Friday, March 13, 2009


In this TED talk, Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the amazing book Eat Pray Love, discusses creativity and what it feels like to face the possibility of having one's greatest creative achievement behind you, and how you move forward.

I found this particularly interesting as I often fear I'll never have another jewelry collection with the amount of appeal and interest I've had with my plastic body series. I wonder sometimes if it keeps me frozen in place, making the same type of work over and again. It's a hard thing to honestly consider - not to mention admit out loud to the public at large - but it's where my head has been for a while now. This blog started out as a place to explore my creative joys AND fears, so I've decided to put aside my hesitations about sharing these thoughts and talk about it.

Do I want to make jewelry out of Barbie dolls for the rest of my career?

I've been giving serious consideration to the idea of putting the collection to rest after this year. It feels like a good year to go out on being that it's Barbie's 50th and my 30th. I have lots of ideas for other works that always get pushed aside because there's never enough time to explore. Perhaps it's a matter of continuing the plastic body series only in some smaller capacity; maybe just the production work, freeing up time for a whole new, very different collection of one-of-a-kinds.

Anyway… if you have a few minutes, I really recommend checking out this wonderfully insightful video, which I discovered via Lauren Braun's blog: Paper Tiger. Enjoy and please feel free to share your thoughts!


Ashley said...

I liked that! Thanks for sharing Margaux. I suppose to ponder the feeling of whether your greatest success is behind you means that you have reached great heights! I would hate to see you discontinue the barbie work altogether, but would be delighted to see what more you have in store. I have no doubt that whatever ideas are floating around in your brain would be translated to the world just as successfully as your current collection. Cheers!

Jessy said...

I'm an art historian and I am completely familiar with your conundrum. There are many, many artists who decide to take their art in a different direction, much to the chagrin of curators and critics alike. I can understand your fear-- many artists who quit doing what the establishment thinks is fashionable or notable have ended up being walked on-- I'd hate to see that happen to you.

I'd suggest keeping the plastic body series as a body of work that you continue to tinker with and evolve. Your success with that series will be a wonderful way to introduce and publicize different lines of work and ideas that you have, as well as continue to pay the bills so that you can continue to be a full time artist. If you feel that what you continue to do with the series isn't up to par, you can always make the decision to quit producing it. Regardless of your choice, I'm positive that your new creations will be fantastic. At the end of the day, art is as much about trial and error as anything else. As one of my favorite artists/ceramicists Beatrice Wood says, "Do be true to yourself, whether it's bad doesn't matter. The important thing -- you have to copy while you're studying. And culture is -- each of us -- is like one pearl added to another to make a chain. We each contribute to the other. And that's alright. But once you're on your own, do that which comes from within." So do what comes from within, and be true to yourself. Anything else would rob you of the enjoyment that you get from being an artist. Bonne chance!

Art Jeweller said...

I looked at that video and was inspired.
That what you have done only builds on your future.
Raw talent knows no bounds, and you have lots of it.