Friday, August 19, 2011

Self portraits

Until recently I was feeling stuck in the studio. I was in a phase where I wanted desperately to make something brand new. I started thinking back to the days of art school where it was much harder to get stuck because you always had a new assignment ahead of you. I decided to play the part of my own professor and give myself an assignment. I thought immediately of the self-portrait. Of course this has been assigned and tackled in almost every art class I have ever had but never once did I ever have to to a self portrait in metal, and definitely not in jewelry. As soon as I challenged myself with this new project the familiar internal dialog began. How would I go about this? What techniques would I utilize? Would this be something I did to simply fulfill the assignment or would this be something that I would hold dear? Something I would wear?

I decided immediately to write out my self portrait. No drawing, no sketching. Just the words that make up who I am. This is the full version I came up with.


Former dancer who mourns the loss of movement and suffers terribly from wanderlust. fascinated by the sea, the capabilities of the human body and late night infomercials. Sings in the shower. In love with a Mr. fitzwilliam Darcy, so sure he smells of England and lavender. Obsessed with red hair dye, impractical shoes and the eternal quest for the perfect bra. Troubled sleeper yet still a morning person, though strong coffee is a necessity. Loves cucumbers, dogs, Elvis, archery, and kisses for no reason. Curses to much and drives too fast...always feeling late and always arriving 15 min early. Needs change for survival. Finds most things funny, feeling most particularly the real joys in life like running in the rain. Lives in sunglasses and with the hope that I will die unafraid.

Now, obviously this is impossible to wear around ones neck so editing was key. I found it tough to edit my life so I decided to break it apart instead, mixing the semi-serious with the totally ridiculous. These pieces may ring true for a lot of folks which I find so fun. Already I have sold one that said simply "unafraid" and I hope it makes her feel that way.

I found this project so interesting because it brought something to my attention that I can't believe I never noticed before. My whole creative life, I have used words in whatever it was I created. I wrote prolifically when I was younger and used it in everthing I did, whether it was a collaboration with another artist, or a multi media piece I was doing for fun. Even in dance I choreographed a whole piece set to nothing but my dancers reading my favorite childhood story and a poem I had written. How is it that I lost this over the years. Something that was so clearly important in everthing I did. This was a welcomed rediscovery for me.

What I really learned from this is sometimes you need to really stop and make something for yourself. Sometimes you need to be your own professor, you need to challenge yourself. You never know what can come out if it. Perhaps it will just clear your head. Perhaps it will make you fall in love with what you do all over again. Perhaps it will snowball into a new product line. The point is, there is nothing wrong with taking time to make art for yourself!!
"I love tall brown eyed men & nacho cheese"
-Sterling silver with gold plated accents