“You focus on some new idea in your work, you try it out, run with it for awhile, reach a point of diminishing returns, and eventually decide its not worth pursuing further.” -from ‘Art and Fear’
Wowie … is this timely. I was having such trouble with some pieces last weekend, I was mentally going through creative hell. All the self doubt, all the second guessing, much of what is discussed in these blogs … I suffered through it all. I’m wondering: did I bring this on myself just to experience it, to truly feel what I am writing about? Who knows? Mara knows, he is watching.
It is hard to give up on a piece of art, especially if you have put a good amount of time and possibly money into it. The art gods take enough of your stuff from you as it is. Materials fail, things break because of gravity, things break because of equipment (glass and ceramics kilns are famous for unanticipated disasters), your cat sticks to the paint. You name it, it happens. But when you have to be honest with yourself and decide something is not salvageable, it’s time for a bit of art euthanasia. Can be painful. Can be cathartic too.
“Quitting is fundamentally different than stopping. The latter happens all the time. Quitting happens once.” from ‘Art and Fear’
So. I. Stopped. I considered quitting for oh, about 38 seconds. I dont know what I would do if I couldn’t make things, didn’t make art. But this low urgency, high importance crisis provided me with some valuable insight into what was going on. I was trying to get a square peg in a round hole, making things that were outside my flow state. I was making things because I thought they would sell easily! I was not making my art .. Mark Rafter Art.
That ain’t gonna happen again. Only statement pieces, ones that are worthy of your attention. I promise.