3.24.2008

Accounting for Taste

Barry had to work all day yesterday, so I spent Easter with my tools and beads, putting together several more necklaces. While it wouldn't have been my first choice of what to do to celebrate the holiday, I actually really enjoyed myself - mostly, I think, because my personal taste is really in line with these pieces (all of which are in the sulu-design etsy shop now - click images for direct links).


I've been thinking a lot lately about the role of my personal taste and how it affects the designs I offer here. While I would and do wear many of the designs I create, there are several pieces that I've made that just aren't very me. I wonder where those pieces come from - why something that doesn't suit my style would come from my hands. It's not as if I'm intentionally making pieces that I know will appeal to the masses for the sake of making a buck - I don't have the time, energy, or interest for that. Some of these not-quite-me pieces just seem to surface: I'll start off making something that I think will appeal to me, and then something entirely different rolls off my fingers.
I've sometimes thought that it might be disingenuous for me to design and sell jewelry that isn't in line with my personal taste. I wonder if the pieces that I make give people an impression about who I am. If they do, am I putting out a false impression of myself when I post those pieces that don't suit my own taste? And I wonder, fellow crafters, do you often create things that aren't very you? I'm not talking here about projects in which a mistake has been made, but projects that for some reason just don't convey your own personal sense of style in the end. How do you feel about those? Where do you think they come from? Any thoughts on this?
Wishing you all a lovely week...

23 comments:

christina said...

Ooooh, these are great pieces!

Carol Emma said...

Oh yes, happens to me all the time.
I've made some things I personally didn't like at all and wondered if I should even put them out there. Then along comes someone who falls in love with it and is sure I must have made it just for her! (And maybe I did - who knows).
I figure every piece I offer up will find its rightful owner, and she just may have different taste than me.
It's all good :)

beki said...

I don't know, I do the same thing. Sometimes I start off making something that I think is me, but once it's completed I realize that I was way off. I usually sell them because really, they're not me! I figure someone will like them. I wonder where that comes from, it's a thought I've often pondered.

Patty said...

it's happened to me too but can't really find out why... probably meant for someone else :-)

Dog Gone said...

oh yes, I definitely create things that aren't exactly me. I'm inspired by many different things- a dress in a vintage shop or something in a magazine, a building, another person's design or just a shock of color. It's both the process & the inspiration that drives me to create. It's a part of me even though I don't see myself wearing it or using it in my home. Maybe it's a fantasy part of me.
Love the new pieces-they're a bit elegant, industrial, rich hippie. Perfect for the times.

ambika said...

With sewn goods, I think most of the time they are things I have a hard time parting with because they're *so* me. Only having more purses than I could possibly use keeps me from hanging on to them.

With jewelry, I think so often it's about a juxtaposition of colors and experimenting with that--and shapes, too, obviously. And often while it's something that isn't me, it still pleases me aesthetically.

Wende said...

Belated Easter Wishes, Susan.

Thanks again for the comment. I'm finally back and making the rounds. OY! I have so much back reading to do... but you've been busy. Good for you. My store is languishing---can we say "not motivated?" Hee.

april said...

I think that the pieces that you've posted recently that are more your taste, seem more exciting somehow. Maybe its the way you're photographing them, or the fact that you are sending out the "I LOVE THESE" vibe, or something that connects what we know about you from your blog with what you are creating, but they DO seem more personal, and I think that resonates with people.

I love jewelry! I hardly ever wear it in real life, but that doesn't stop me from making it! I feel that my tastes are so varied that its kind of hard to pinpoint a specific style with me, but I know what I like. Sometimes I feel like I have to hold back and edit my thoughts as to not seem like a total psycho-jeweler!

Chickenbells said...

I often buy things for Snap Snap that don't necessarily reflect my own taste, but reflect what I want in the shop. I think that your jewelry is so sophisticated and modern looking, and each piece seems to reflect that in it's entirety...which in turn, reflects the little glimpses that you've given us of yourself. I figure each time I make something to sell, if I loved it so much, it would be hard for me to let it pass onto someone else.

OfTroy said...

I knit hats all the time..

I never wear hats.

I knit scarves all the time

I rarely wear scarves.

I knit sock (and i wear them)

but not the orange ones (they are beautiful, but Orange? i have no orange clothing.. i never wear orange...

If i only knit what i like, how boring that would be!

Things can be beautiful, and not to your taste. Creativity is about breaking out--and sometime what breaks out isn't all what you expect!

elegantmusings said...

Firstly, these new pieces are lovely!! :)

I occasionally make a foray into a realm that isn't quite my "normal look" when creating things. So you aren't the only one! I think its a subconscious urge to explore and try new things. I'm convinced that as creative-types we are always absorbing information, and sometimes these things come to the surface inadvertently. I don't think there is anything "wrong" or "untrue" when you deviate a wee bit from your established "look". ;)

abbyjane said...

My necklaces came today and they are so perfect. Thank you!

This phenomenon you describe happens to me from time to time. I end up hating those pieces, feeling like I can never accept them, but I have come to see that other people often love them. It always surprises me.

house on hill road said...

yes. i do that all the time. and the things that aren't "me" get gifted. i have kept very little of my handmade goodies for myself. the things i do keep are my favorites, though.

love these necklaces, by the way. my necklace collection is the biggest part of my jewelry wardrobe.

c.rachel said...

I haven't made as many pieces as you [of any one thing] so I feel I don't have quite enough experience to give a good input.
But,...I will anyway. =)

You make your jewelry with beads you've purchased so there must have been some attraction or draw to each of them initially,...even if the final product might not suit your style? No?

I like how you put it..."rolls off [your] fingers." Sometimes one's creativity is hard to control and sometimes you just let it roll. Perhaps what you think isn't your style is part of refining your style.

pricklypearbloom said...

Sometimes, yes. I think it has to do with experimentation, stretching, trying to grow, taking risks. And when you do that and it doesn't work out for whatever reason, which happens, we all know it happens, I think those are the pieces that you look back on and think, "where did that come from? That's totally not me." When that happens to me I try to just accept it as a casualty of the process of growing and moving as an artist. I think it's completely natural.

design for mankind. said...

SHUT UP---- this jewelry is FANTASTIC!!! :) Oooooh, I'm feeling a product of the day coming on! :)

Jodi said...

Yes! the jewelry I design is very elegant with lots of jewels and sparkle. I especially like working in gold. You'de never guess it to look at me though! Jeans and a tee shirt are my staple wardrobe and I wear very little jewelry myself. I've often wondered why this is the jewelry that emerges from my design subconsious? I don't have an answer for it...I'm not attached to anything I design. Once the idea is formed and the design is created with my hands I'm busy thinking about the next idea. I get the most thrill from seeing my designs on other people. I especially love designing pieces for people I know. Very little that I design and create is what I would call "me"....I think it's ok to design things that aren't exactly your own taste. It shows and openess and interest in other aspects of the design realm.

Erin said...

Very interesting subject Susan. I must admit I really thought your jewelery was a reflection of you and your tastes. In my mind I envision what you look like by all the things that you have created. Perhaps that sounds weird. I would be curious to see what pieces aren't you.

That being said when I sew I only sew what I like. I am a perfectionist and if I don't like it I assume no one else would either so I usually chuck it. However, knitting is a completely different story. When I knit I always knit with other people in mind, their likes and dislikes. I don't think I have ever knit anything for myself. Not that I don't like what I knit, but it's just not really my style to wear a scarf.

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Michelle said...

Glad you had a nice Easter. I was just pondering this yesterday. The easiest, simplest print I have made is the best selling, most attention grabbing, and I didn't think it was great at all, in fact, it kinda burned me to send it along...and people love it! I think that when you are creating, you just loose yourself in the process, and even if you wouldn't wear what you make, it doesn't mean that it doesn't come from you own personal sense of asthetic, I think that is half the fun, just going with the flow and then looking at what is left and saying, wow, I made that? I can tell you, the painting I have in my brain when I start is not the one I finish with, never ever ever. Plus, I like your stuff, so I might be kinda biased

mariss said...

I agree with what Dog Gone and OfTroy said. I think with your jewelry, it all goes together in a cohesive series or whatever you want to call it. Even if you use entirely different beads or materials, for the most part you stay true to your style (as perceived by me).

Creating can be a very organic process, and I do love seeing a finished product result from a totally different concept. Also, since they are smaller products, you have the opportunity to try something new with those creations.

I agree with whomever said it's another part that maybe likes something that you may not think is really your style. Perhaps your id is sneaking in ;)

amandajean said...

there is such good discussion on an interesting topic! I make things that aren't "me" sometimes....but usually I do it for someone else and geared for their tastes. those projects usually are more challenging because they don't feel as natural to work on...but I think it's a good stretch, creatively speaking. I wish that my personal style was a bit (or a lot) more defined than it is. and maybe it is but I just can't see it because I am too close to it?

I think that sometimes those things that come out in our work that aren't necessarily us do come out subconsciously.

There is one more part of this topic...about how I need to prepare myself to part with my quilts from the beginning of the entire process....otherwise I would never be able to part with any of them. I have attachment issues with many of them. :) but i am getting better. (boy, this is going to have me thinking all day long!)

amisha said...

so interesting to read this, and the other comments... i definitely have that happen from time to time. it is like something in the process is beyond my conscious control... i feel like it is good for growth and experimentation, and helps me figure out the dimensions of my taste, if that makes sense.
hugs to you! xox