One day I was doodling, and I came up with a little drawing of a bumblebee. Who doesn’t love bees? I’ve always been drawn to them. When I was little, I went to a honey farm, and the owner explained to us that a bee would rather sting itself than sting a person. He held the bee in his hand, and well, it stung him. Nonetheless, it was the start of a lifelong fascination with these industrious little creatures.
A little while ago, I finally sat down to bring my drawing to life, and the finished product came out just exactly the way I had imagined it. Except cuter, maybe. Of course, I posted a photo of my new creation on my Facebook page and in a jewelry makers’ group I belong to. People went insane for these little guys. There’s something about them that just makes people happy inside.
Sometimes I wonder about making these ‘cute’ things. When I think about my goals as a beadmaker, being the person who makes ‘cute’ things is not on my list. I think, maybe if I stopped making things with eyes on them, people would take me more seriously. I mean, don’t we all want to be taken more seriously?
Everyone who creates things probably strives to make ‘art’. I don’t hesitate to call myself an Artist, because I occasionally work in other media – drawing, painting, photography, etc. Things that are considered ‘real’ art. I went to art school, and that’s totally legit, right? As much as beadmakers like to insist – up, down and sideways – that we’re artists, the reality is that what we do is really more like fine craft. I see the term ‘artisan’ used a lot, and that seems fitting. Everyone has their own take on the art/craft debate, and I think it’s ok that we all see ourselves at different places on that spectrum. Call yourself whatever resonates for you. It’s your identity – go ahead and claim it.
There may come a day when I decide to stop making ‘cute’ things, but today is not that day. You know what? Little glass bees make people smile.
And that’s worth something.