Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ponderings About Identity

Since, I've been home, I've been like a little kid in a candy store, jumping from CTR project to CTR project. I can't sleep, I get so excited. While I'm laying in bed, instead of counting lofty sheep jumping over cotton candy pillows, I'm day dreaming about color schemes for my business cards, the way the hat tilts on my next robot, and jewelry photo composition. My mind just doesn't shut up! 

Sometimes, an activity that I'm working on goes less than perfect…Imagine that! Today I prepared all morning for a Chandler photo shoot outside in my backyard. I picked out the background colors. I decided on the positioning of my pieces. I waited until exactly two o' clock in the afternoon to shoot, because I knew the light would be perfect. 

I snapped some photos, re-adjusted, and then snapped some more. "Yeah, Chandler. Give it to me! Smile for the camera! You are perfection, yes?" I buzzed with excitement, running up the stairs to my studio to upload the photos. I started pouring over them, picked out a few that stood out to me, edited them, and uploaded them into my online shop.

Now I'm going to tell everyone a little secret: I'm an idea stealer.

Yes, it's true! I steal ideas from nature, from my little sister's logo on their clothing, when I'm walking through a furniture store with my mother. I steal ideas from the interior decor of a fancy restaurant that Nick and I are dining at. I steal from pixar, Disney, Tim Burton. I'm sorry. I'm guilty as charged!

So, lately, while I've been racking my little brain for ideas for jewelry photos, I decided to check into what my good friends over at Anthropologie were doing with THEIR jewelry photos, and…I stole from them too! They took their photos from an arial view. They included the pendant and the entire chain. The chains always flow in a wavy pattern. The photos were taken on a neutral background. They were very classy, chic, and professional.

I need to learn to be inspired by other ideas, but to make those ideas MY OWN.
While my "photographer" attempts somewhat captured the initial idea, I became frustrated with the way my photos turned out. Some of my designs are very small, so the intricate details went missing when I tried to photograph the whole piece. The color was wrong. The "professionalism" came out contrived. 

I forced myself to step away from my laptop, sit outside of the pantry and listen to my little sister masterfully perform piano songs from her favorite anime movies. (Yes, my parents' piano is in their pantry. Don't ask.) Then I made some iced peach tea, sat outside in the veranda, and
thought.

I can't be something that I'm not.
I discovered that I'm not Anthropologie. Surprise! I'm me. I make quirky little robots. I'm not a BIG company. I'm the only woman who runs my business and makes all the decisions, so everything is probably not going to look 100% professional. I'm almost an…indie designer of sorts. 

On the music side of things, I can't be Jimi Hendrix either. (Why, oh why did the heavens not bestow upon me Jimi's chops?!) I'm just a girl (thank you Gwen Stefani) who plays guitar, but is more of a song writer really, who comes up with meaningful and simple riffs. I don't "scream" with my instrument, I "think" with my instrument. That's what I do. And I've got to take it instead of leave it.

So sexy, right?


Chandler isn't just jewelry, like the jewelry in the photos I was so graciously attempting to mimic. Chandler is a character, my little buddy, and his photos ought to represent that. (I've got some great ideas! Photos coming soon! My ideas might take me awhile to implement though.)


I love having major life breakthroughs on Tuesday mornings.

Honestly,
Meg

20 comments:

  1. I think it'd be fun taking pictures of Chandler... he's kind of evolved into his own little character, you could put him in all sorts of amusing situations. Looking forward to see what you come up with.

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    1. It is quite a rush. Ha ha. I try to keep his little feet pointing forward.

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  2. "you are perfection yes?" i laughed so hard at that!! The photoshoot sounds exciting-if ur evr looking for models other than Jade (lol) im always available ;)

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  3. Haha! I love your stories and breakthroughs, Meg :) I definitely agree with you here... I think we all do the same by admiring someone so much and trying to be them instead of ourselves!

    Frankly, I adore the Chandler pictures that you take and your awesome guitar skills! Keep on being your awesome self.

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    1. Well, thank you. It's always a work in progress, but that's what keeps it fun!

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  4. Chandler is definitely more than just jewelry. I mean, sometimes I find myself talking to him, and I don't talk to any of my other jewelry haha
    He just has so much personality in his little two-inch frame!

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    1. Ha hahahhaha. I know what you mean! You can imagine me and Chandler and my long hours in my studio. He's like a hairdresser in a way... he hears all the dirt.

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  5. Love your posts lol...but I'll let you in on a secret. You didn't have a major breakthrough. No...well, maybe for the moment. But the breakthrough you are going to have on Wednesday next week will make THIS breakthrough seem minor by comparison. I can't wait!!

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    1. Forgive me if I'm missing something obvious, but what's on Wednesday?

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  6. I am glad that you can't be Jimi Hendrix...you dead at 27 is bad

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  7. I'm so happy for you. This also somehow keeps me in line as well... What you realize can sometimes serve as a lesson for others. And this is really helping me keep a hold onto who I really am... Not what I wish or want to be. It's sometimes hard to quit the daydreaming!

    Thank you Meg. This is something I've been dealin with a lot as of late, trying to figure out my way through college, and what it is I'm actually doing here... I may be having a quarter-life crisis 6 years earlier than it's supposed to happen!

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  8. Haha!!! I would pay to see a Chandler photo shoot.

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    1. Oh, no no. You guys wouldn't order any more Chandlers if you knew what went on behind the scenes. I kid, I kid.

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  9. I totally agree that you can't be something that you're not. It will only come out seeming kind of phony and boring. Also, it will make you feel uncomfortable as you are just fighting against your own unique self. Speaking for myself, I see that you are always putting your own style on everything you create, and I really like that. I know that's why I am drawn to CTR and your music.

    When you say "steal", I think it's really inspiration triggering another idea in your mind which you see through your own unique filter on the world. You just need to make that idea your own. It's like that "genius" whispering from the land beyond Beyond.

    PS-I like that B/W photo. It makes you look like an action hero, like you're about to kick someone's ass (maybe the "genius" sitting in the backyard whispering weird ideas about photo shoots). ;)

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    1. Yeah, I wish I had the strength to go around ass kicking, but unfortunately my yoga class kicked MY ass yesterday, so I'm not quite there yet...

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  10. i think we all pull ideas for things we make/do from seeing the way other's have done things. for example, looking at other people's photography gives me a new way to see things sometimes so that i can experiment more and try something that's inspired by something/someone else, while still being myself. but i think your chandler photos are cute! you do a good job. kind of like you said how you're a small business and how not everything is professional, i'm realizing too that when i am annoyed over my photos or designs not being good as others or how i want them to be, i'm still a teenager who's learning and experimenting, not a professional. although i'm still annoyed....haha. i wish i could help with your photos, but of course i'm kind of far away. i'm looking foward to see what you come up with though!

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    1. Hey, we'd love to see some photos. Email me meg@chandlertherobot.com. I want to see what you've been up to!

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