i wanted to chat today about the creative process behind Austin James Smith, and the choice to investigate many different visual languages throughout the brand. Often in fashion, a brand has one main 'stand-out' style that is the same throughout each collection they release. Coming into jewelry design from a fine art beginning, rather than a fashion background, i always wanted to keep things experimental and not stay too rooted into one single visual language.
For example, my first collections were very edgy, sharp and scary. This was exactly who I was as a person at the time. While I still love those pieces, as we as that style, i find that each new collection morphs and grows as I do. A classic piece from my first collections, the Chimera earring, is one i will always come back to!
What keeps creating art and designing fresh for me, is always pushing new boundaries and trying something new. When I stick to one method or idea for too long, i tend to get bored. Thats why with each collection i try to introduce a design element or idea that is new for me. My scope of the possibility of what jewelry can be grew greater the more i learned and immersed myself in it. While switching up my design style with each collection, I still try to keep a running narrative throughout each collection that ties them all together in some way.
For example, my Phase 4: PANGEA collection i really tried to flip my usual design language on its head, utilizing organic shapes and mixed metals which was something i had never done before, while still incorporating some pointy edges. As well as for my Phase 6: LOST collection utilizing colored enamel in jewelry for a summer nautical inspired collection. Each experiment into something new always still ties back to my original design language that I started the brand with. It is very satisfying creatively to see the progression of how my initial ideas can now blossom into something new than how they started.
Creating a world and story around each collection has also been a fun adventure to delve into as well. I get very into the type of aesthetic im feeling for the season the collection will be out. Last summer was very pirate vibes, this winter was futuristic Sorayama energy, and I'm feeling a trippy desert oasis mood for this coming summer!
There is no right or wrong way to go about presenting your style or aesthetic, I just have learned that switching things up is what motivates and inspires me! Thank you all for sticking with me as i experiment and push myself and the design language of the brand into new territories.