Ok, I realize that this may be the most pompous title that you’ve seen recently, but art and design history can actually help you to create innovative jewelry designs in pretty surprising ways.
When you really think about it, designers spend a lot of their time trying to come up with new and original ideas. The standard way of thinking is that the past is old fashioned and obsolete and therefore innovation has to do with something new that has never seen the light of day. You may be surprised to know that this modern concept of things is comparatively new and developed only in the past few centuries.
In the past, the older the idea was, the more it was considered to be credible and closer to the truth. In came modern age with its constant demand for restless innovation and everything changed.
Perhaps it is time to challenge this standard concept of things and take a look at what the past can teach us about art, design and jewelry making.
Drawing from Tradition in Order to Be Innovative
Forgive me for yet another pompous, semi intellectual title; drawing from tradition can actually improve your chances of being innovative.
Taking a look at a standard design or art history book and flipping through the pages will immediately reveal to you an astonishing variety of sophisticated options.
Art history books represent a sort of natural selection which means that only the best of the best survived to be represented in these pages. Unlike jewelry and design magazines, that need to present you with a constant flow of images and ideas, some being good, others no so good, art history books need to do the exact opposite.
If a magazine needs to search for more images, an art history books always needs to trim down the possible tens of thousands of images and ideas into the essential and the very best.
This is why when you are inspired by what the past has to offer, you may as well increase your chance of being innovative and not repetitive. You will be surprised to discover how much modern jewelry makers can learn from the Celts, the ancient Egyptians and the artisans of the baroque period.
Blending your Personal Style with Historic Designs
Personally, I like nothing better than original and creative designs that draw their inspiration from other times and periods. Take for example Native American jewelry design. There is an unbelievable wealth of ideas to be found there. When you take your own design work and creative ideas and blend them with such a rich tradition, the result will almost always be fascinating. There is much to be said about design work that steadily echoed in the minds of a people for many generations.
Rather than rushing to re-create everything, perhaps young designers and jewelers should spend more time researching and studying the past. Understanding that an entire world of innovation and original ideas awaits you between the pages of art and design history books is an essential key in developing your own creativity and originality.