"The artist has only to remain true to his dream
and it will possess his work in such a manner
that it will resemble the work of no other ...
for no two visions are alike,
and those who reach the heights
have all toiled up steep mountains
by a different route."
― Albert Pinkham Ryder
When I saw Melanie's recent post about her bike necklace in BeadStyle,
reminded of the bicycle necklace I'd made for Easy Wire earlier this year. This wasn't some grand conspiracy we planned. ("Let's take over the beading magazine world with bicycle necklaces!") I had no idea about Melanie's necklace and I'm sure she had no idea about mine.
It's a great example of how two artists can take some of the same or very similar elements and create pieces with very different looks.
We both used Melanie's Earthenwood Studio handmade porcelain bicycle pendants, Tim Holtz gears, and chain, but that's where the similarities end. Melanie's necklace is much more playful with red chain, bright bottle cap beads, and some of her handmade gear beads. For mine, I tried to add some edginess with gunmetal elements, including the cool bicycle chain. Even if you're not familiar with our previous works, there is no way you'd feel confused. The necklaces were clearly created by different designers and evoke totally different moods.
You posses a unique voice and vision; no one can do what you do. (I'm not talking about copycats. That's another topic altogether.) I'm talking about artists I know who worry about being original, the ones who say, "I love working in polymer clay, but there are so many great bead makers already" or "There's so much turquoise jewelry being sold now, maybe I shouldn't make any even though it's my favorite gemstone." You can use the same beads and same basic techniques as other designers and still make something that has your special touch. Think about your favorite authors who write in English; they all work within the limits of the exact same 26 letters. Only you can do what you do.
Quotation source: Goodreads. I love the part of this quote about remaining true to your dream. I know that's when I get into trouble as a designer, thinking "I should be more ____ like ___." Trying to be someone else never works!