Back when I was learning to be a metalsmith, a teacher once advised a design class to always go with the third idea, not the first or the second. Now this does not mean I cannot make the first two that end up in the sketch book, it just means to create everything in multiples of three in order to see the original design or ideation through. Very often, the third piece is the best one of the series.
Let's talk about design and how this all relates. How do I come up with my designs? Being in nature inspires me. The spirals in a shell that I find on the beach. The colors of the sunsets I see. Translated into a pendant with Padparascha orange pink sapphires, purple amethysts and red spinels. Multiples of three. Three stones that equal three colors juxtaposed on silver with perhaps a center turquoise stone to represent the water in the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea. Beautiful places of inspiration that are transformed into a piece of jewelry art.
Some of the ideas that come from nature are the patterns and textures seen on tree bark, leaves and flowers. The shifting sands seen through the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico on my favorite Mexican beach provide a lot of inspiration. Reticulated silver is a favorite medium for me to work in because it has many beautiful textures and patterns.
Ideas come from looking and being in nature. Dreams provide some inspiration as well. My muse is also extremely active in the idea department. Yet, she does not know or care about what time it might be. Therefore, I have learned to keep a sketchbook close by for those early morning wake ups with an idea that she sends me from the depths.
An artist's mind is an active mind and there is no turning it off. My artist's mind is inherited from a gene pool of very artistic parents and grandparents for which I am and will be eternally grateful.