Sunday, March 25, 2012

I love, love, love color!

Just look at my jewelry and you will know how much I love color. Over the years of selling my art, I have learned to have patience with my clients when it comes to color. When I started hearing folks looking at my work, and actually calling beige a color, my heart skipped a beat. My mind was screaming, what do you mean beige isn’t a color, are you insane. Gradually I have learned that my take on the world is a very colorful one. I have jokingly called many people's reaction to all of my color, a fear of color.

For this blog, I Googled “Fear of Color”, and there is a phobia called Chromophobia. I’m assuming, a Chromophobic wouldn’t venture into my booth at an art fair, but learning of this disorder adds to my empathy for those that just can’t go for my brightly colored creations. And then there is color blindness, I must consider. So as you can see, I do try to look at people’s reactions to color from a broader perspective than my own. The reality is, I have observed that the black, beige, off white, and gray pieces sell quicker than the colorful. Because of this I have really started to pay attention to what my clients are saying.

There is the practical to consider. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a shopper say, “it will go with everything”. I can’t blame a shopper for wanting more bang for their buck, especially in the economy we are living in. With all of this in mind it has affected my color choices when I am creating. I love to turn myself loss and be inspired by color, but I do rein myself in and make a lot of jewelry with basic colors. I had to make it a little mind game for myself and say I am becoming the “Master of Mud”. Now don’t take huge offense that I call these colors mud, but they are mud colors. I have challenged myself to make even the most basic colors fun and never boring. I may stick to a very neutral pallet, but I introduce crystals for bling, hue variation for texture, and shine and matte finishes for contrast. Always with the intend of keeping the piece lively.

For the jewelry shopper I advise introducing one color into your wardrobe. Maybe it is a soft pastel in turquoise or blush. Take it easy at first. This can be done over a year’s period of time. Get a pair of earrings in your chosen color and then a scarf. Maybe next get a top. Pretty soon you will realize that there is color in your wardrobe and you can then branch out. This is where a lot of ladies start having problems, combining colors. There is the old standard, the color wheel to get your cues from. Even that is confusing to most, I think because ALL of the colors are right there together. Another great place to get color ideas is at a Mall, a clothing catalog, or Target. You know which colors you are drawn to, just stick with those. You don’t need to include every color.

For those of you who are making jewelry, I know color can be problematic to you as well. I hear it often from my students, “you do color so well”. I have never been intimidated by color. When I was little, I use every color in the box of colors and loved them all equally. To this day I flip flop on what is my favorite color. I really am an advocate of not reinventing the wheel, and found this great video on YouTube It features Margie Deeb, the author of The Beader’s Color Palette. This little video will give you some insights into selecting color for your jewelry creations, or you could also pick up her book.

I would love to see everyone move away from their gray/mud colored world, but I am trying to be gentle and just prod you along. Enjoy color, embrace color, and try to get over the fear of color.