Sunday, April 19, 2009


I usually feel pretty icky on Mondays, so as a pick me up I thought I would have a GIVEAWAY!
I would like to giveaway my "Courage" necklace to whoever is interested in leaving a comment on a specific question I'm interested in knowing how you all feel about! LeAnn suggested I could loan my necklace out, but I think I'm ready to pass it on. You see, I worked long and hard on this piece of jewelry, and it turned out it was something I was very proud of, because I felt it portrayed what I wanted it to, and I did it how I wanted to. To me, I could only price this piece for materials used, since time was too lengthy to put a price on. I guess sometimes it takes me a long time to make a piece because I am personally involved in each piece representing or meaning something. As long as I can remember I knew I wanted to do something creative and involving art in my life. When I went away to college I thought that was commercial art, I was sooooo wrong. It was so controlling and dictating, I felt so repressed and that I was a sell out to myself, so I switched to Fine Art, which I quickly obtained my BFA in( that was eons ago!). That of course got me nowhere quick financially! I then got married, and started working full time at a mediocre job just to financially survive. NOW, after raising a beautiful daughter with my husband and having some free time, I became involved in making jewelry, and what I thought might be a profitable business 2 years ago, has led me to my creative side again, and I find myself creating more ART jewelry, than jewelry for profit, BUT I love what I'm doing! Sometimes I think it's a big mistake in not making things that I know people will buy, BUT I JUST CAN'T bring myself to do I guess I'll continue to not be rich, but I do know I am being true to myself! SOOOOOOOOO, DO YOU THINK YOU STAY TRUE TO YOUR ART, AND YOURSELF, OR ARE YOU COMMERCIALLY COMPROMISED AT TIMES?
I'll pick a random winner Thursday April 23rd. (Sorry you had to endure the saga of my life!)
I thank you for your support, kindness, and honesty!
This giveaway is open to all creative people, so spread the word!
Please leave me your email so I can contact the winner!

25 comments: said...
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jeisea said...

My heart says yes. You know I actually think that it's very hard not to be true to your art because your heart, soul, spirit, your joy, sadness, compassion are such an integral part of you that, no matter how hard you may try, your true light shines through.

Even if you think you're doing just a quick piece to make a quick dollar, you will not be able to do it without using your innate sense of what works, what looks, feels and is good.

I am just beginning making bags. So far I've only finished four. This is a new way of expressing myself. I used to do fine portraiture work but smashed my wrist. I can't hold a pen well now. It's taken 10 years to find something that gives me some satisfaction.

Do what it is your heart says and cease the day. You don't ever know about tomorrow.


stregata said...

I agree with Jeisea - even if I am making earrings, because I know they are more easily sold than other pieces, I couldn't make just any earrings. If they don't appeal to me, then I will scrap them.
I believe the "art" (note: I do not feel comfortable calling myself an artist) is easier to perceive in other pieces. But if you are making something that you can stand behind when it is finished, then you are remaining true to yourself.

peacockfairy said...

I LOVE this necklace! It is my fave! How generous of you!

I say, stick with your heart - make what you love. I struggle with this too and 95% of the time I just make pieces I like, and hopefully others will like them too. Sales for me have had their ups and downs - and when they are down it does get discouraging. I have been in the same situation as you too where I don't include my time in the cost of a piece... I usually rationalize it by thinking I'd rather sell it than hang on to it and I'd like it to find a good home.

Doreen said...

Yes, definitely stick with your heart! I don't think I'll ever be commercially compromised. I rarely can make the same thing more than once...but I'm doing what I love. There is great joy in knowing someone else might adore something I've made...but ask me to make it again...I don't think so. I made a gorgeous bracelet that I gave away. I've had several requests from others for the same bracelet. I've been offered $$ for doing so. I'm on to other things now. My muse brought me this bracelet long ago but now I'm on to other things...oh well. It's called following your heart, I suppose.

SummersStudio said...

Sharon, I want first to say how lovely it is for you to share your story with us. In fact that is often an act of courage itself, especially when it is a personal story of your creative journey.

About compromise, well, I have a difficult time thinking of myself as an artist. I think of myself more as a maker. And compromise is what makes the more artistic, sculptural work that I make happen. Most of the work you see on my blog and in my etsy shop is production work. There is a design phase which I very much enjoy. But a lot of what I do is production so that is the commercial side of things. What I have been able to do over the last year or so is use that production time as a sort of mental break to mull over the more artistic endeavors. It leaves me free to think how I might express the artistic work. And that artistic work is never profitable. In fact much of it will never even see the 'market.' But it is a comfortable balance. I hope that makes sense.

Your courage necklace is a beautiful piece. You are so generous and thoughtful to give this piece away. Maybe you should enter yourself into the give away :)

2ifbysea said...

I make what I like and can only hope that other's will like it as well. I don't think I could force myself to make things for the sake of selling only. I love beads, I love beading and because of that I create what feels right at that time.


Judy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy said...

As true creative souls we make what our hearts tell us. It may not make us a gob of money but it satisfies something in us and keeps us moving forward.
Thanks for sharing. I am a big fan of your creations.

Kristin said...

This is definitely a question that I have been thinking about a lot. I think I could crank out jewelry that more people would buy, but I don't know that it would feed my soul. And, frankly, I have a day job that makes me money (a little bit anyway - as a teacher) and a day job that makes me no money (as a mom) and I love both of those, but jewelry making is my time to decompress and make the things that I want to make. I've been thrilled with the lovely feedback I've had from other jewelry designers (like you) whose work I admire and respect. Would I like to sell more? Absolutely. Am I working to try and build a reputation? Most definitely. But in the end, none of that matters if I don't create work that I love and that preserves my creative integrity.

And just as an aside, if I were to win the necklace in the random giveaway, I would give it to my mom, who is a breast cancer survivor. I thought of her when I first saw it last week. She is my definition of courage.

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Thankfully, I have a day job which supports me, and although I have a shop at Etsy, I don't have to constantly worry about making sales.

I also only make what I like, so I am really pleased when something does sell because I know that person had to like it as much as I do to purchase it.

What a great question, Sharon!


Lucid Moon Studio said...

I guess I have to disagree a little with everyone so far...I struggle with this too, but I am laid off right now and trying to have some sort of income until I find a job. Although I don't think I am a slave to commercialism or anything, I definitely try to make things in every price range in hopes of more sales. I try to think of what the average person would like, but sometimes I do let myself follow my heart and create something for me that might cost too much to sell. I don't see anything wrong with trying to find a balance between the two...staying true to your art while taking in to consideration what people might like to buy. Or having a mix of the two, especially if you are trying to live off your profits!

Hope I made some sense...thanks for the giveaway - your courage necklace is STUNNING!!


Debbie said...

Sharon, I have to say you have us all thinking and putting our thoughts out there.
For me things have changed in the last 2 years. I only worked a few days a month at a day job so jewelry was the 2nd household income and I was very busy with it. I had jewelry in 3 shops, 2 of which were in Greensburg at the time of a tornado. 9o% of my inventory was lost in the tornado on May 4, 2007. It was overwhelming to think of replacing all of it and hard to explain emotionally. I went to work full time in the insurance office where I worked a few days a month before. Now for that reason I can understand both sides of the coin. I do have jewelry back in 2 shops and on Etsy but don’t sell near as much as I use to. And don’t want to keep up that pace with a full time job. I do make more of what I want to now. But I also find myself changing a design just to keep the cost down or so that it will appeal to a larger number of people. Even with changes I do thing there is a little bit of me in each piece that keeps my loyal customers coming back. And now I have rambled too much, more than I would usually say or tell. I love your courage necklace; it IS a work of art.

Gardanne said...

Beautiful wirework!!!!
I make things that I like, if others like them that is great. Whenever I start to think what may sell better I struggle and it is not fun anymore.

Chrissie Grace said...

This necklace is so beautiful!
I say stick with it.
I believe that if you are true to yourself everything works out. God does not put a desire in your heart without a reason.
What a great give-away!:)
Chrissie Grace

Beth Anderson said...

Nurturing your creative side is what is most important. You are very talented and your talent would be lost without that creative spirit. I for one am certainly not in it for the money but for my creative expression.
Enjoy it!

Tammy and Rob said...

What a stunning necklace and the story, your story behind it is worth far more than anything I've encountered lately. I try to stay true to my heart in creating pieces, I often don't make the same thing twice and I think that is just fine because somewhere out there somebody is wearing a bracelet or necklace I've made that came straight from my heart, straight from my journey of life! Thank you for sharing inspiration and courage with us.

Erin said...

I create from the heart and work with images and themes that inspire me. Within those images and themes, I like to imagine how someone might use a component I make. I find that doing this brings out even more creativity and I come up with exciting ideas. I do think about the person I'm making them for because I'm creating for a purpose and that is to inspire someone. If I have inspired one person, it is all worth it. My goal and intention is to inspire others and pass on the joys I feel by expressing what inspires me.
You are doing the same thing, Sharon. You inspire others through your art. Not only your customers, but also your fellow jewelry-makers. Create what you love and keep creating with clear intention like you have been.

Jennifer Stumpf said...

I stay true to my heart on pieces I make to sell outright. Several times I have had to sell out on commissioned pieces that were to the customer's specifications but not a piece I would want to own or wear myself. I don't follow fads, usually. If I would perpetually make just what people want me to make, i.e. the fad of the moment, I would burn out on jewelry very quickly. This piece of yours is very, very lovely and I understand the time that goes into some pieces, that you cannot put a price on it. It wrenches the heart to sell a piece you poured your soul into for money. Will the person who buys it know how hard you worked on it, the thought that went into it, the incredible precious time? Do what you love. Money is fleeting, it's gone. But a piece that someone falls in love with, that speaks to them, that is the only kind of jewelry I will buy and the only kind I try to sell.

No Easy Beads said...

I say stay true to my heart. Your Courage necklace is beautiful. This is my first time visiting your blog. I look forward to coming back again.
Thank you for sharing.

inventivesoul said...

My birthday was the 23rd!

I love this piece and just wanted to say so!

It is pretty cool!!!

Lenna Andrews said...

sharon, i know this giveaway is over, but i wanted to comment anyway. Your necklace is gorgeous and full of feeling. I would pay attention to that! DO WHAT YOU LOVE! Now, you may *also* have to be "COMMERCIALLY COMPROMISED AT TIMES" . . . . but who knows?
I would err on the side of doing what creatively feels right to you, to please the artist in you. Then, if need be - do some other things to round out the picture.
great work - ATCs, jewelry . . . and i have only gotten a glimpse at your blog! lenna

Adventures with Millie Making Jewelry said...

I realize this is an old post, but I had to say whoever won this necklace won a "jewel"! Inspired!

umelecky said...

Sharon, I'm sorry I missed out on this one. That necklace is just spectacular. I can tell a lot of you went into making it.
I'm really glad I came across this post. Everyone tells me to make certain things, just because they will sell, and I just can't do it. I hate making the same piece over and over again. When I've done that, I've made money, but it made me want to quit creating. Great post and beautiful necklace! You are very special!!!

Akshay Deshmukh said...

This necklace is so beautiful!..


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