“The buzzard shrieked. I located her not far away from me just over the cherry orchard and I followed her flight. In wide circles she spiraled up to the clouds. Sometimes she had to flap her wings to get back into the rising air, which she managed to do beautifully. Higher and higher she soared and her uncanny yell stirred something in me. The buzzard didn’t go up all by herself I noticed. She cleverly used the updraft to climb higher.”
As a creative you want to make a product that has a meaningful connection with the world. You also want to earn money with your product without getting too overwhelmed with all the tasks of managing your creative business. I located 5 areas that will help you to recognise where the updraft is that lifts your creative work to the next level. Awareness of the levels and active research helped me to find my personal power and I would like to share my experience with you.
When I started my creative business in 2005, De Zilveren Akelei, I had a desire to incorporate “jewellery” back into my life. To combine web-design and jewellery making, two skills I have, seemed like a good plan. Luck was with me and I could earn most of my money with web-design work while I created different collections of jewellery. It was a playful time where I discovered Metal Clay and dove right into the exploration of this new material.
In 2010 I started to be a bit uncomfortable. I made several jewellery collections, did some shows but my jewellery didn’t sell like I thought it would. For the first time I questioned my work and skills in selling.
This led to a period of searching on sites, attending workshops and reading books to try to clear my block. I found the solution by staying close to myself. Contemplating on how important my personality was for creating my work, I found the first updraft to focus on.
1 Personality: Search for roots
“Who am I?”, “Where do I live?” and “What is important to me?” were a few of the questions that I had to answer. Intuitively I got back to my major inspiration source for help. I made a series of pictures called “Abundance of Nature” in the place where I live. I realised how important nature was for me and that I always could go back to her.
Observing my jewellery work, which I made in the first period, I discovered that the collections gave me clues as well. My Earth series, a gold and silver translation of furrows and ridges, visualise the connection I have with the earth. The Inner Stars were designed, to express that everybody is unique. I was finally seeing it in myself.
The moment I figured out that my own personality is major element in designing my work I felt lifted to a higher level.
2 Structure: Find a way out of the chaos
All this happened very unconsciously. I needed more structure so that I could see what I was doing. I began to look into time management systems to see how I could organize the several projects that I was working on, because I was feeling pretty overwhelmed at that time.
I had to get the chaos in my head organised. It was not something easily done for me, till now it is a struggle to incorporate it. Through observation of my daily rhythm I found a way to structure my chaos in an acceptable way. Again I was on an updraft, seeing more clearly what I was doing.
3 Ideas & Materials: Plant the seeds
With this clarity I delved into the ideas and materials I was using. Where did I get my ideas from? And why did I want to use that particular material, in my case Metal Clay, to express my ideas? Understanding my motives is a quest I am still pursuing today. It is a very active and satisfying process and it led me to the next level.
4 The Work: Let it grow
So I had established my structure, knew where I was rooted and what I wanted to tell. Now it was time to work.
The main goal was to achieve a method to be more productive while I kept the openness of play. In using “process as a design tool” I found the path of playful working being true to my inner beliefs. Yes, I can fly that way, work is for me the best part.
5 Harvest: Collect the fruits
I develop myself through working. Actually that is the biggest reward. But to be able to make a living I have to sell it as well.
For that I need to have a harvest system in place. All I was doing had to be captured in a system that would help me to earn money from the products I made. Certain systems worked better than others. For me a pressing deadline for an exhibition helps to finish my products for the market.
It is the recognition of all my work when I sell a piece to a customer.
How the 5 ‘updrafts’ will help you.
This post is the first in a series where I am going to tell more in detail about the 5 updraft forces. It will provide you with a framework that can help you understand the work processes that you as a creator have. In taking yourself seriously and investing in the different levels you will come up with a line of work that is coherent. People will be attracted to your work because of your personal style & the methods that you bring to the table.
Here a short overview what we will cover in the next 5 posts:
Ways to find yourself and places to look for.
Observing your daily rhythm and using this information to make your personal method to organize your creative life.
- Ideas & Materials
How to capture your ideas & what to do with them.
It’s just a material.
- The Work
Using process as design tool
how to have fun while working.
Turning your work into products and why it’s so important.
“The buzzard was now high up in the sky, the world was at her feet. I could hear her screaming with joy. Then she swiftly glided away to a nearby forest …”
Next time the first level: Personality.