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?

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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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