Tuesday, July 20, 2010

balancing work and play the DIY way

i have recently fallen in love with scoutie girl's amazingly engaging blog, especially her series on growing your business/family/life/garden which features great playing in the dirt metaphors. readers are encouraged to take the plunge past the research stage of a self-taught skill and get down to the dirty business of growing creatively. tara of scoutie girl is talking my language...risk, innovation, just taking a running leap over the edge of known territory.
but isn't it easy to loose that playful enthusiasm for experimentation when creativity is mixed with money? can work and play happily coexist? the stark fact that i am beholden to the books can mess with my ability to let go and get dirty. truthfully, the $ aspect can introduce a sense of fear into the way i think about stretching my own creative boundaries.
all of my public work right now is self taught and i sometimes find the need to remind myself to trust in my prior learning and life experience. from pro classical dancer to water conservation officer to waitress and everything imaginable in between, its all valuable and it all applies. i try my best to to use every resource that i've already invested in without fear or apprehension and to believe in my ability to reinvest wisely into my business. nothing ventured, nothing gained, whatsoever. and i am so thankful for all of the support that i've gotten along the way. thank you too, dear reader.
i think that self-taught can often equate to high risk because you are in effect transferring what you would pay for an accredited education into a *much* higher investment of time, higher potential for mistakes, lessons learned in practice rather than theory and no outside authority to direct learning outcomes - just little old you. if you are running a business, this method is a huge responsibility to take on but oh so very rewarding in the end. self reliance feeds back into the business/family/life/garden that build our most treasured experiences.

photo credit 1/2/3/4

are you self-taught? how do you balance your learning and practice? do you feel that work and play can happily coexist?


  1. I am self taught in 2 out of 3 of my businesses and find myself sometimes downplaying my work and feeling like a fraud because i have no education or training in jewelry design, compounded to that i feel more like a jewelry assemble than designer because though i do design and assemble my creations i do not create the components. i dont make my own beads or smelt silver, i purchase components and artfully arrange them in a visually pleasing way. i feel like this puts me in a lesser league than someone who solders and moulds and work with metals.

    Traditionally I make earrings that I love, and that used to be things on the bigger flashier side, then I would make a few less flashy smaller things because that seemed to be more what the market wanted. Now having online businesses and trying to make some real money at it I have to try and remove myself from the equation and analyze the market and current trends and try to adapt accordingly and just hope I dont come in too late. THIS i fear will lead to a stifling of not only creativity but also my individuality and personality in work... I just hope that as I adapt to market demands I am able to find a way to make it my own and be both creative AND profitable.... the ultimate dream for all crafters and artisans I suppose.

  2. hello and thanks for stopping in! e, i really love your jewelry and i see that you have plenty of passion, talent and skill. i think that if ever you had the desire to learn to solder and mold, the world is your oyster! for a $65.00 investment ($30.00 for the micro-torch and fuel, $10.00 for silver solder and $15.00 for silver wire $10.00 for the soldering pad) you can get your feet wet and feel good about charging more for your creations. i like the cool tools website for their video tutorials.

    i think that identifying your ideal client is totally important, as well as finding out what your market really wants from you...but removing yourself and what you love from the equation entirely sounds like taking one step away from really owning your work. i think that you have the potential to set the next trend if you really made that your goal.

    i've held your work in my hands and would recommend it any day.

    all the best,



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