One of the most interesting phenomenons of recent years is the rise of popular jewelry websites. Such websites allow users that visit them to take an active part in the design work and choose various elements such as color, material and design. As someone who’s been in the jewelry business for many years, this strikes me as something quite revolutionary. This may represent the humble beginning of a complete change in the way jewelry will be created, as far as consumer involvement is concerned. In the future, designers may involve potential buyers in all creative stages of their work. Personally, I see great promise in this trend, but there are some legitimate concerns that have been voices, pointing the danger of popularizing the creative fields to death.
The Positive Side of Consumer Involvement
We may be in the beginning of an era that will get us to the point where creative artists and the people that consume their art and design will be inseparable. Work will be done by demand and with full cooperation. Consumers will be able to get exactly what they wanted and creative artists will sell almost every piece they are working on and be sure of the consumer’s complete satisfaction. Why limit this trend to jewelry? Paintings, sculpture, even novels can be created in a democratic online environment that involves everyone in the creative process. A lot of artists and designers have already began to work this way, if once we worked in the shadows, hoping that eventually someone will like our work, today we know in less than a day how many people like what we’ve created.
The Negative Side
If you’ve ever studied art or design then you know that popular doesn’t always mean creatively good. The new trend that gives artists immediate feedback and allow consumer involvement may prevent them from developing their style and creative abilities. If someone created crappy art and is able to sell much more of it than the good creative stuff he comes up with, in most cases he will abandon his creative quest and just try to make a living. Although I share some of the concerns, I tend to trust people’s judgment, especially when it comes to creative arts such as jewelry. A mature artist will know how to receive feedback, when to use it and when to ignore it.Whatever your opinion, the wheels are already turning and this creative revolution is already taking place. It will be interesting to see where it leads us and how deep its influence will be.
Doron Heifetz is a professional creative jeweler and the owner of the popular jewelry website My Monogram Necklace.