Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reintroducing myself to my Muse...

Life is busy. I'm a wife, a daughter, a sister, a mother of two grown sons, a pet owner, a social networker and a member of my local community. And I'm a studio artist, a metalsmith.

I often walk around muttering to my Muse. She sits on my shoulder and whispers design ideas to me all day long. She tells me bedtime stories as I close my eyes at night. She makes me twitch and itch to spend hours and hours and hours in my too-tiny home studio, trying to make that ever-elusive 'breakthrough' to the other side.

I seem to remember some character in a book long ago, whose quest was for an Original Idea. This is also part of my conversation with my Muse.

I found her so long ago I can't remember when or how. But I have also lost her many times. The most important story on this that I have was a moment more than 20 years ago, when I had not made art in many years and found myself in the Laughing Horse Inn in Taos, New Mexico. In deep pain and feeling lost, I encountered two older women, close friends who met up in Taos every year to take art classes together. They drew my story out of me and when I said that, on top of everything else going on in my life right then, I was in deep pain because I wasn't making art, they said that getting back to artmaking was the most important issue for me to tackle. That everything else would fall into place if I would just do that. This seemed so impossible at the time.

But, eventually, I found jewelry design and, with halting steps, began to make and sell bead jewelry. I traveled to market it. I gained new confidence in myself and my life. And, most importantly, found happiness in building upon jewelry-making skill sets. I found a great many excellent teachers along the way. I found that, having stated my intent to be happy making and selling jewelry, that the resources in the universe lined up to help me do it.

Along the way, I became a happy person instead of someone off-track and in pain. I met my husband and began a long marriage. My own son grew up and I gained a younger stepson. The computer age arrived and I began to learn it. The social network age arrived, and I learned that too. I opened and ran a beautiful gallery for four years and then returned to making and marketing my own jewelry design again.

I push myself forward, always. My Muse sits on my shoulder and fuels me with that promise of a 'breakthrough.' She reintroduces herself to me daily, and I accept her insights and companionship and her admonition to get busy with that Original Idea.


This article is written in conjunction with my Etsy team: Aspiring Metalsmiths on Etsy, which organized a 'blog roll' on the topic of: Finding Your Muse. Here is the list of links to other team members' blogs on this topic!


September Project Blogroll - Finding Your Muse

Each month the Aspiring Metals team chooses a topic and each write about that topic on their blog. This month we want to know what inspires you, and where do you look for inspiration?

See what we have to say by visiting the blogs below:


  1. Tana - What a wonderful story. I completely agree that following your passions is so very important. At times when I have let myself stop being creative because life and tasks get in the way, I feel myself slipping into unhappiness. I'm so glad that your muse now lives with you full-time!

  2. Thanks for your sweet comment! The exact words of the two older women artists to me were: "Do your art! Do your art! Every day that you do not do your art is another day when you do not do your art!" I was amazed at their passion. Their message was the exact opposite of what the world so often says to artists. I have not had a day since then that I did not think of them and their message to me. It has stood me in good stead.

  3. What a lovely journey! Thank you for sharing, being able to create is a wonderful outlet.

  4. Tana, your jewelry is so beautiful ... I just love copper. Thanks for sharing your story of inspiration. I'd like to add that those two women in Taos were Muses, too!!!

  5. Lovely story. Good wishes to your muse - may she keep whispering for a long, long time.