Inspiration Insights

October 12, 2012 , In: Inspiration, Journaling

Hello!  I’m Linda Landig and I’m a newbie to the team here at AJE.  My posts will be written from the perspective of one who uses art jewelry elements in most of her designs, but who doesn’t actually make art jewelry elements herself.  I’m sure many of you love using handmade elements in your designs, like I do. 

An online friend recently asked me what sources of inspiration drive my designs.  The most important source of inspiration for me is color. When I first started designing jewelry I was afraid of color.  I anguished about which colors would look good together and I made a lot of monochrome jewelry.

To get past the color inhibitions I started a color journal.  Whenever I saw color combinations that appealed to me, I’d cut them out of magazines or catalogs and glue them into my journal.  Although I have a lot of jewelry pictures in my color journal, you can see from this page that there are almost limitless sources of color inspiration; from blankets to dishes to quilts.  I once designed a 2 strand bracelet after seeing a yellow and gray pillow in a home magazine.

Now days we have Pinterest and you can collect colors there as well.  I have a color board on Pinterest, if you want to take a look at it to get started.  But be sure to personalize your color board.  It should be brim full of colors that make your heart sing with joy.  A good online source for colors is the Design Seeds blog.

Another great source of color inspiration is the focal you are planning to use in your design.  This pendant from Yolanda’s Clay was one of my first handmade component purchases.  Just look at the great colors in it!

I  selected gemstones inspired by the colors of the pendant, such as pink opal, aventurine and amethyst.  Then I added some coordinating glass beads and Swarvoski crystals. The whole necklace came together from the inspiration of the colors in the pendant.

There are color inspirations all around you!  Can you see the connection between this Native American drum that hangs on the wall in our living room and the necklace I designed for the AJE September Component of the Month Challenge?

With experience you’ll begin developing your own favorite color combinations, but you’ll also develop a keener eye for all the amazing colors that surround us every day.

~Linda Landig
  Linda Landig Jewelry

Linda Landig

Linda Landig has been designing jewelry for over 30 years. Color play is the driving force in her work, closely followed by an obsession with texture. Linda soon discovered that art beads could provide much of the color and texture she sought. Linda has an affinity for floral themes, dating back to childhood efforts to raise irises. She has taken courses in metalsmithing and lampwork, but it is ceramics that has captured her heart. Linda has two adult children and lives in Olympia, WA with her husband of 42 years.
  1. Reply

    I love a color journal! And I still "clip and save" from magazines after they are read. Sometimes its just refreshing to page through the collected eye candy – you never know what will spark an idea.
    For my own self – I prefer analogous palettes. I love the harmonious interplay and subtle interaction. Sometimes a pop, but usually harmony…Just thought I would share in the color discussion…

    • Reply

      I'm glad you did, because everyone has their own color preferences–that's where the journal or Pinterest comes in handy. After collecting your favorite colors for awhile, you may start to see some patterns emerge, which helps you to know your preferences better.

  2. Reply

    Pinterest is great but there is nothing like a tactile inspiration portfolio. I'm not quite as organised as you Linda – have fabric swatches, threads, dried leaves,anything that catches my eye but they're all over the workroom! Lovely post.

    • Reply

      Thanks, Lesley–organization is over-rated! šŸ˜‰

  3. Reply

    Great post, Linda! I don't have a book, but I have a bulletin board in my studio where I just pin stuff that catches my eye. A binder or portfolio is a much better idea – thanks so much for sharing it!

    • Reply

      I painted the frame of a bulletin board, but haven't hung it up yet. lol!

  4. Reply

    Great article, Linda. I am color challenged and really love your Pinterest Board. I also like the journal idea and I am going to start one right now:O)

    • Reply

      Yay! I;m so glad this post was useful for you!

  5. Reply

    Nice post, Linda. I used to do a lot of monchromatic desing until I met you in a guild. I love design seeds for inspiration. I've also fallen in love with a site called Picmonkey where you can create your own color collage from any photo. I make a collage from a photo I like then download it, print it and I can put it in my sketch book.

  6. Reply

    I like PicMonkey, too, Lee! But how do you make a color collage with only one picture? Or did I misunderstand what you were saying?

  7. Reply

    I like your color journal, Linda. Maybe I should try one. I used to have a design inspiration journal, but not specifically on color. I miss it. Great post!

  8. Reply

    Linda, your ideas here ring true for me as well. Some time ago I prepared a blog entry on using home magazine covers for color inspiration. (For some reason, I never published it.) Magazine publishers obviously have professional designers there who know what looks with what, as well as the latest trends in color. Not only the cover photos but the coordinating backgrounds and text colors can be helpful. One that I recall as a favorite had a peachy color background with a plum/purple font. Similar colors were in the photo. I don't think I would have come up with that, but it sounds like something I'd like to try! Now, to get as organized as you!

  9. Reply

    P.S. Absolutely beautiful and inspired/inspiring jewelry, as always!

  10. Reply

    I agree with Francesca – I do have bulletin boards in the office and the studio. I empty them as a New Years Day ritual and build over the year. By this time its like an archaeological dig!

  11. Reply

    Great post! I too am inspired by color. I make little vignettes of various materials I find – little piles of stones, leaves, shells, bits of artwork, textiles and fiber, jewelry components – you name it! The colors – and textures – really help launch lots of ideas!

  12. Reply

    Wow thank you I am already feeling less intimidated by colour combinations!

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