I think the most difficult part of being a creative designer, is having to come up with a constant flow of ideas in order to keep your business going and your customers happy. If we compare the work of a creative jewelry designer with that of a novelist, at least as far as ideas go, a novelist needs to come up with a great idea for a book every few years, a creative jewelry maker needs to come up with great new ideas almost on a daily basis.I’ve been designing and selling jewelry for many years and have had to face the difficulty of running out of new ideas more than once. If you think simply recycling your work is the answer, I beg to differ. Every time I was on a dry spell and have tried this, sales have gone down. Clients can feel when you are enthusiastic about your work; this is something that’s impossible to fake.If we continue to the million dollar question: where do you get creative ideas and what do you do when it seems you’ve run out?
Knowing Where to Look
We live in a world that is mostly man made. This basically means that most of the things surrounding us are designed. It also means that you are constantly surrounded by design ideas. Everything, from the chair I am currently sitting on to write this article, to the trees lining the street I see outside my window is hiding a wealth of design ideas. When I was a young designer I used to carry a sketching book with me and constantly draw everything around me. The shapes and design elements in everything you see around you hide an almost infinite number of ideas.
Doing the Research
A lot of young jewelry designers want to rush to the workshop and re-invent the field without being familiar enough with the history of design in general and the history of jewelry design in particular. Researching and learning the history of design will almost guarantee never running out of ideas. Take for example ancient Egyptian jewelry making. Just studying this one era can give you hundreds of good ideas. The art of ancient Greece, mediaeval design and architecture, art nouveau and surrealism, just to name a few eras and styles, all have a wealth of ideas that can keep your creative well full.Constantly looking around you to look for new ideas, sketching and researching, when all those are combined with inner introspection and creative ingenuity, these will guarantee the birth of a successful design idea.