This week's blog was written by mosaic jewelry artist June Martin of MOTH & TWIG.
As a mosaic jewelry artist who sells at various venues including Artistic Portland, I find I am often trying to keep a balance between staying on top of trends while also satisfying my need to create art that stimulates me. For example, I love working with certain color palettes such as turquoise, orange, and ocher. I call this my Mediterranean palette and find myself gravitating toward this palette often because, well, simply put, the combination of those colors makes me feel happy!
Perhaps it's selfish of me to create art that makes me feel good rather than focus predominantly on trends or what other people fancy. For this reason, I try to find a balance between what I love to create and current color and shape trends, though admittedly, I tend to lean toward the former.
To be fair, I tried an experiment about a year ago where I focused on creating mosaic jewelry pieces that aligned closer to then current jewelry trends. I created pieces that did not bring me much joy. The color palettes, though on trend, did not excite me while I was creating them and some of the bezel shapes seemed too trendy to me. In short, I did not stay true to myself. I veered too far to the "trendy side" and lost my voice in the process. Not surprisingly, these pieces did not sell for quite some time. One of them in fact was stolen at a show! Though I normally feel a loss when one of my babies, er, I mean, pieces is stolen, in this case I remember thinking "good riddance!" I was happy that the thief did not have very good taste!
The moral of this story, at least from my perspective, is that I need to stay true to my design aesthetic while occasionally tempering this with trends. I have learned that if I experience joy while creating a piece, that joy will shine through, thus hopefully making the piece intriguing to others, while if I create a piece that feels commercial and uninspired, that piece languishes, longing for a home.