Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Decision Time


Change one thing, and you change everything. Move a rock and energetically, the entire world ripples and shifts in response. Shift your thinking, and your whole life changes with it. I'm doing a lot of thinking these days, a lot of changing. Nothing big. Just little adjustments in trajectory. And each one leads to another, so I'm finding myself surprised on a daily basis at What Happens Next.

The bead thing is insistently in the center of my focus. I have choices. Always have. I can keep doing it the same way I've always done it, or... I can move a rock. Or maybe even a boulder. I had this idea yesterday, that appeared out of Nowhere. I love that place, Nowhere, where so many cool things are just waiting to be discovered. If ideas had titles, like books, and maybe they do, this one would be, A Year Without Flowers. And the premise would be: What would happen if I spent a whole year making only beads I've never made before, with not a single flower in the bunch?

Wow... that's radical enough to scare even me. I'm a big fan of change, but this seems sort of crazy. I'm famous for flower beads, for goodnesssakes. Why would I want to mess with that? Then again, why wouldn't I? Well, for one thing, it could turn out to be business suicide. But really only if I intend it to be. Another option is to jump off that bridge on a foggy morning, totally trusting that the net is there, and just enjoying the flight.

Imagine what might come from pushing myself to do something new on a regular basis. I might come up with some fabulous new beads, for starters. I might have more fun doing it. I might sell more. Or I might alienate all my regular customers. Or I might find new ones. I might be surprised at the number of people who are willing to support the flow of creativity. I might be sad at the number of people who want to control it. I might even bump beads back to hobby status and do something entirely different for a living... I mean really, with one little shift in direction, absolutely everything can, and probably would, change.

I'm starting to see this Idea (which has just this moment been promoted to capital "I" status) as a whole project, more than just the beads. A year-long creativity experiment lends itself so nicely to writing as well as beadmaking. And while I'm not at all inclined to write an actual book, I do see it as a way of reviving a flabby blog. After all, it's all part of this Long Way Home we've all signed up for here in the Earth life we're currently living. Hmmm... yes indeed, the wheels are turning now.

Will I do it? Not sure yet. But as I talk about it here, I'm doing a lot of internal processing. And the more I think about it, the better I like the Idea. A Year Without Flowers. A grand experiment in creativity. It sounds like fun. It sounds scary. It sounds challenging. It even sounds like work. And certainly, it sounds like a huge commitment, to you, yes, but mostly to myself. Will I do it? I'm literally deciding as I'm writing this this morning.

What Happens Next might surprise all of us. I'll certainly keep you posted...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kim...Go with your artistic flow, I am not a "flower" kind of gal. I appreciate the beauty of those beads, but I like more artsy fartsy kind of stuff. Play, explore, look at what others are doing and see if you can put your spin on it. Don't get locked into a genre because you don't think others will sell. I'm sure, like most of us, you will find what works and what doesn't. I avoid green and yellow in large amounts,those colors don't sell well for me, but sooner or later they do sell!!! A year without flowers? I say, go for it.

Linda in Tucson

Texan Zombie Goddess said...

I think it is an interesting concept. Why not give it a go. Your new ribbon beads still have a flower feel, it that makes any sense. Now, if you said "A Year Without Colors", that would seem crazy lol.

Zoe Nelson said...

Just an idea here, but could you appease your flower customers by only making them by special order? That way you'd be sure of a sale and only make flowers for those that really want them.

Katherine said...

Change is almost always good. I like flower beads sometimes, and appreciate the artistry behind making one, but they're not always my first choice. Unfortunately for me, this past year I've had to pretty much slam on the brakes on buying any more beads to add to my already bulging collection. It was hard for me to stand my ground and not buy any of yours, but I had to make myself stop buying, and use what I have. This past year was a bit slower in sales, too. People were still buying, but definitely hanging on a little tighter to their cash. Perhaps 2012 will be a better year all the way around, and some Kim beads will find their way to my bead chest! Ahhh, but you do have Positively Vegan, and for the time being I'm here for the food!

Kim Miles said...

Thoughtful (and prompt!) comments. All appreciated, thank you!

Zoe - I guess I haven't talked about custom orders for a while... Hahaha! I'd rather eat steak! Oh god... don't get me started on the perils of custom work... ;o) But thanks for the suggestion!

Anonymous said...

Kim, isn't it amazing when we allow ourselves the opportunity to step back and examine, and even question, the status quo? I truly believe that's the kind of thinking that fosters creativity. I love your flower beads and cherish those in my collection. But I also love the other wonderful experiments you've embarked upon and cherish those just as much. I say "Go for it!" Artists are always and should be evolving and that's exciting. Customer's evolve, too, and it's very likely that many of your customers will fall in love with What Happens Next as much as you do. And you may also find a lot of new customers. A friend recently reminded me of a Henry Ford quote about designing and building his first motorcar, "If I had listened to what my customers wanted, I would have built faster horses." Sometimes customers don't know what they want until they see it. Maybe it's not A *Year* Without Flowers ... Maybe it's A *Month* or a *Quarter* Without Flowers. The point is, you're giving yourself an amazing opportunity to evolve and grow. You know how to make glass dance. You will undoubtedly come up with amazing and wonderful new creations when you set aside flowers for however long it may be. Jump into the fog! I cannot what to see What Happens Next!
M-E

Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm here more for the astounding and breathtakingly creative beads that I have seen emerge over time, in addition to your old standby flowers. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with when you're playing...

Beth

Katherine said...

Let me jump back in to clarify that it's not that I don't think your flower beads aren't lovely, because they absolutely are! Flower beads just aren't my personal favorite, but I do marvel at them. Just as M-E said, evolving and rediscovering your loves as an artist happen to all of us. If people love your work, chances are whatever new design you come up with, they will love that one as well. Some customers have a love affair with their favorite artists, and they'll love whatever you do. And when you come back with some flower beads at a later date, your work will be appreciated that much more. You know...absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Nellen said...

Go for it - you'll always wonder what would have happened if you don't - change is good - scarey but good. Take the chance and fly!!

Zoe Nelson said...

OK, bad idea about the custom orders! Some people don't mind them, but I'm acutally with you. I avoid them like the plague because people are hardly ever happy with what you did. And I really don't like building someone else's design.

Kim Miles said...

Haha! Exactly, Zoe! I have so many stories... might have to do a whole blog post on "No Custom Orders"!

Anonymous said...

Go for it and have fun.
Suzie

purple cat said...

Hi Kim,
I'm sad for the flowers, but I do understand. Maybe you could name the year something positive, A Year With ??? instead of Without poor flowers. Can't help myself I used to work as a florist.
A young photographer I know from Austin, Josh Brewster, challenged himself to take a picture of something different each day. He called it the 365 photo project.You can check it out at this link from his website:
http://www.joshbrewsterphotography.com/365/
You might find some inspiration there.
And, I would have purchased during your sale, but was out of town...with dialup :-( I am probably not the only customer/reader. Buying and selling during the holidays is tricky.
Best regards,
Karen Hagin
Katy, TX