Focus has never been my friend.  I look through a magazine and see neat stuff to make, or go online and flip through bead projects and how-to videos.  The problem is, I want to try everything.  On the one hand, thinking outside the box and considering lots of possibilities is the sign of a creative mind, isn’t it?  But sometimes it’s too much.  Over time I’ve collected tools I forgot I have, made projects that collect dust, and I haven’t really mastered anything.  So I feel like its time to find inspiration in what I have rather than adding more to the collection.   It’s time to focus!  After some thought, I came up with 5 rules to help myself focus so I can start creating things that give me more personal satisfaction.

  1. I want to make only things that I like and that have purpose – if I wouldn’t wear it or use it or display, or if I don’t have someone specific in mind to give it to, then why make it?
  2. I want to use what I have, not buy more stuff.  Obviously I had reason to buy it in the first place, right?
  3. I want to plan my projects before I start them.  That’s a tough one, figuring out how I’m going to make something before I make it.  I’ve ruined and wasted more time by jumping in to projects based on vision and no method.  Time to think it through, draw it out, and do it right.
  4. I want to be proud of the end results.  I want to stand back and look at something I’ve made and think “darn, I really like that”.  Which leads me to my fifth rule of focus….
  5. It’s not finished til I’m satisfied.  As we say in the glass world, never refuse to refuse – Keep working and reworking until I have something I’m happy with.

We are our own customers – right?  I think that’s the only way to approach art, the only way to self-express.  There’s no rush to produce, no need for replication. Let the creativity evolve from what’s around, and take the time to plan and produce something with meaning and purpose.

Tell us how you approach a new projects?