03 October 2009

I Love a Challenge!

"Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down."
~Charles F. Kettering

The word challenge usually conjurs up a negative connotation.

I see a challenge as an opportunity.

I love to seek out a challenge.

I think that it is really good for the soul to try things that are outside your comfort zone, that get you to stretch a little. Things that keep you growing and evolving and keep you moving.

I really enjoy the satisfaction seeking out challenges more because I get bored and find it hard to create in a vacuum. There is a sense of excitement when creating for contest where the participants each use their imagination to interpret the same theme. I entered two such challenges lately. Both involve a vote by a click of a button. Would you care to play along?

The first is the monthy challenge at Vintaj. I use their components all the time. I have yet to find a color palette or a style that cannot be enhanced by using the Vintaj components. And since I enjoy mixing metals as well, I find that this antiqued brass tone really adds another rich layer.

The other day I wrote about the piece I created called "Bright, Wild & Beautiful." That piece is up for a blind vote on the Vintaj blog from today until midnight October 9th. I encourage you to view all 19 entries and read their unique interpretations of the theme "Enchanted Path." The winner gets some product of course, but I think that all of the 19 entries are winners just for submitting. I would love it if you would vote for your favorite. {And if you like mine, vote for #19!}

The second challenge was to use a tri-colored set of stringing wire from Soft Flex as an integral part of a design.

What?!

It is usually out of the ordinary to let your wire showing...that is the foundation of any good design, not the star player! So this challenge was particularly fun. The rules were that you had to use all three colors in your Trio. The Trio that I used is called Sophisticated and features Antique Brass, Onyx and Coral colored wire.



The necklace I created was one that I was inspired to make for the Art Bead Scene June challenge of the famous painting of a study of squares by Kandinsky. The bold colors were perfect for the wire that I picked up from Sara at the Soft Flex booth at Bead & Button. I hit the jackpot when I found the ceramic components from Jangles.

My piece is called "The Key To Kandinsky (is Color)."

There are 38 entries for this contest and there is such a great variety of styles. I feel blessed to be included in such a talented pool of artists. Grand prize is $500...that would be sweet!

Again, I would be honored if you would check out the contest here. I would encourage you to vote for your favorite, but I would be most honored if you find mine to be your favorite.

Challenges for me are something to seek out, to look forward to. When I shift the meaning of a challenge in my mind from negative to positive I find that there can be great results!

What sorts of challenges do you seek out for yourself?
What successes have you had in the challenges you have participated in?
What have you learned from any challenges that didn't go your way?
Do tell!

Enjoy the day!

16 comments:

Lance said...

Beautiful pieces, Erin!

You continue to do amazing works, and it's so good to see these!

Challenges: I sometimes challenge myself physically, in trying new things (like whitewater rafting last summer for five days). And I always find that I come out on the other side, better for having challenged myself - even if it doesn't go exactly as planned. And that's important for me to remember, that the outcome isn't all there is - it's really so much more...

jchristin said...

Beautiful pieces of jewelry!

I challenge myself in some realm every day. I call it "daring myself". It's always something to bring me a little farther out of my "box"--whether it be something little as in try a different seasoning in my food, or something big as in speak to someone new, or anything in between. I like these kind of challenges because they are controllable. I hope it prepares me for life's challenges that are unexpected and often not quite as pleasant; I know it's about perspective and I know my life is enriched from purposely challenging myself.

Esther said...

your necklace is very beautiful!! you are right it's exiting to go outside our comfort zone!!
I prefer the second one because of the Key clasp, so unique!! i'm goin to vote right now!!

Marbella Jewelry Designs said...

I voted for your pieces. I really liked yours the best.

Cindy said...

Erin
You sure rise to the occasion! And you challenge us to challenge ourselves!! I voted for you...your pieces are beautiful. I especailly love "The Key to Kandinsky"...what a complex piece. It is so, so incredble. I love the assymetrical sides and the double strand on the right, and especially the key/toggle focal. You sure outdid yourself!! :-)

SummersStudio said...

That necklace is gorgeous and truly reflects the Kandinsky inspiration. I like your thoughts on challenge. I hadn't really thought of challenge in a contest setting in that way before. Yet I 'challenge' myself all of the time to do things differently just to extend myself and stave off boredom. Good luck and I'm off to vote.

mairedodd said...

certainly beautiful...your kandinsky one is a favorite of mine - just one of those perfectly composed pieces... good luck!

Marie Cramp said...

I went and looked at pieces on both sites and I can honestly say that yours would have been my picks even if I did not know they were yours. The Kandinski piece was by far my most favorite hands down. The Vintaj piece is so stunning with #12 coming at a close second. Yours was more original and unique making it the clear winner in my eyes.

Good Luck, I hope you win :)

Marie

lunedreams said...

your kandinsky piece is outstanding!! I can't stop looking at it! Love the way you used a key for part of the toggle. I would want to hang it on the wall so I could look at it. (can't see it very well when you're wearing it...)

sundownbeaddesigns said...

Love both of your pieces, especially "Key to Kandinsky"...I voted, good luck with both of your submissions...I always love a good challenge!

Leslie @ Bei Mondi said...

Oh, Erin! Love them both. I'm going to skip right over and do my voting now. Good luck!

Alice said...

Your two challenge pieces are beautiful and I voted for both of them.

I am not one of those people who go looking for challenges (more like the opposite) but I have entered in two of the Vintaj contests. For me, it's challenging enough to promote my jewelry at shows. The first one was downright frightening to be 'exposed' so to speak. But they do get easier.

Melissa J. Lee said...

I love your pieces, Erin! I found the Soft Flex page but I need to go over to Vintaj. I agree - challenges are very helpful for focusing one's creative energies. I've been doing less stringing and more metal clay this year, but I really feel as if I've been able to stretch myself a bit through competition pieces.

diane said...

Erin~I love both your pieces! YES, I do love a challenge myself. I will go vote right now =)
BTW....Kandinsky is one of my favorite modern abstract artists!
xoxo

Silver Parrot said...

Love the pieces you created. You really inspire me! As for challenges - as you know, I am grocery-store and deli-counter challenged. Every time I go I remind myself that this is an opportunity to restrain myself from hitting someone in the head with a ham.

Lisa said...

Wow, that necklace makes me want to jump up and down, there's something so hopeful about it, again...wow!

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