Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Sketchy New Year

For the first forty-some-odd years of my life, I considered myself the least creative person on the planet.  Give me a pattern any day and I’d happily follow it.  But ask me to design something unique and I was hopeless.

It turns out that as I gradually became more proficient at a wide variety of beading techniques, a tiny spark of creativity was born in my soul.  Continuing to strengthen my technical skills fanned that spark into a little flame, and eventually I found my muse.  She’s an irreverent witch, and I’m quite sure she finds it hilarious that I no longer have nearly enough hours in the day to implement the designs she suggests.
Can you believe that this sketch is supposed to represent...

Out of sheer desperation, I began “sketching” design ideas.  I even bought myself a sketchbook, a few decent pencils, and a couple of those step-by-step drawing books.  I suppose I hoped that I’d be able to go from sketching a cylinder to drawing a horse in mid-gallop in three easy lessons.  After all, that’s what the books seem to suggest I should be able to do.  Boy, oh boy, were they wrong!
This sketch is meant to represent the wreath earrings below.
Christmas Wreath earrings (Swarovski crystal, Miyuki 11/0 seed beads, sterling silver)
My “sketches” are stick-figure simple with lots of text added to explain details that I’m not skilled enough to illustrate.  It gets the job done.  Sort of.  But it sure is embarrassing when I want to show someone else a design idea.  They’re usually polite enough not to guffaw too loudly, but I know it’s not easy!  And my ultra-simple “sketches” don’t give me any sense at all whether the design is worth implementing.  I don’t even get the most basic feedback, such as whether a piece is well balanced.

A design idea that came to me as I was shopping at today.
Last week, as I was catching up on my blog reading, I found that a very talented jewelry designer, Jeannie Dukic, is generously offering to share her expertise with those of us who are somewhat drawing-challenged.  Jeannie’s Drawing Lab will be 52 weeks of baby steps that “help you to see drawing as a pleasurable activity rather than as an opportunity to beat yourself up.”  Does that sound like me, or what?

Each week, Jeannie will e-mail an assignment to her students, giving us until Sunday to complete it.  We’ll share our scratches, er, sketches on a Flickr group.  It’ll be fun to see the progression of talent as Jeannie works her magic on us.  And even more fun is the group of jewelry artists who’ve already registered for the workshop.

*sigh*  I sure wish I could sketch like Jeannie does!!!
I’m really looking forward to the Drawing Lab, and was amazed that Jeannie’s got it priced at only $30 through December 24, then $35 thereafter.  That’s what, something like 58 cents per lesson?  Call me sold!

If you’re interested in joining the fun, head over to Jeannie’s blog here.  And in the meantime, I hope you have a very happy Christmas and many blessings in the new year to come!


  1. Those wreaths are awesome!

    I am one of those people that can't do a sketch. I just wing it. I wish I COULD have a vision and go. I guess that's why I don't feel like I'm truly creative.

  2. Can't wait to do this along with you! I think that this will only improve my designing if I can actually think on paper. And how fun will it be to have the support of each other in this amazing community? See you in the drawing lab soon!
    Enjoy the day!

  3. In there with you! Can't wait to start this experience. Meryy Christmas and happy New Year to you and your family!

  4. Your wreath earrings are absolutely gorgeous

  5. Lori, you're kidding, right??? Girlfriend, you just ooze creativity, so methinks mebbe you bettah add to your New Year's Resolutions: 1. I will think of myself as a truly creative person.

  6. Yeli and Lori, those wreath earrings are easy-peasy. If you're even marginally comfortable with cross-needle weave (also called cross-weave and double-needle RAW), you can stitch up a pair in half an hour or so. I don't have the instructions written up formally, but recently documented the instructions for the matching bracelet, which is easily adapted to make the wreaths. Just send me an e-mail if you'd like to be my guinea pigs for trying out the instructions.

  7. Thanks Lisa for posting this. I don't know about the "very talented" jewelry designer, but I do design jewelry.

    Now about your jewelry sketches, NOT BAD, not bad at all. You got skills girl.
    I think I'm more excited than my students. Really, Truly!

    You'll be receiving your first assignment soon, so sharpen all your graphite pencils and clear off your table.


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