As I packed up my tools a few weeks ago to head great old state of Texas,
I was feeling really good about the Earring a Day Project.
Not only was I caught up with the timeline, but the earrings were coming to me fairly quickly.
I wasn't feeling over burdened with the work, and quite honestly felt like I was getting much more out of the project than I ever expected.
If you've been following along, you might remember that I joined this whole crazy scheme because I was feeling less than inspired.
At the start of the new year, my creativity was feeling drained and my tank on empty.
I knew I was more than capable of coming up with new ideas and designs, but I found myself second guessing everything I did.
Was it right?
Would it work?
And biggest of all, would it sell?
I was just plain sick of it.
The level of frustration I was feeling was so overwhelming.
I'm not going to tell you I'm not here to make money.
To make sales.
This is my livelihood, of course I need things to sell.
However, it is by FAR not the most important thing.
If it was only about money I could mass produce crap and live comfortably.
Hell, I could get a dead end job and that would cover the income.
But it's so much more than that.
I want it to be more than that.
What I'm doing here, it's important.
It's so incredibly important.
Art is important.
But I digress.
The first 60 of the EAD project brought me so much happiness.
It brought me back to the place I knew I could be.
Where I wasn't thinking about the sales, but just feeling the art.
Creating pieces that were unique and significant.
Having the safe space to test ideas and thoughts without the fear of them failing.
As I left for Texas I already felt inspired.
I had so many ideas.
Then, in the lone star state, I found myself studying under some of the most amazing artists.
People I really respect.
And I met other smithies.
Lots of them.
All of them wonderful and inspirational.
Needless to say, I came back with my creativity tank overflowing.
My sketchbook so full it actually seemed heavier than when I left.
I couldn't wait to get back to the studio.
And I came back to emails upon emails and deadlines galore.
It's part of it.
I was ok with it.
(and I'm honestly really still trying to catch up.)
Once I had any open creating time, it went to pieces in the sketchbook.
Stuff on the bench I left.
And all those new ideas.
I found myself in a much different place than I was at the beginning of 2015.
A place where I had too much creativity.
I had a hard time focusing on just one project.
And I found very little time to make these lovely little earrings.
Honestly, I thought about quitting this whole thing.
I got what I set out to get right?
Inspiration abounded, why stress over completing the earrings?
Why worry that I was behind?
Each time I'd start to saw a little squirrel, I'd think, "ugh, I have so much more important work to do."
But do I?
I spent over a week just letting that question sit.
Is the EAD still important to me?
Is it still worth it?
Are there still lessons to be learned?
I know there is still so much more this journey will bring me.
Maybe this bump in the road is a lesson.
A lesson of drive and perseverance.
Learning to commit to something even when it's not seeming to give you what you need in the moment.
Finishing something you started.
And so I just started.
Back again, I didn't worry about how much silver I was using or how the pieces would look.
When I second guessed my design, I just kept going.
By the time I finished 10 of them I was smiling again.
I remembered all the EAD had brought me.
I knew it was still part of what I needed to do.
I can't guarantee there won't be bumps along the way.
I might not finish 1 earring everyday.
Maybe I get behind.
Maybe I have to get ahead sometimes in order not to fail.
But I'm recommitted and it feels good.