Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dollar Store Challenge

Lately there have been a ton of forum and blog posts about jewelry “artists” who make others’ designs and sell them for a profit without obtaining the original designer’s permission.  Generally, following a pattern and producing a piece of jewelry for personal use, and in most cases even for a gift, is within the rights of the individual.  It’s a great way to learn a craft – it’s how I’ve learned my craft!  What concerns me is the individual who turns around and sells that piece of jewelry for profit.  I think we all agree that it’s dishonest, immoral, and in many cases illegal.

In the midst of a forum thread bashing copyright violators yesterday (to which I contributed), it suddenly occurred to me to ask why some jewelry “artists” copy designs and sell the jewelry.  I wondered if, by focusing on the negative so much, we were taking the wrong approach.  Perhaps it might help if we understood their motivation.

Why do YOU think people sell jewelry they’ve made from others’ designs?  There are probably a gazillion answers to that question, and I’d like to hear some of yours.

Among other things, I suspect that many design-copiers lack inspiration and confidence.  Would we be better advised to provide them with ideas for jump-starting creativity and with confidence-boosting encouragement, rather than focusing on the negative?  Granted, positive reinforcement didn’t work too well with my demon dachshund, but since we’re talking about people here, maybe we can make a difference.

One of my favorite ways to boost creativity and inspiration is by challenging myself in some way.  I’ll ‘fess up and admit that I’ve got a bit of a competitive streak (noooooooo, you don’t say???).  There are so many awesome beading challenges on the internet, but my budget’s kinda tight these days.  Which leads me to wonder if I can make designer jewelry on a dollar store budget.

So here’s the challenge:

Head to your nearest dollar/99-cent store.  Choose ten items that spark your creativity in some way and use them, along with your current stash, to design some awesome jewelry.

Gotta have rules, what’s a challenge without rules?:

1.     Each piece you make incorporates at least one dollar store find.
2.     You may use at most ten (10) items from the dollar store.
3.     All other components come from whatever you have on hand.

I’ll head to the dollar store tomorrow and hope you’ll join me.  If you’d like, comment to this post or drop me an e-mail letting me you know you’re IN.  Don’t forget to snap a quick photo before you start designing – it’ll be fun to see the Before and After photos!  I’ll post a preview of my dollar store treasures tomorrow.  In the meantime, I hope you have a very beadiful day!

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