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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Enter the Multiverse: Using Multicolored and Iridescent Beads

Many people find it challenging to work with muti-colored beads.  They are hard to color match, hard to match to metals, and the array of different colors can make it difficult for artists to settle on a single color scheme.  They are for beaders and crafters what Zebra are to lions.  Confusing.

More often than not, shimmery, multicolored beads are left in the clearance sections, unclaimed.  But, as artists, we shouldn't let something like color and finishing stop us from using them.  A multi-colored bead isn't difficult or directionless and we don't need Jesse James to tell us how to pair them.  We just need a few simple steps to pull us out of the boring monotony that causes fear of the multicolored.

Focus Your Elements:
You can tailor your designs by focusing on one or two colors in the bead and expanding it into other parts of whatever piece you're making.  You can take a look at my old artwork to see how this works successfully.

Forget about Matching:
It's so socially engrained in us that we need to match, that we tend to focus on it without realizing it.  Always match; Don't clash.  Your parents told you that you couldn't wear pink, purple and turquoise when you were little.  Forget what they said.  They can't tell you how to pair your beads, fabrics or clothes.

Look to Mother Nature:
Many artists take inspiration from nature.  When you think nature, you think green, brown, red, orange, blue.  Basic primary colors that fit only with their landscape.  We often picture mother nature as some kind of middle-aged woman.  SHE IS NOT.  Mother Nature isn't dull, consistent or subdued.  SHE IS A HARAJUKU DRAG QUEEN.
Fabulous Hunty!
Look at the oceans, rainforests, flowers, African wildlife, and the insect world.
Check the shades of gray, turquoise, yellow, royal blue, black, green AND red.

And color isn't limited to just bugs and slugs.  Take a look at this Mandril.  That's sort of related to humans...distantly.  So, if this primate can wear a bunch of colors, so can we.
I see purple, pink, blue, red, yellow, cream, brown, black and white...

That's about all you need to do to work with multi-colored beads and findings.  Let go of your conventions and look to some new things for inspiration.

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