Why am I taking a break from being creative? If there is such a thing. I realised the last time I posted on my blog was about a year ago. That is funny because it does not feel like a year ago at all. I am in middle of writing a few pieces but I took a step back from it all for a while. I sincerely do apologise to my customers for this.
Journey so far
When I first started this blog it was to document everything about the journey. However, running a small business in a big city is not as easy as it sounds. But it’s not hard either. Having to stand out from the handmade market as well as competing with high street mass produced items took its toll on me. Resulting in me temporarily giving up to find a part-time job to rethink the artists block. It was meant to be a temporary decision. However it did take a year and half to get out of that comfortable job to write this blog again. But this writers block or the artists block is OK, it’s normal to have, it’s how you deal with it that changes things.
Having another job meant I had less time to spend on the business, less time making things and less time marketing the business let alone running craft shows or standing at stalls again. I feel like I ran 3 steps forward but took 10 steps back again. I am not at point zero where I was when I first started this little adventure but I am definitely not where I thought I would be 2 years on.
It got to a point where I thought I’d forgotten how to make jewellery, that’s right. When you spend months away from the bench you forget a certain things, all it takes is practise to get you back into business “literally”. It’s like gym if you have not been for months it will take some time to get back into routine. Which, reminds me I either need to stop paying my gym membership and not going or I could easily go (nah).
As weird as it sounds I felt that officially making jewellery to sell made me lose interest in making jewellery. To meet the criteria in which the retail decided for me rather then what I was allowed to freely create. Why wouldn’t the retailers have a say in their pieces, at the end of the day they are paying for it. However, bit by bit, piece by piece I started to lose my passion for creating. It was true that I was making but they were not my creations. They were creations of someone else. I had a say in technicality but the design was not mine. And what was mine the collections I had created for people to choose from, to be honest I was bored of making them. There I said it!
When I first created the pattern to associate myself with it was the most amazing feeling in the world. My brand was associated with my pattern or vice versa, people recognised it. But it came to a point where I was making the same patterned pendants everyday! Same making process start to finish. That is where my fault lies, I fell into the trap of not evolving. It came to a point where I ran out of ideas on how to take pictures of the same looking pieces to post on my social media and that’s when I stopped posting anything.
Please do not get me wrong I am not complaining about making jewellery. But from an artist’s point of view I needed to evolve and re-invent. And that is where I was stuck to self motivate myself to create again. Or even afraid at some point to make something different to see if it will be appreciated as well as the old pieces.
I am sure many people in this field would understand the constant need to self motivate and to recreate. It is true in order to survive in this competitive industry you have to re-invent yourself. The problem I have is the “routine” of self motivation. Any ideas welcome!
Being creative should be a development and constant need to improve. I was ready to improve and develop more designs however the market I wanted to create for is moving so fast that I needed to take a step back. That I need to create for myself and my customers rather than for the fast moving mass produced industry. There is nothing wrong with stepping back from time to time I guess.
Well I’v not completely taken a break. I still invested my time to travel, trek to be inspired, develop my skills in other mediums such as photography, painting (I love watercolours) and I have not stopped sketching ideas my sketchbook is full. Even writing short stories and meeting new people in the process without the constant need to post on social media. Now social media is another topic on its own for another time. But take time out if you are in the same position as me, your small business is you and it needs you to be OK first, and that is OK!
What made me write this now? well I have met many people on my way here constantly wanting me to do better and who are always encouraging. I hear you guys! So watch this space.
Does anybody else ever feel this way to step back and re-evaluate rather than tire yourself out?