“A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. ”
― Richard Avedon
Part of creating and selling this wonderful jewelry and accessories that I make is taking fabulous photos of the items up for sale. Being that I am so far from being a professional photographer, I am never satisfied with the pictures that I take of the stuff I make. One day I hope to make fabulous money from my endeavors that I will be able to hire a photographer to take pictures of my stuff. But until then this is what I am stuck with right here:
Okay please explain the expression on my face, what is going on in my head. I think this is in the bathroom, coincidentally where I take most of my photos. It’s all me taking these photos, with the mirror used to see how I look and with my arm elongated with the camera at the end. I tried some lipstick on with this one. I do think that my pictures look a little better when I put on some face enhancement. Look at the second picture where my lips look dry as h-e-double hockey sticks.
The top picture one I really thought I was being artistic and stuff with the staunch and unimpressed look. Now I look at it like “Who you mad at? But my hair is pretty though:)
And when I first started taking pictures I would mostly take profiles, and still mostly do, because I don’t think I take too good of full-on shots. Look at my chubby cheek in this one.
Now see how better the picture is when somebody else does it. These picture were taken by my sister, I was tired of taking pictures at this point. The woman is my second-cousin. I think this is one of my favorite pictures featuring the stuff that I make. She prepared herself for this photo shoot too.
And then after looking at some of the pictures that people took, I noticed that the pictures looked good, in my opinion, with the subject was smiling and so began my quest to smile in all the picture I took:
But one day I’m going to do my makeup some of the pictures on my pinterest board here: http://pinterest.com/qweent/makeup-for-performances/. I am pretty sure there is a Youtube video out there that would show me how to do it.
So then I discovered MS Publisher and that you can add an array of pictures to one picture so they bring a little more, how do you say?, umpf to the picture. Check it out:
And then its some pictures I look at like hmm what was I thinking? I think I was trying to “smize” in the first pic. Yes I watch way too much ANTM, and if you don’t know what ANTM is, then you are just a disaster!!!
And then I discover this other program on my android phone (picsart) that you can make an array of pictures in frames and add all kinds of cool stuff to the pictures. Look at those stars that just make the picture look jazzy:
And then y’all I tried to go full make-up on that ass check me out:
And then I try to be brave and do a whole frontal view. Me no likely.
I realize that presentation helps when selling you jewelry. With that being said, I have these pieces on my Etsy page, but notice how depressing the pictures are. I really need to re-do these pictures:
And then you have the pictures despite everything you just love every element of the picture. With the next set, I love the color, my hair and my skin look great in these photographs. I need to take more picture of my stuff when I get my hair done, I think it makes a big difference:
And the little ‘ole camera that took this lovely pictures. I’ve had this camera for about four years now.
One day I dream to own a camera like this one:
When I get a camera like the one above, I am going to make sure I have a stand to go with it so that I can add full body shots and do boody “touches” as well (another ANTM term).
But all in all, I think I do a pretty good job to be the person behind and in front of the camera. What do you think?
“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you”.Marsha Norman
Sometimes I wonder where do I get the ideas to make the jewelry that I make. I know sometimes I would see something that I like and I make it, however most of the time it does not look exactly like the piece I was inspired from. I sometimes wonder if I have an ancestor that whispers in my ear some of the creations I come up with. Sometimes I would make something and then later on down the line see something similar to my piece and I say to myself, I hope I didn’t copy them. Sometimes I am inspired by other people’s design, but as I said earlier it when I do make it, never looks like the piece that I was inspired by. And when I
do copy am inspired by people’s design I wonder do they mind, should I tell them or pay them some type of inspiration fee, I don’t know. I know that I saw someone make the same exact piece as I did once and I wasn’t mad at all. I was glad to be an inspiration, it makes made happy.
But getting back to the spiritual aspect of my jewelry making. Whenever I create, I usually need a clean space(even though it may be messy by the time I’m through), nice music and burning incense is a must. If I don’t have these three elements, my creative process will be stagnant. Not to say I can’t create without these elements, but having these elements are ideal for my work environment.
Okay look at these pieces for a minute:
Where in the H-E double hockey sticks did I come up with these funky pair of earrings. The thing about these is that I was just playing around with shaping wire and came up with these. I don’t know if I’m going to keep them a pair or make other funky earrings to match. I really love these, but I do plan on selling them. I do make stuff for myself, but if the spirit doesn’t tell me to keep them, I sell them.
Here are two more interesting pieces:
I’ve been on a double hoop making kick for a minute, but these just didn’t look right as a double hoop so I just made two separate earrings, which turned out pretty nice. Oh I used an app to isolate the colors to, I think that brings more drama to the picture. SN: one I hope to make enough money from my site that I can afford a photographer, cause taking all of my own pictures for my site is a beast, but I digress.
I think that for this earring I seen something like it somewhere, however when I made it I didn’t quite remember the exact way that it was made and kinda figured it out for myself:
I actually made these for my sister, I need to send these to her ASAP( her birthday was in December).
But all in all I think I may have had an ancestor who was an artist and created things, because honestly most of the items I make the design just pops up in my head and I have to make it before my soul will rest.
Do any of you artisans experience the same thing or something similar when you are in the creative process? Let me know with your comments.
Follow my tumblr dedicated to my handmade items @ http://www.tumblr.com/blog/eclecticsoul1975
Also follow my new twitter dedicated to my handmade items here: @eclecticsoul1975
Also you can visit my etsy store here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Eclecticsoul1975
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And always remember I love making custom orders.
Last week I embarked on another journey in items that I make. I started making waist beads. I was real hesitant with making waist beads because I fully understand the spirituality that comes along with making and wearing waist beads. Waist beads are traditionally worn around the waist and only are supposed to be seen by an intimate partner. People wear them for many different personal and spiritual reasons. I fully understood they are not just to be made and worn to be cute (which is nothing wrong with that), however there are many different deeper and spiritual reasons for wearing waist beads. The first pair I was asked to make the first pair many times. Actually this individual wanted some waist beads made by my girlfriend; however she never got around making them for her. So just because this individual asked me to make some several times, I decided to make some. Once I made hers I became overwhelmed with wanting to make more and then some more. Two other individuals asked me to make some and I did. I now really, really, really enjoy making waist beads. I find some kind of release of peace in a completed waist bead. I thoroughly enjoy every bit of what I call myself doing “crafting”. Not saying I made up the word or anything but that just what I call myself doing. But anyway here are a couple of pictures of some of the waist beads I have made so far
Some of these are available at my online store @http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/EclecticSoul where most of my items are 10 bucks or less.
Here is a sample of some of the items I have in my shop. Please take a look, has two of my favorite artist singing in the background, Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley interpolated perfectly. Mostly everything in my shop is $10.00. Everything in the shop is made by my hands and heart. My shops web address is: http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/EclecticSoul
Okay I must admit, this on-line stuff I take too personal. So here’s the story. I’m doing my thang trying to promote my on-line shop (http://www.eclecticsoul1975.com) on Tumblr (as seen on the bottom of this post). Okay so I am promoting my “African Dance Belt” cause I’m trying to sell those thangs right. So someone blasted me and said there is no such thing as an “African Dance” belt and Africa is not a country but a continent. Okay I know this much if I don’t know anything else “AFRICA IS A DAMN CONTINENT” but anyway I digress. Let me copy this person’s (http://thisisnotafrica.tumblr.com/) comment here:
There is no such thing as the ‘African Dance’ belt
Africa is not a nationality nor a country
You can opt for calling your stuff some thing else
At first I was like “Beotch” don’t tell me what the f*ck to call my creation. If you are into Love and Hip-Hop the original Mama Jones hook part of the song was playing in my head, you know the one she wrote about Chrissy. I was like don’t effing tell me what I should opt to call my shit that I effing make. “Say it my face, say it to my face”. It was during a time when we were evacuating because of Hurricane Issac so I could not leave that response because I was working with a cell phone with a thoroughly cracked screen. So I just put I will respond to this after the evacuation. I’m glad I did because I had time to think out my answer and not be so reactionary. In her or his own little way they were trying to teach me something I guess.
So after about a week or so I responded with:
Okay let me start off by saying I was totally on the defensive when I saw your response. Now that I had days to think about it (because of hurricane Isaac I was not able to write a concise response using my phone) I have to say that if I did have the computer access that I have now my response probably would have been ignant(spelled that way on purpose). So to this I say I am going to respond as if I am not behind a computer screen and if I was face to face with whom ever made this comment. First the reason I was offended by the way you blasted me because I felt, like many others that post on the social network , you had no regard for my feelings as a human being. If you are teaching me something approach as a student that needs to learn, not like some know it all who thinks they are better than me. I am a person whom seeks knowledge and understanding of all things. I do not mind someone correcting me when needed, but it is all the in the approach. I felt sooooo stupid with your response. Not only that you then tell me to call it something different, like you matter to me in my life. Approach is everything to me. Okay I’ll admit I did not know that what I was making was called an Indlamu as pointed out by another Tumblr user (http://datsyrup.tumblr.com). All I know is that I African Dance—-specifically West African Dance and more specifically West African Ballet. Out of all the things I know for the least bit I know Africa is not a country. The belt that I made and make is primarily used as I have witnessed many times, is for West African Dance. Now I see I was wrong by calling it an African Dance Belt. I called an African Dance Belt because when someone is searching for such a belt that is what they are going to search for. Now in the future and on my online shop I will put the correct name for it for people to know, but at this time I am not changing the name of the belt. I’ve had a conversation with the Ancestors and they said it is okay, and until otherwise I am lead so I will label what I make an African Dance belt with a side note. So in the future I suggest you respond to people how you would respond to them in their face. That’s all. And trust me I do thank you for blasting me, it only makes me better:)
Source: qweent (my tumblr)
I also followed up with a name change to the belt as well just because I thought this probably was the right thing to do to make sure my ancestors are always honored:
Okay so I have been trying to figure out a name that would be suitable for these belts I have been making for some time now. I have been called out on-line so I think it is important when you become informed, you act like it. So with that being said and with consultation from many sources (including the ancestors) I have opted to change the name of the belts that I make to “Mama Africa” Dance Belt. Why Mama Africa you say? It is a belt and I wanted to keep that part of it in the name, and my purpose for the belt as well as others is used for dance and the dance we used it for is dances from the continent of Africa. I consider the continent the Motherland and so you have it Mama Africa Dance Belts. That is about the just of it at this time.
Well anyway after doing some research (on-line only I may add) I have come across belts/skirts what have you, that are similar to the ones I make. The seed planted by (http://datsyrup.tumblr.com) lead me to research the Reed Dance that is performed by maidens, preferably virgins that occupy the regions populated by Zulus. Once a year maidens take part in this cultural festival “The Royal Reed Dance” festival or Umkhosi woMhlanga in the Zulu language. This dance has been performed by many generations. This dance symbolizes a preparation for womanhood. “According to Zulu tradition, only virgins are permitted to take part in the festival to ensure they are ritually pure”(www.zulu.org.za). In Zulu mythology if a woman is not a virgin her reed will break in front of the crowd and she will be embarrassed because of this. Traditionally during the ceremony the King may choose a bride from the maidens participating.
Also I researched Indlamu in which another tumblr user (http://datsyrup.tumblr.com) pointed out the name of the belt and it seems to me that Indlamu is a dance and not what the belt is called. Please if I am wrong or misunderstood your reblog, again do not hesitate to correct me.
But anyway, I will continue to research and become knowledgeable about this item I choose to make so that I will represent the true spirit of what it is.
So after that I keep asking myself why did I care so much about this call-out on-line from someone I don’t know and will possibly never know. Why was I soooooo offended. I think it may of had something to do with I see myself a smart, intelligent, educated, seeker of knowledge and I felt like this person called me dumb as hell in so many words. I just saw someone on a high horse waving their smart ass little finger at me. When I am wrong I do like for someone to tell me I’m wrong so that I will not continue to look at like a fool, but like I said I guess it was the approach. And know that I think about it, she/he whoever is probably young and does not know the value of constructive criticism. And on top of all that I sit here rubbing my palms waiting for a reply—none whatsoever. But any who I ask myself “Why do I care”? If you have any information about these belts or can guide me in any direction to find out more information about them please inbox or leave a link in the comments.
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Example of the Belts I Make