We all start somewhere.
Like dry sponges, we soak up everything that's put before us. We wrestle with techniques and diligently practice, practice, practice.
Starting anything is a journey where we are inspired by someone or something. We emulate someone while learning the basics... while the world watches.
Back in late 1998 I saw lampwork beads on eBay that piqued my curiosity. I searched online for resources about lampworking. I eventually ended up on Sundance's site - making lists of what I'd need to get started.
After devouring Sundance's site - I found a hidden reward link they'd posted that went something like this:
I ordered the kit and was soon on my way. It consisted of a small fiber blanket, release, mandrels and a few shorts of glass. I added a plumbers' torch from the local hardware and I was on my way. The oxygen deprived flame scorched and muddied most of the opaque colors - but even so, I knew I was hooked! I kept a blog for awhile where I posted images of my work's progression... take a look here: JillSymons.blogspot.com
I also found an article in an early issue of Bead and Button magazine (circa 1996) that interviewed Andrea Guarino (Slemmons) (Please forgive my memory - as I can't find that issue anymore - but loosely - this is what it said to me.) I strongly agree with what was said, that while we all need to start somewhere - copying is ok, but it's always good manners to credit your teacher/source.
It went on to say that when you master a technique, move on and modify it to make a design that's your own. In other words - Find Your Own Voice, this helps to define who you are as an artist. While coming up with a design that is your own is great - it's usually not very long before people are copying it *in some form or another*... so - always be moving forward on to new things AND if you're still making that signature bead , you'd better make sure that YOU are the one who still does it best!
My Weekly Wednesday Update each week has helped me always move my designs forward. This is paramount in my work, as people come here looking for things that delight, new things each week, or they don't come back.
I think many factors go into the making of an artist - these are just some of the things that shaped me into who I am and how I think... what and/or whom inspired you?