Creativity or repetition?

I can be a real “people-pleaser” type – the one who won’t say no to a request just because I don’t want to run the risk that the person making the request will think less of me. I loan books that I love to folks who may not be the most conscientious, and then I brood inwardly when they’re lost, forgotten, or destroyed. I say what people want to hear, because hey, I’m not going to change their mind anyway, am I? And if I say the truth, they’ll just get mad at me and stop being my friend. And when I’m asked to take a one-of-a-kind jewelry design and make multiples, I say yes.

“Oo, I love that necklace! Will you make 8 replicas, plus earrings, for my bridesmaids?” Usually, the answer is yes. And no, I don’t usually mark those kinds of custom orders up as “Pain In The Ass” requests, and charge a bit more. Nope. I’m too busy worrying that the requestor will think I’m a hag if I don’t do it. And hey, I’m happy to have the business, right?

Right. So there I sit, making repeat necklace after repeat necklace… repeat earring after repeat earring… I know there are some people who would love the comfort of repetition. Working on these kinds of projects would let them zone out, watch TV, relax… Not me. I sigh. I huff and puff. I try to organize my workspace so I can crank the items out as fast as possible and move on to something else, because to me, repetition is the exact opposite of creativity. It seems like I always get stuck halfway through one of these projects – I run out of headpins and have to make more, or I have to order more of these or more of those. All of this keeps me from doing what I like to do: creating new designs.

Shoots and Leaves Earrings - I keep making these because they're cute

That’s not to say that I never, ever replicate things. I’ve re-created several pairs of earrings that seem popular in my shop. But to have to do it, and to have to do it on a schedule, for a paying customer, just bugs me. I could certainly say no, and cut that little irritation out of my life, but I don’t. I’d rather grit my teeth and crank the jewelry out and ship it off… and have that cash in my bank account. I try to remind myself to relax, let my mind wander, think of new projects I’ll work on next or to just dream a little, but it’s still a struggle. Which do you prefer? Are you one of those awesome Zen types that grooves on repetition? Or are you only truly happy when you’re creating something new?

This entry was published on May 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm. It’s filed under Jewelry, Marketing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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