It's funny how motivation works...or doesn't. I've been out of college for almost 7 years. I wanted to get into a position where I would be able to become a great goldsmith and designer. I have, I feel, accomplished part one of this goal. I am an excellent goldsmith, with followers still in Iowa, and "regulars" within a week or two of having arrived in Missoula. I know how not to design my art, now I just need to know how to get started.
It comes in spurts. A dream, a vision in a cloud, a tree root that catches my eye. I think I've become my own worst critic. Nothing is good enough to go into my journal, and if it does make it there, it has to be perfect. This is exhausting, both artistically and emotionally. I find myself giving up before I even start. Not to mention that I work in gold only, and with the markets being as high as they are, I just can't afford to make my designs a reality.
I am motivated more here in Missoula than I was back in Iowa. I have already done almost a dozen one of a kind items in the seven months I've been here. That is about three times the amount I would do in a year in Iowa. Perhaps it is because I have less competition here in Montana. Or better sales people. What ever the reason, it has gotten me carving wax again, and I love it.
I've entered one design contest...back in 2003. Which I won an award for my entry. Last week I entered Iowa State University's 30th Anniversary exhibition. It was an easy choice as what to enter. A ring that I designed while on the River Walk in San Antonio five years ago, and the pendant that I entered in the above mentioned contest. They are by far my favorites. It will be several weeks before I know if I've claimed a spot in the show, but I am feeling motivated to make new pieces.
A couple years ago, I made a goal of entering at least five designs into my journal every month. My new goal is to make two items every month. Perhaps not in gold, but at least to carve the wax and save it for later would be a good start. As long as I am designing again, I think I will be able to cope with fixing other designer's pieces, because, eventually, it will be another jeweler doing maintenance on my piece.