Silliness Saves

Something I'm trying to embrace in my jewellery design and illustration is silliness. Maybe it's a way for me to hide my lack of training or skill, but I rarely feel a piece has been successful if it doesn't have just a sprinkle of humour. I've tried realism, I've tried to make A R T and just ended up frustrated and disappointed. So I've leaned in, and reached the conclusion that mild silliness is where I am most at home. 

This is something I've been mulling over for a number of years in my creative practise, and then last week I had a conversation that made me wonder about this. It went a bit like this:

Person: "so, what is it you do?"

Me: "I make silly earrings!" and modelled said (really silly) earrings.

Everyone: NOOOOO they're not silly/they're lovely/oh they're so nice/they're beautiful etc etc

These lovely women, with whom I'd only previously exchanged a few words, went to some pains to reassure me that my work had value. I found this interesting for a couple of reasons:

1. I never said it didn't have value, or wasn't lovely or beautiful. I said it was silly, which it is, but can't it be all of those things at once?

2. Women are amazing. That acute social training meant they didn't even take a beat to think about what I'd said and just assumed I was being self-deprecating and took it upon themselves to lift me up. 

And while this is really sweet, I have developed a fairly thick skin by leaning into this silliness because I've had to learn that it's not for everyone. Not everyone wants earrings with faces on them, or bugs hanging round their neck. But those that do, you guys, you guys that get it, you know I'm not out here saving lives, performing heart surgery, but that in fact I'm just getting through the day trying to spread some joy and not to put eyes on everything.

My job is to brighten your day by making really stupid things you can hang off yourself, so if you're having a crappy day and have to go and have a little cry in the toilets, you can catch a glimpse of your wiggly worm earrings and go HAAA. Little serotonin boosters. My whole social media is dedicated to my dressing up habit and oh look a glittery slug. It's not serious, it's not important, or necessary. Except that sometimes, in that moment when you do need a little lift, noticing your little woodlouse brooch buddy on your jumper does just that.

Will I ever learn to make beautiful, dainty things? Maybe. But there's lots of folk doing that absolutely brilliantly already, and I love their work, I don't want to replicate it. So I'll stick with silly, and wonky and a little bit weird, encouraged and supported by all of you fabulous folk. And here we come full circle, because the good vibes just keep on coming. You buy my silly earrings to cheer yourself up, but do you even realise how much you're also lifting me up? I quite literally could not do this without you guys. Thank you for letting me be silly.