Thursday, September 17, 2009

Creativity vs. Production

by Betsy of Stonehouse Studio

One of the conundrums in the life of a full time studio artist is finding the balance between creative work and production work. As artists, we have a million ideas swimming around in our heads that beg to be expressed in our medium of choice. From a business standpoint, though, we know that we have to manage our time and creativity if we want to pay the mortgage.

Production work is a necessary evil. It simply doesn't make sense, from a business perspective, to only create one of a kind, labor intensive pieces. Not to mention having to photograph and list each and every piece! But I still have a problem with repetitive work. I may start out with every intention of making ten pairs of the same earrings, but find that I'll start changing things up after making just two or three pairs. One way I control this tendency is by making the same design in different colorways - varying the colors relieves the tedium of making the same thing over and over. Another way is to work in limited editions - I find it keeps craftsmanship and creativity in high gear because I know that I'll soon move on to a fresh, new design.

And, yes, we all have tasks that are real yawners. Do these at times when you're not feeling particularly creative or when you have an hour or two in between other projects. Making earwires, for example, bores the heck out of me. So I make them while at shows. It's work that requires limited tools and space and helps pass the time between customers.

Finally, it's important to set aside some time every week to simply play, experiment and create just for the sake of creating. It relaxes and energizes at the same time and preps you for all that production work on your to-do list!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...