I ask myself that question many times. How did I become a jewelry designer? For years I thought my best talent was critiquing other people's art, because that is what I did in my job for the last 25 years. I studied art history as an undergraduate then as a graduate student. I love looking at art, analyzing it and searching for meaning. I love writing articles about art and have been published many times in American Art Review, because my specialty is American Art before World War II. I've put on exhibitions,wrote books and poured over historical documents in my long career as a curator of American art.
But it all came crashing down one day in April 2009 when the museum I worked at decided they should start laying off their staff. What to do? As far as I knew I had no creative talent. I never thought of being on the creative side, and even if I did what could I possibly create? Pushed by a friend, who never knows when to give up, I took a course in metalsmithing, then another and another. Then private lessons, then other courses in different types of jewelry design and on an on it went until I realized I actually did have a talent. I was a jewelry designer. People were buying my work, raving about it coming back for more and sending friends and family. I won a few awards for my metal and wire work, I was accepted at shows and I had my own website. I'm still wondering whatever possessed me to search for my creative side. Whatever made me think I had one?
I still look at my jewelry and wonder how I got this far. Would I buy what I make if I saw it in a shop,show or website? I can't say, because I can no longer be a critic. I am an artist and now it is up to someone else to tell me whether they would buy what I make if they saw it at a shop, show or website. Would you?