This week I mentioned, in the comment to a blog post, that I'd be more interested in selling beads and components made by me than selling finished jewellery. One of the reasons being that I really like to see how others would use my components in designs and in ways I wouldn't have thought of myself.
Now, so far I haven't found my style or even my material for launching any kind of art bead or handmade component line. But I have felt something similar in a completely different venue. I have an account over at ColourLOVERS. I've had it for some time and made a couple of palettes, but lately I've become more active there and also discovered the template maker, where you create pattern templates for others (and yourself) to colour. While still learning how to use, I have managed to make a few patterns.
One of the patterns can be seen above (click on it or on this link to view the whole patten). I call it Autumn cat. I'm still a beginner and it might show. Anyway, I wasn't fully pleased with it and it wasn't better when I couldn't colour it in a good way (according to my self-critical eye). But then something happened: others began using it and colouring it -- and they made it look better than I managed to make it. That was fun. Not just flattering because they choose to play around with my template out of all those available, but also fun when seeing how they chose to use it.
Before that I made another cat pattern. In just two colours as I didn't understand how to change the colour settings. It has been used in two palettes.
And this is kind of a good illustration of why I want to make components and not just finished jewellery. I like seeing someone else take something I've made and finish it in his or her own way, adding elements I wouldn't have thought of using myself. It's like one of those stories where one person begins to write or tell and then hand over it to the next, who does the same thing, and in the end they have a story no one would've been able to write on their own, but only through their collaboration. Take away one person in the chain and replace him or her with another and you would've got another result: each chain in the link can add unique elements that alter the finished product. Whether it's a collaboration with two or more people working side by side or more of a rely race where one person takes over from another, I find this very interesting and inspiring.