing my Czarina bracelet, I wanted to bring a little bit of an older feel to it while using modern beads. I wanted something with a hint of lace but still something that wouldn't look odd to wear today.
So, there's a peak at my approach. There is no right or wrong way to design! I've met phenomenal designers and they all have different design styles. What's your style?