When I began, I did what everyone else does. I went to the big Craft stores, sifted through scrapbook paper, bought my glass gems, and started creating. And they looked like everyone elses.
And then, the light bulb moment......I could make the glass gems. So I did. I don't make the little ones, but I do make all the larger ones. Now, I not only make them for my own use, but I sell them to one of the top Supply sellers on Etsy.
Thanks to a scanner, copier and photo editing program, I was able to execute some designs.....like the Fortune paperweights, and dog/cat themed magnets. The Hooks quickly followed.
Okay, quickly is not quite right. The learning curve was huge. I had many failures. MANY. But, I loved the idea, so I perservered until the kinks had been worked out.
It's always a challenge as an artist, crafter or designer to stay inspired, to stay original, and most important, to stay true to yourself. Etsy is a constant reminder of the amazing talent and diversity that exists, and I have found much inspiration on that site. Unfortunately it is also a reminder that many people will copy others. Being inspired by others and copying others are entirely different things. It's up to us (as artists/crafters to know the difference).
(stay tuned, as I will discuss why I think the Bandwagon is not always a bad thing).
I love that I have the inate desire to be a little different. Tanner Glass wouldn't be here without it.