What Every Beader Needs: Ideas to Inspire Your Beadwork

Jean Campbell

Last week, as I took things off the walls of one place to move into the place where I live now, I realized how important it is to me to be surrounded by beautiful bits of inspiration. I like to live with things that not only give me visual joy, but also goad me to make new beaded jewelry designs and entice me to experiment with color and shape. Being visually inspired is something that all "artistes" require. But, you know what? This really makes just as much sense for us beaders, since we, too, need shape and color ideas just as much as those folk who push around clay or paint.

Here are some beader-specific ideas about how to get visually inspired in your space every single day:


Fill your space with artwork made by artisans. Having handcrafted items surrounding you, whether they're beaded or not, is a great reminder that you are part of a world-wide community of creative people. My favorite type of artwork for beady inspiration is textiles, mola from Panama, beaded wall hanging, milagro-studded heart, and beaded Pakistani bike seat cover shown here.





Bike seat cover

 Beaded wall hanging

Milagro heart

      Panamanian mola

Printed matter

Coffee-table books and postcards of beadwork or other beautiful things are a great way to get pumped up about creating. Keep your books close by so you can page through them often, and consider placing your postcards in a pretty basket so you can have them close at hand and flip through them when you need a little visual boost. Another idea is to hang a calendar like the new Beadwork: A Year in Beads nearby so you'll have a blast of new inspiration every month.



Some jewelry is so sensational that it really shouldn't be tucked away in the drawer all the time. Free it from its confines! One great idea is to add one or more tacks to the front of a backboard of a pretty frame. Just hang your beadwork from the tack when you're not wearing it so you can see it all the time. And if you really want to show off your stuff, place it on a pedestal and display it proudly on the shelf, as I did here in my studio with Festivus, a piece I made for the December/January 2009 issue of Beadwork.


Your favorite calendar pages can be framed so you can see spectacular beauty year round as in BeadWorks.  

Do you surround yourself with beauty? How do you do it? What do you live with that inspires you visually every time you look at it? Please get the discussion going on Beading Daily today.


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