the agony and the ecstasy

I think that one of the most challenging things about being an artist is pushing yourself to come up with things that are original… things that feel like they are uniquely ‘yours’… things that no one else is doing in quite the same way. It’s the greatest feeling when you make something that you haven’t seen before. For a few days, you feel like a total genius. Then, you figure out that someone else has already done it, and your happy little bubble bursts.

I did some experimenting with headpins last night, manipulating the part that is embedded into the glass – bending and balling up the copper wire. I’m sure there are people out there who’ve already thought about doing this, but they’re new to me, and they genuinely came from the recesses of my creative brain without any outside influence, so I’m pretty stoked about that.

Headpin experiments

It’s kind of tricky business when you see someone else doing the same thing you’ve really, truly, come up with on your own. There is a lot of synchronicity in the creative world, and people DO come up with the same thing at the same time. You see that a lot in the world of science. But in that case, he (or she) who publishes first gets the credit. He (or she) who gets ‘scooped’ usually abandons years of work because it’s not ‘theirs’ anymore. In art, maybe there is room for all of us. I’d like to think so.

If you know in your heart of hearts that you came up with the idea on your own, don’t you think you should go for it – even if there’s something else like it out there??

Back to the experimental headpins. If you’ve seen this before, don’t tell me.

I’m still feeling like a genius.

Although it feels good to strive for something new, the creative process benefits a lot from finding things in others’ work that inspire you, and incorporating those elements into your own stuff. Here’s a refreshing – and generous – take on that issue, that Fanciful Devices posted in her blog sidebar:

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 11.31.07 AM

Nice way to look at it, don’t you think?


6 thoughts on “the agony and the ecstasy

  1. Oh man, yes I know of what you speak of! Both in research and in art. In research I’d find that if I looked a bit further, I’d find that the thing I thought was exactly the same wasn’t the same at all, or we were approaching the same problem from different ways and there was room to co-exist. (Admittedly, my field is not a lab science, I know that works differently and people do have to give up experiments and such.) On the creative side, no one will create something with your unique perspective, so it’s always worth doing, even if you find out someone else is doing it before. Words are feeling unwieldy today, so I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense.
    With that said, I’ve never seen anyone do those things with headpins, and I’m fascinated by them! I can’t wait to see where you take it! 😀

  2. True joy in discovery deserves praise, encouragement and recognition! The world would be a better place if sharing ideas and collaboration was the norm. Together is powerful!

    • YES – I totally agree, Rebecca!!!!! I’ve been running into it a lot with my amulet necklaces. I’ll think of a way to connect a stone, or wrap something with thread, or wire, and think, YAY, I did it!!! I’m so clever. And then I’ll inevitably see that someone else has done virtually the same thing. My heart sinks for a moment, and then I think, no, you know what? This came from my imagination, and my hands, and it deserves to be expressed. As for the fact that it feels like everything in the world has been done already – well, yes – people have been making amulets since the dawn of time. So…. duh. Yet, we all have a unique voice and that comes out in our work. I read this somewhere and absolutely adored it: ‘Your essence can never be duplicated’. And I think that is true x 1,000,000. xo

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