Notable Lessons Learned after 50
By Christopher J. Miller ~
Moving beyond 50 brings many new skills. But perfectionism, according to local jeweler and artist Dana Brock, isn’t one of them.
After growing up in Plano and studying interior design at Texas Tech, Brock spent several years running a retail store in downtown McKinney before realizing her true talent was imperfection.
“It’s what creating jewelry and art is all about,” Brock said. “Making imperfect things. I like them and I fit very well into the imperfect realm.”
According to Brock, there’s a certain freedom in the less-than-perfect.
Discovering her gift didn’t come easy. After many years of designing perfect jewelry, she stumbled across a secret.
Brock had designed a pair of earrings that were rather irregular. But, to her surprise, they were immediately purchased. In fact, she began to notice that irregular items sold faster than symmetrically balanced ones.
Perhaps it’s because people shy away from the sameness of manufacturing, or maybe they just like to own something truly original. But Brock discovered a power in imperfection and she decided to create a new collection based on what she learned.
Brock currently produces several jewelry lines. Her Wabi Collection is specifically based in her belief that artists should embrace their art as imperfect and includes jewelry with a little “wobble” in it. As expected, the line has been quite successful.
She participates in many local art shows, including the Millhouse Art- fest and the Urban Artist Market, in Irving. You can always find her work at the Millhouse ArtBlock in the Cotton Mill, where she keeps a booth called “Dzyn by Dana.”
While Brock loved jewelry-making and the lessons it brought, more than 10 years ago she decided to expand her skillset and explore a new art form: abstract acrylic painting.
It was a long process for the jewelry maker. Although she took some rudimentary drawing courses at Texas Tech, she had to learn painting without much guidance.
After completing an online painting course, Brock began researching artists at the local library and playing with different techniques. She translated much of her jewelry design experience into painting and was hooked.
“I purposely paint with my left-hand,” said Brock, who is right-handed. “I do it on purpose because I want the lines to be imperfect: wobbly and unbalanced.”
Those imperfections make for truly unique art. Brock’s paintings engage with their whimsical use of line, shape, and color.
Brock finds her technique fun and engaging because there’s no pressure to make the final work look like something.
She likes to say, “A painting paints itself.” And her flower paintings have been extremely popular.
“The flowers aren’t perfect. The trees aren’t perfect. None of the shapes are perfect,” said Brock. “And that’s what makes them perfect.”
Many people approach Brock and share their stories of struggle with art. “I just hit a block,” they say. Or, “I’m not good enough.”
Her advice? Welcome your imperfection. Just keep painting, and learn to play with it.