Friday, February 26, 2010

Sharpening Your Point of View

Much has been written about the value of failure. Although we cringe at that word, we learn far more about how to succeed when things go wrong than when things go right. By experiencing what doesn't work, we gain a world of knowledge about how to improve our operational methods to produce a lasting success. Failure, though frustrating, forces us to change our perspective; it pushes us not only to think outside the box, but to tip the box upside down and look at it from odd angles, leading us to moments of enlightenment. Getting stuck in the creative grind helps to sharpen our points of view.

Well, I admit, I am still waiting for that grand "aha" moment to occur in my recent crafting misadventure with glue. Yet I know that it will occur somewhere along the line if I just keep trying new vantage points while viewing my adhesion problem. I have been attempting to bring life to a few jewelry designs that combine lucite (plastic) and glass cabochons and metal settings, but I haven't been able to find a glue or epoxy that passes my durability testing. It's a sticky situation indeed...or rather, a lack of stickiness! All the most popular adhesives have failed miserably, even with proper surface preparation and curing time. Will I have to abandon my designs and shove these lovely little flower elements to the back of my crafting stash? I hope not.

I think I just need to let the project alone for awhile to give my tired brain a chance to process the gluey data. A certain period of coming unglued, pun intended, is required to let go of preconceived design ideas before new ones can assemble themselves. Very often, in the deep recesses of the night during sleep, while driving, or while in the shower, the mind has an epiphany. The curious child that still resides in those dusty mental corners comes out to play with that problematic "box," looking inside it and turning it every which way until a light bulb clicks on that illuminates an answer. Be aware, however, that the answer might not be - probably won't be, the one you expected or even desired. And you will have many interim moments of throwing your hands in the air in disgust and defeat. Don't despair! The aftereffect of creative failure and re-examination is usually a more viable concept even if it looks entirely different from your original mental picture of the project. At this point, all you are required to do is keep the box open in the back of your mind so that your inner child can come out to play.

So, for now, I have put these half-completed pieces of jewelry in a "pending box" (top open, of course) while I wait for further inspiration. I have plenty of other things to do in the meantime!

One other ingredient that helps sharpen focus on a problem is ample aesthetic input; while you are waiting for creative insight, absorb all the colors, sights, sounds, smells, words, and textures in your surroundings. You never know when one seemingly insignificant piece of data could be the one that was missing from your original design equation.

Here are some wonderful ways in which BBEST artisans help give us a little change in point of view.

A clever way of arranging items in a photograph gives a fresh impression of a wearable item.
from ByTheBy

 Open the windows to let light in, physically and symbolically.

Feeling sleepy? Wake up and smell the coffee!

 Listen to the music of your soul

Revel in the wonder of your inner child

Experience the simple pleasures of nature

Perhaps a little comfort food is needed

Wait...and then wait some patient

Prescription: Have a healthy dose of color every day

Laugh, smile, play and be joyous...tomorrow's a new day


SylvieL said...

Oh, I loved reading your post! Thank you for reminding me to trust that even a problem can be an opportunity for playful time.

barneyp510 said...

Happy to see others hae that stash of almost finished items waiting for an inpiration!

Great post!


yankeegirl said...

Oh, I can feel your frustration with your lack of stickiness! Coming back to something after walking away for awhile works wonders...good luck! Wonderful feature and thanks for including my painting!

Night Sky said...

I love this post. It can be so frustrating when you get stuck in the middle of a project... or even before you start. Somehow it helps to know that everyone has these moments! You chose wonderful pieces to highlight with this article. They all made me look, and then look again!

Julie G. said...

Clever blog and collection.

ZudaGay said...

Great post, Liv, thank you so much!! I am sure it is a problem we all experience once in a while. I hope you can find a solution to your unsticky dilemma.

Myfanwy said...

What a timely post. I'm having problems with glue too! However, mine is to do with paper and fabric. The one that was recommended won't dry! I've been waiting for three days, so far, and think I'll just have to give up. I've only used a tiny amount too!

Lovely collection of examples.

Brett Ward said...

Ahhh, great post! Knowing your "stick-to-it-ness" you will find the answer!

Thanks for using my "Espera" piece in your post!

Attack of the Vintage said...

Perfect timing for this post. I put a project away for 2 + years and yesterday I took it out again. Still wasn't feeling anything for it until I turned it over. The back became the front and it all came together. Not my usual style either, I am loving it. Can't wait until it is completely done.
Thanks for including my milk and cookies postcard in this post..BTW it sold today:)

Jill said...

Great post- relevant to our art projects and our lives. Thank you.

MagdaleneJewels said...

Try, try, try again! We do always learn from our mistakes, that is what life is all about.
Also, I use this great glue (100x better than epoxy) for glueing on jewels - called zap-a-gap. I use it when I am putting some crystals on costumes for our theater group - never lost a crystal yet. It sticks immediately - if you are interested let me know and I will convo you will you can get it.

Sixsisters said...

Great blog topic. Thanks for the post Liv.

Judy Nolan said...

It is so true that you have to step back and reflect when things you attempt don't quite work out. Often this leads to serendipitous discoveries! Wonderful post...I like how you tied in everyone's products.

Pam said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful post that reminds each of us that we can learn from our experiences whether positive or negative. Loved reading it, and your choices of team member selections is wonderful!