Are you an Unconscious Designer?
First let me say, this blog may sound like criticism, but it is meant to be helpful. So, now that I’ve explained my motivation, put any hurt feelings aside and let’s talk. And while this discussion relates primarily to bead embroidery designs, it can have application to other bead techniques.
The most common design error I see with bead embroidered designs is a lack of proportion. Good design concepts include PROPORTION AND BALANCE.
“Proportion is the relationship of two or more elements in a design and how they compare with one another. Proportion is said to be harmonious when a correct or desirable relationship exists between the elements with respect to size, color, quantity, degree, or setting. Good proportion adds harmony, symmetry, or balance among the parts of a design.” From wikispaces.com
Sure, you can bend the rules to achieve a shock with a design, but the pieces I see that violate this design concept aren’t trying to do that.
There are two commonly seen errors: One is a bead embroidered pendant type design that is hanging from a tiny strand of beads. The other is when joining bead embroidered sections and using a tiny design for the connection point(s). I totally understand that the construction may be sufficient such that the piece will not fall apart (strong thread, numerous stitches) BUT…..
it LOOKS like it will fall apart!
The only explanation I have for these designs is that the designer was so focused on the bead embroidered portion that the design as a whole wasn’t even looked at. This is easy to do. The fun part of the design is the bead embroidery and this is where the main focus is. However, your design is not complete until the entire necklace/bracelet/earring is finished. Other people will look at the design in its totality, not just a section of it. If the proportion is off for these other parts of the design, then the whole design fails. Sorry, it is just a fact.
So, if you think it doesn’t matter, take a picture of the design with that tiny strand of beads. Now redo it and use AT LEAST a 6mm round (if not 8mm..) and take a picture. Don’t ask a beader (they can make the same error as you and look only at the bead embroidered section) instead ask your husband or some other non-beader friend which picture they like better. They will always choose the redone version because the proportion of the piece is corrected. And really, you can’t just show the piece to hubby and ask if he likes it; that’s like asking if you look fat in those jeans. Unless they a person that never learns, he knows how he needs to answer. So, you need to make it safe for the person you are asking an opinion of… they can pick from two different pictures so no insult is implied.
Getting compliments on your necklace or “likes” on facebook is not a good tool to evaluate your design. People will give you compliments because they like you and you made it. People want to encourage you. Likes on facebook don’t explain whether the person likes the whole, or just part of it.
Good design is a fuzzy thing…. People have different tastes. There can always be an aspect of something that speaks to someone’s unique experience creating a unique bond. In other words, as my sister and I have observed “There is nothing so ugly that it won’t sell”. But, there truly are rules for GOOD design and one of them is proportion. Criticize your own work and try to be honest. When you are finished, ask yourself if you have violated this fundamental principle.