other artists. One of those communities, Jennibellie's Journal Workshops, holds an "art bash" once a year in which people from around the world work on projects together, We chat online and sharing progress pictures of our work throughout the day. I've also held an art party at home where some of my friends joined me to paint and socialize (I'll admit we didn't make a lot of progress on that day as the socializing took over a little!).
In my jewellery sadly I am a little more isolated. Working alone in my tiny studio I can see very clearly how that isolation has affected my motivation and how I work. When I was in college we had an ideal environment. For three years I worked in this lovely bubble of creativity, working, eating and socializing with other jewellery artists. We admired each other's work, shared advice, problem solved and commiserated. It was a beautiful melting pot of inspiration and one I miss dearly. I manage to keep a spark of that atmosphere alive by keeping in touch with those friends I made in school and new friends I meet at shows and galleries. In a way I'm creating my own community to satisfy that need for connection.
If you are an artistic/creative person and you are struggling to create I recommend you find a community to join. Art can often be a very personal thing that you create for yourself but in it's very nature is meant to be shared. I'm finding it's often much better to create with a friend.
like this I often take the inspiration for the final piece from the stone itself. In this instance the lines of colour flowing across the stone filled my head with fused wires, and the tan and gray colours brought to mind gold and silver all of which easily culminated in this primitive yet delicate piece.
Other times it can be as simple as a shape that can catch my fancy. One of my favourite artists, Melissa Peacock, is a wonderful watercolour and mixed media artist. Melissa often uses triangles in her artwork and inspired this new line of wirework I am experimenting with.
A final area of inspiration I'll share with you is one that in some ways is so obvious we don't even realize it is a major source ideas - my own work! Sometimes you come up with an idea so good that it can be explored over and over again. Nothing illustrates that more than my work in wood. All of my wood pieces can be tied back to one piece in particular: my large Cocobolo and Turquoise Neckpiece.
Every piece I have made combining turquoise and cocobolo has been inspired by the beautiful colour pairing I discovered with that first piece back in my final year of college. Looking at another aspect, every wood pendant with raised silver inlay was inspired by the way I left the turquoise and silver only half embedded in the wood.
Inspiration can be found in every aspect of the world around us as long as you are ready and willing to grab hold of it when it taps you on the shoulder! I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into my own journey with some of these pieces and I've been able to grant you a little inspiration as well.
Valerie Lynn Yamashita
A native of Southern Ontario, Valerie has spent most of her life in pursuit of various forms of artistry including: sewing, knitting, paper craft and photography however it is her passion for jewellery which has ruled the day. This passion has lead to the creation of Valerie Lynn Designs, a business aimed to share Valerie's love of wearable art to the world.