30 January 2009

Wildest Dreams

"The important thing is to dare to dream big, then take action to make it come true." ~ Joe Girard

What is your wildest dream for 2009?

I have never been much of a goal oriented person.

I suppose ultimately I am rather laid back and slightly lazy. I am not a perfectionist, but yet I like to have things a certain way. And I live in organized chaos (see my earlier post). A few years ago I decided to forgo those lame New Years' resolutions that I would pledge along with millions of others...things like losing that baby fat (my baby is turning 8), reading a book a month (I am lucky if I can read two books a year) and writing letters to my friends and family once per week (I buy stationery like I will do this, but then it sits in a drawer yearning for a stamp)...and I made Life Resolutions: (1) Live a creative life; (2) Live without regrets. Every single thing I do has to come under those two. Sometimes that is easier said than done, but it is also surprising how many options exist under those two endeavors.

Last year I decided that I wanted to try to be published. I was hoping for just once. You see, I subscribe to most of the major beading publications and I buy books as if I were attempting to start my own lending library. And I always noticed the names and bios of the people therein. I wondered where they came from, how they got there, what inspired them. I secretly harbored a goal to be on the pages next to them.

So in August of 2007, just months after I started my fledgling company, my good friend and professional paper artist Lisa suggested I submit some of my designs to a brand new publication. Little did I know that this publication would come to be so very important to my development as an artist.

I took a chance. I saw that door of opportunity and I gathered my courage to walk through. Lisa told me that she had to submit her paper designs more than 20 times before one was picked up, so I shouldn't be discouraged on my first try. What did I have to lose?

Imagine my surprise when my first two submissions were accepted.

Thus began a relationship that continues to blossom and develop in so many layered ways.

I have had pieces accepted into the January/February 2008 and May/June 2008 issues. That is when the editor contacted me directly to ask for submissions for November and December.

On August 11, 2008, coincidentally my 40th birthday, Ms. Meyer emailed me to request that I consider submitting pieces for the cover contest because she really liked what I had submitted in the past. Flatter will get you everywhere. I decided that rather than pull pictures of pieces that I had made, but had not sold, I should create pieces just for the occasion. I made five. Three were accepted into the contest. Although I had dreaded that milestone birthday, I decided that 40 wouldn't be that bad after all.

At about the same time, I was having professional head shots taken, reasoning that I might have use for them in the future marketing materials. Photographer Sarah Gwidt took a gorgeous photo of me. (Really. I do not look like that every day of the year!) It was serendipitous to have them done at that time, because the following week Ms. Meyer's contacted me again. She but cracked a door of opportunity that I had no problem flinging open: Would I be interested in the chance to be the featured artist of the March 2009 issue of Bead Trends complete with bio, head shot and a ten-page spread of my best work. Would I be interested? Push me off the ledge and watch me fly.

So I started reading through my back issues looking at every detail, determined that I would submit pieces they had never had represented and that showed my unique voice as an artist. I also was noticing common names repeated in the issues and wondered which of these lucky ladies would win the cover. And exactly one week later, on September 2nd, I got my answer. Ms. Meyer emailed to let me know that I had won the contest with my vintage inspired charm bracelet titled "Stroke of Midnight." The funny thing about this piece? I almost never made it. It was an afterthought at the last minute before the deadline. Proof that you never know where your next opportunity may come from.

Here is the cover for January 2009. And the necklace "Anew Leaf" also included.

The photography in this publication is some of the best around, and they make my art look better than I could ever have thought possible. More than the thrill of seeing my wearable work of art so lovingly presented, are the words that Ms. Meyer chose to say about me in her Editor's letter. So kind.

I still have to pinch myself that it really happened.

I have so enjoyed working with every person I have "met" at through this experience, trading emails with recognizable editors and names in the beading world. And through this blog I have even made contact with other jewelry designers like Stacey at
Star Hitched Wagon, a truly gifted artist. All of this has given me the confidence to branch out and try other avenues to have my work published. If they like what they see, perhaps I am on the right path after all.

Shortly after winning the cover spot, I was contacted by the editor of
Stringing. This was one of the first publications I ever subscribed to. It seems that she had seen a picture (really bad, I might add) of a piece called "Frost Blossom" and thought it would be great for the Winter 2008 issue. Would I send it? Just tell me where. I am thrilled that I am a part of this magazine as well. And now I know that sometimes turning 40 is a good thing.

Today I found out that my necklace titled "On the Wings of Love" is featured in the Beading Daily reader's gallery theme of "Heart Felt." (Listed alphabetically, you have to scroll to the third page to find me, but it is there!) And the lovely ladies at Vintaj have asked if they may include it as part of their reader's gallery since I am using their beautiful brass filigree components. You don't even need to twist my arm.

So my wildest dream for 2008 was to be published. Just once. And thanks to the wonderful women at Bead Trends and Stringing, I made my goal five times and it looks like I will be making more friends in the publishing world in 2009. Which led me to think about wildest dreams...

A dream that is wild will not come true unless you are willing to first believe in that dream enough to roll up your sleeves and take action to make it come true.

So...what is my wildest dream for 2009?
  • To be published once per month whether in a magazine, book or online gallery.

  • To donate a work of wearable art once per month to a charitable organization I believe in.
So far, I am golden on being published through June 2009, I am closing in on July and August, and Fall '09 is mostly filled.

And I have been seeking meaningful recipients for my work. Tomorrow I will have a piece featured in the auction at ArtsBash with a goal to raise over $25,000 for the art scholarship fund for our local university. Perhaps my donation will help a talented designer pursue her passion rather than stumbling upon it when she is 40. One can only hope.

"The thing always happens that you really believe in.
And the belief in a thing makes it happen."
~Frank Lloyd Wright

What is your wildest dream for 2009?
And, more importanly, how are you going to make it happen?

Enjoy the day!


Jenners said...

Congratulations! You made it happen! You believed in yourself, you set a goal and it happened! I'm so happy and proud of you. And your jewelry is beautiful. And I have no doubt that your wildest dreams for 2009 will also be realized.

Did you ever realize that when you start on the right path and do the things that you should be doing, things tend to happen more and more easily and just align perfectly? My dad and I used to call it being in "Zen." When you are in it, elevators open when you walk up. Things you need appear just when you need them. In other words, you aren't fighting the universe -- you are in tune with it and in turn, it tunes into you. I think you have found your "Zen" and are living it.

Yay for you! : )

As for my wildest dreams, I will have to think about that. I am just really happy right now and content. Blogging is feeding the creative side of me that really needed to be fed so I'm just enjoying it. I think perhaps I needed this so the universe send it to me : )

linda said...

wow, erin, that is absolutely fabulous! I think it's alot more than positivity however, as your work is beautiful and very unique...but on the other hand, I do think our mind sets do make our worlds so you are right :) AND you were ready to make the leap at each turn of events! I don't think I have ever read of such a unique turn of events that lead to such success so quickly and I wish you continued and lovely wishes granted in 2009 as well!

many blessings, erin...

Clare said...

My wildest dreams for 2009:

1. When the time comes for my drawing class exhibition, I want to offer a piece of which I am proud.

2. I want to cut my day job down to four days a week and concentrate on my writing for one day a week.

Anonymous said...

Oh, congratulations!
That's so exciting! And your work is just breath-taking...really beatiful.

I'd like to give the "honest scarp" award. You can pick it up here:

Again...congratulations! Your success is well-deserved!

Laura Jayne said...

Wow!!! What fantastic things are happening for you. Congratulations.

Leah said...

Oh how wonderful!! **I'm cheering you on!!** Congratulations!

Your work is simply gorgeous.

Stacey said...

Congrats on all your success - your story about being published is so similar to mine - I just said to my husband the other day that if someone would have told me in 2008 I would have my jewelry published in three magazines I would have laughed - it was beyond my wildest dreams - but I was like you I thought what the heck - and I am so glad I did!!!! Your growing list of publications is just awesome - keep up the good work and keep dreaming!


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