One of the best pieces of advice I got from a beading listserv back in the mid-1990s was to seek inspiration from jewelry in fashion magazines. The person posting particularly recommended the Vogue jewelry magazine Gioiello. On my next trip to New York I went looking for an issue. After gasping at the price I plunked down my cash and later curled up with it in my hotel room. What fabulous images and ideas unfolded. I gazed at weirdly-gotten-up models, cluttered settings where you had to search for the jewelry, like those optical illusion panoramas popular once upon a time: can you find the six hidden brooches? But the jewelry, the jewelry! I gave it the ultimate accolade - I set up a manila file folder for pages I x-actoed from it.
As the web morphed from a medium full of texts to one full of images, I began copying and pasting images I found online into a Word file on my laptop. I had about 2 dozen such files when I finally decided to stop resisting and set up a Pinterest Board. After the usual "this is great! Why didn't I do this sooner?" reaction I now have a board where I put all my fashion jewelry inspiration. I call it "Jewelry Inspiration for Bead Design" and you can find it here.
One never knows what will do the trick of inspiring a design. But here's one that did it for me.
I used to do a lot of loomed beadwork until it got too hard on my wrists. After making bracelets and bookmarks, I wanted to create a larger loomed piece to hang on a wall. Believe it or not, this photo gave me the idea for a design:
What was it that caught my attention? The fingernails.
I liked the combination of an abstract backdrop with bold dark slashes (hashtag, anyone?) and the gold/brown palette with hints of bright red and blue (this photo doesn't show that very well, I admit).
And here is the result, a piece I titled "Fragment."