Jewelry design is an enormously broad term. In the modern age, most anything you can wear can be deemed jewelry. When you are just starting out, just sitting down for the first time seriously thinking about making your own jewelry you should take a good look around.
Look around at what is already out there. What style things you do you like, and not like? What sort of materials do you find yourself drawn too? What sort of budget do you have to work in, and how much time to devote to this new endeavor? Just the few things I have listed here don’t narrow the field down much. Millions of ideas can still be created even when you answer the above questions.
If this is your first time considering a hobby or career in jewelry design, then you may be feeling overwhelmed by the endless possibilities. I would recommend learning from others. Go online and find some beginners patterns. Get yourself comfortable with some of the different mediums out there and the tools you will be using. Even if using a pattern, you can chose different color and sizes of beads you make the piece your own.
Once you are comfortable with some of the different techniques out there and are ready to strike out with a jewelry design of your own you may not know where to start. I suggest in your closet.
Chose one of your favorite outfits. Of course color is going to jump out at you first. Make note of not just the most prominent color, but the softer, less used colors as well. Often highlighting those less used colors can make all the difference. What kind of outfit is it? Sassy and playful, regal and dignified, calm and casual? The materials you use can accent that aspect of the outfit as well. Make note of the neck line. Is it high, maybe needing a very long necklace to be accented by long dangling earrings? Maybe it has a plunging neckline that beckons for a necklace with a centerpiece to hang down in the V. Or just a casual rounded neck, calling for a shorter style necklace. Just one outfit can speak volumes to you.
Later, as you master yet more skills of jewelry design, you may start to notice you gravitate too many of the same things. Be that materials or colors. There is nothing wrong with that. Most of the great artists out there have a style. You can look at their jewelry or paintings and know that they did them before you see the name. It becomes your signature of sorts.
Maybe you live at the beach, like me, and you have the biggest market of shells you could ever want. Not only do you get free materials, but now you have a hook for your pieces. “Local artist making jewelry from local items. A true piece of the beach to take home with you.”
And don’t forget I mentioned colors too. The colors of the beach tend to be in pastels, reflecting the colors of the shells themselves. Blues and greens playing prominently in almost every aspect. And, being on the east coast myself, you can’t forget the stunning sunrises over the ocean; all those rich pinks and purples with a fiery orange.
So when you sit down and think jewelry design, don’t think you have to look far. Stick with what you know. There are endless possibilities all around you. From the places you go, to the people you meet, to the flowers in your garden. If you have kids, get them involved. Children see the world in a completely unique way, one we have forgotten as adults. They can open your eyes to things you had never considered before. They love color, so let them look through your stuff, arrange some things, and build off their ideas. Now, not only have you “gone to work” but you have spent quality time with your kids as well.
There is nothing in the realm of jewelry design you cannot do. So jump in and get started. There are no mistakes, for you learn something from everything you do. How many other fields can say as much?
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