My kids sometimes laugh at me, that I have a poster of Bob Dylan hanging in my studio. What can I say, I am an old hippie. I continue to find inspiration in his lyrics and life. Here are 5 sources of inspiration.
"Don't Follow Leaders..."
If something I make happens to be trending, that's cool. But I don't run after what's in style. I feel there are plenty of other jewelers and jewelry makers who are happy to do that. So, there's no need for me to follow. My jewelry isn't about fashion, anyway. I try hard to make jewelry that matters - to me and to you. A memory, a story, a milestone, a mystery - they don't follow leaders, but they are what I try to include in my creations. They are what matter to me.
"When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose."
It can be liberating and an opportunity when my items aren't selling or situations change for the worse. This is when I can make big changes to my style, venue or focus. I did this in 2009, when the economy collapsed. Instead of struggling for little sales, I went to a jeweler's technical school full time and learned the trade from experts. It was one of the best things I ever did, but I never would have had the time if sales were strong. Currently, I'm in the process of making my own website a true representation of my work. Although I've been "working on my website" for years, it was the changes in policy and focus by management on the Etsy site that pushed me to stop relying on Etsy (a venue out of my control) and use my own site to sell jewelry.
"Just keep on keeping on, down the avenue..."
Some people call it The Never Ending Tour. Dylan's done a hundred tour dates a year, for the last 30 years. Plus, he has recorded 35 albums in 50 years. That is an example of consistency. My goal is to be consistent and just keep on keeping on. As I move along on the journey, the inspirations and creations come to meet me.
"May you stay, forever young.."
Young is an attitude, a way of approaching the world and one's art. It's curiosity and enthusiasm. It's exploring new techniques. This is really all I want for life. That's a wonderful blessing to wish on someone. So, let's wish it on each other.
May you (and I) stay forever young!
Are there song lyrics or a certain celebrity that inspire you? Let me know in the comments.
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
@PirateTides on Instagram