Friday, May 31, 2013

Imagining Other Careers....

I read an interesting article today by Delia Lloyd where she asks her readers to "Imagine Five Alternative Careers".

This is food for thought.

When I was younger I wanted to be a:
1. Ballet dancer
2. Nurse
3. Dental hygienist
4. Stewardess
5. Librarian

I took ballet lessons, but found out I didn't have the right body type to be a ballerina (or the talent).

Nursing was out because I wasn't good at math and science and was intimidated by having to take classes in those subjects.

My father discouraged me from being a dental hygienist ("Why would you want to clean people's teeth?" Good point.) and the science issue was still there.

I became a stewardess (that's what we used to call flight attendants), which I enjoyed for many years. I liked the job because it was never the same, I got to travel to new places all the time and meet interesting people. After a while I was bored by the actual job, I flew the same route to Toyko every week for five years. I started looking around for alternative careers and because I love books and libraries so much, I started checking into becoming a librarian.

I did apply to library school and was accepted to the program at the University of Texas. It would have meant moving from Seattle to Austin and when push came to shove, I wasn't ready to make the move.

A few years later I took an early retirement package from my airline employer and decided to study graphic design and illustration. I had taken some interior design classes and liked art. I got my degree in Graphic Design and Illustration and have I been a practicing designer for fifteen years this month.

But the graphic design industry is changing. I keep having to update my skills to learn how to design for mobile phones and tablets. They want UX and UI, wireframes, Ruby on Rails, jQuery and javascript.

It makes my head hurt. I got into this profession because I like art and wanted to do something creative.

Most clients and employers just want the work done fast and cheap instead of thoughtful and inspired. I am once again considering a new career. If time, money and energy were no object I would like to be a:

1. metalsmith and jewelry maker.
2. fashion stylist for high end clients.
3. buyer and seller of antiques, treasures and textiles from around the world.
4. textile, stationary, licensing artist selling my art and designs to be applied to products and fabrics.
5. personal assistant to a celebrity.
6. travel photographer

If the truth be told, I really want to do all of these things! I'm going to keep thinking about this. The universe seems to be leading me away from graphic design.

What alternative careers would you like to have?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Enameling Metal Jewelry

I've been taking metalsmithing classes for the last year. I started with metal about 15 years ago and then stopped when I started working full time. This last year I haven't been working as much which has been a gift in many ways; one if those ways is more time to work on my art.

The current class I'm taking is an Enameling. Enameling a process where ground glass is fused to copper or silver when heated at high temperatures (1500 degrees). You can heat the metal in a kiln or through a process called torch firing where you apply the flame from a torch underneath the metal until the glass melts and fuses to the the copper or silver.

I am in love with enameling! I love color and experimenting with transparent and opaque enamels is so much fun. I'm never quite sure what I'm going to get because the powdered enamel colors look very different than the heated and cooled enamel. Here are a few recent samples I made.

Friday, May 10, 2013

20 things you can do to kickstart your creativity

This post comes from the website of Maria Whetman. She is a jeweler in the UK who works with silver and recycled tin. Her website is here:

Maria has some great ideas and I already do some of them like looking through old journals from years ago to get inspiration. I also like her idea of taking the train someplace I've never been or a class in something that's out of my usual foraging for edible mushrooms!

Her work is delightful and inspiring.

My kitty Delilah is inspired by Peonies

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I've discovered Doodler's Anonymous which is a good 12 step program for me since I've discovered Zentangles and Zendoodling. It's always good to spend more time in my sketchbook than in front of a computer screen and I love the look of black ink on good paper. Here are a few recent entries from my sketchbook:

KCRW logo - pen & ink with watercolor crayon
copyright diane tchakirides 2013

Heart Mandala
copyright diane tchakirides 2013