outflows and inflows of creativity

Sunday, June 10, 2007

When To Stop

How do you know when you're finished with an art project?
I normally don't have a problem in this area - I stop when:

1. I don't have anything else to say
2. I am so sick of it I can't stand to look at it anymore
3. I run out of paint and don't have the $ for more
D. All of the above

Lots of artists agonize over this. I think it's comparable to a locomotive gathering steam going up a steep grade, when it goes down the other side it gains speed and momentum and it's damn near impossible to stop. We think (I'm putting myself in this, applies to me too) "Just one more color here" or "I need to flesh this out a bit more", but if we're not careful, very careful, we can lose the whole message we were trying to convey in the first place. Like bread, like pasta, there is such a thing as overdone. It is helpful to step back from it for a few hours, a few days, take a break and come back with fresh eyes. Here's a neat thing to do - if you can, turn the piece upside down. You will see it with whole new eyes, and thus using the other side of your brain will help you to have more balance in your piece. This has helped me many times, I'm sure it will help you, too. Listen to your inner creative voice, don't second guess yourself. (Image courtesy of Kevin McCarthy)

1 comment:

Lise Richards said...

I find the time to stop is just before I add something to mess it up :-)

Love your blog!!