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November 6, 2009

Hi Everyone.  It’s been a while since I posted.  Life just gets in the way, sometimes.  I’ve done some shows, and have been traveling.  I’ve been in Tucson and also in Austin, Texas since we last spoke. Both are inspiring places.  All this traveling give me lots of time to think.

After our “Gelattos and Sunsets” night with my dear sister, friend and student, Kathleen Krucoff, I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity. Where does our cretivity come from?  How do we nourish it?  How do we allow it to grow?  If you with bear with me for two weeks I hope my revelations will help.  I’m going to put these in serial form.   I call them “Lexis ‘Leven Rules of Creativity”.  I’ll only give you one a day over the next few weeks, so you have something to think of during the day. I hope you enjoy and as always, please comment.

Rule #1:  You will be given what you want, but you have to be darned sure of what it is you want.

This is nothing new.  It’s another take on the “Be careful of what you ask for, you just might get it.”

I have a friend who wanted to be a big time jewelry designer.  When a well known chain department store gave her an opportunity to do a trunk show, she was thrilled. They told her how many dozen necklaces, earrings and bracelets they would need for a successful show.  It was a lot of inventory.  She borrowed the money from the bank for all the beads and findings, and happily started making the jewelry.  The Great Day approached, and she was in her glory.  However, sales were less than predicted, and the department store took 65%, instead of a 50/50 split as they had discussed, and then took 5 months to pay.  An attorney would have cost her more money, so they had her over the proverbial barrel. It was a total economic disaster for her.  It took her a long time to recover from this, both financially and emotionally.

So when you have a dream, think of the upsides, and the downsides.  Plan, ask questions, do your research.  It’s really exciting to have a gallery say “Yes, we’d love to have your work”.  You get so excited  and say to yourself  “They love my stuff!  WOW!”  Then you have to produce that work.  Be prepared for the unexpected.  They need more pieces NOW (Great!), they have some broken pieces (Whoops!), you get special orders, and that can be a challenge, or nothing sells, and they wish to trade out for new stuff.  If you do consignment, you must have a good consignment contract.  If you don’t have one, let me know and I will email you mine.

But think through carefully what your success will mean.  I know I am far too social of a person to spend 24/7 in the studio, so as much fun as it is to do shows and get accepted into galleries, I have limited my shows to 3 or 4 a year, and no more than one or 2 galleries.   That way when someone calls and says “Let’s do lunch and a movie.”, I can go if it’s what I want to do.  I’ve also learned I’m not as good at managing time as I used to be.

So accept that you are human. Know exactly what it is you want.  Do your research.  Know and grow, I’ve always said.

On  personal note, one of my dreams for many years was to be in Lapidary Journal.  My father always had a subscription and I grew up with it and National Geographic in the house. I became an archaeologist and a jewelry designer.  Never underestimate the power of the printed word!  But I digress.  I always wanted to be in Lap Journal.  Through very good fortune, I have been a writer for them for 2 years now.  This month I am honored to have a piece on the cover, and an article about jewelry pliers, and a step-by-step article  all in the November issue. I will be the cover artist for next month’s new, updated, and redesigned issue, too.  I am so excited and honored.  If you can, stop by your local book store and pick up a copy.  It’s got all types of cool tips and tools for jewelry making.

Hope this gives you some food for thought.  Until tomorrow…



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July 26, 2009

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