Do we ever really find time for inspiration when busy with everyday life? Sometimes it comes when a change is needed or maybe a change has come upon you. Given the current situation many of us are finding ourselves with spare time and a need for focus. Use this as an opportunity to expand your research and find inspiration for designing from different sources during and beyond this current crisis. This will allow you to be focused and prepared when normality resumes and aim to takeaway positives from this difficult time we are experiencing.
You may already have ‘go-to’ sources to inspire your designs, however we thought we’d share with you our favourite jewellery design inspiration and learning resources to aid your research during this time.
Online Museum Resources
If you’re yet to visit the Jewellery Collections at the V&A Museum in London, it is a must for all jewellery designers, however while we're at home, it's a great chance to explore their collections online. From some of the oldest jewellery relics and the history of jewellery through to modern day designers’ collections. Emerge yourself in their resources online here
Publications such as Professional Jeweller & Retail Jeweller have digital versions of their magazine (you may need to register to access these) and are a great read for anyone with an interest in jewellery. They also have useful tips about running a jewellery business during the current COVID-19 outbreak,as well as designer features.
Issuu.com is a great free resource which provides access to a wide range of magazines and is easy-to-navigate – simply search your chosen topic. There are published magazines as well as design collections and art exhibition catalogues to view.
Online Learning Resources
One major benefit of the internet not only amid the current crisis but at all times, is the ever-growing resources available from online learning platforms and YouTube.
Many jewellery making magazine websites are offering free tutorials such as Beadingclassroom.com (the online learning resource for Bead & Jewellery Magazine) and Facetjewelry.com which is a US site connected with the magazines, Bead & Button, Art Jewelry and Bead Style. You can also download previous issues too and have access to a range of free tutorials.
Online learning platforms such as Bluprint (previously Craftsy) feature some great specific learning tutorials for Jewellery making, these are downloadable courses which are paid for individually, but usually some are available for free.
There are also a number of jewellery schools with online learning resources such as The London School of Jewellery, they run a Jewellers Academy online course which usually operate on a subscription basis. Enrolling in the course is often accompanied with the benefit of an online forum or Facebook group to complement it and allows discussion amongst other designers, creating a place for open discussions to flow freely.
Free resources on YouTube and Facebook offer a vast range of jewellery making tuition resources. Watch out for
Upcoming Jewellery Trends
Watch out for up and coming trends, these will often be reviewed in the glossy magazines and online sites, like whowhatwear.uk and Stylist.co.uk, after the catwalk season, but what transfers to the high street can look quite different. Keeping an eye on the jewellery world movers and shakers can give some insight. Check out the larger jewellery brands but also keep an eye out for newly emerging talent. Companies like Net a Porter (online designer fashion website) are often quick to adapt to new designers so are an easy place to see what is coming through from designers and likely to transfer onto the high street. Some of our current favourites to follow on Instagram are WALD Berlin, Shaker Jewels, Anni Lu, Chan Luu and Eliou all of which are showing innovative and new gemstone jewellery styling.
Make Plans and Design Notes
If you are finding lots of sources of inspiration online and offline, be sure to document this. This will help to focus your mind, pull together styles & designs and can often lead you down different paths and develop new ideas. This is also essential to refer back to in a few months’ time when normality has resumed, and you want to revisit these ideas.
We would recommend using Pinterest to build mood boards specifically for the inspiration you are finding. If you prefer pen and paper have a dedicated notebook or sketch pad.
Perhaps investigate journaling, there are huge communities online for bullet journaling which works brilliantly for keeping design ideas and business planning in one notebook, these styles of journaling may help in the long run for planning the next 6-12 months with new products. Think about making schedules to launch new items each month, maybe plan to venture out of your comfort zone and try something you have never done before, as you move forward with your business over the next couple of months.
Connect with customers
There are many different social media platforms which may benefit your design planning, while finding new accounts to connect with on Instagram and Jewellery groups on Facebook. But these social media platforms are also great for testing out new designs with customers, opening new conversations around your plans and finding solutions for customer requests. Don’t forget that you should continue the conversation with your customers more so now than ever, you will be able to find out more marketing hints and tips in our next blog ‘How to market your jewellery business during COVID-19’.