TITLE: The End
DATE: 12/02/2005 05:25:00 PM
When I was in art school there was a certain flow to each week. Classes narrowed their focus on both skill and concept. Students were expected to develop work as a response and, in upcoming weeks, participate in some form of critique. This constant exploration and review allowed young artists-in-training (like me) to hone their craft. We never spent too long laboring over something useless because the project either came to an end or the critique snapped us back into reality.
But when you're no longer in school, you have to determine your own ways of working. And, many times that is a long, uphill battle.
No one is assigning anything. No review sessions are plotted on the calendar. There is no reason not to let studio work linger on and on. Pieces are only finished when you want them to be. And no piece really has to be finalized.
After I graduated, I went through a long process of:
- Not making work
- Making work on the couch
- Wanting to make work and instead making excuses
- And, finally, making and finishing pieces (what a concept!)
While career artists and craftspeople with collectors and galleries probably shake their heads at this, I know there are more than a handful of artists who have had or are in the midst of their own similar crisis of completion. The question for them isn't so much where to find the time or place to make work, but how to develop the urge to finish what you've started.
So, my solution?
Something very simple that you must do today if finishing things hasn't been your forte lately.
Get out the calendar and let "X" mark the spot.
Pencil in a day for a studio open house, an artsy dinner party, or a full-fledged critique.
Mark a day of your choosing right now, before you lose the nerve.
My calendar? Well, I marked it weeks ago.
To ensure I stuck to my plan, I upped the ante by ordering postcard invitations from an area printer. Who knows! I may only have 5 people attend from my entire list, but in the end even those 5 will have served their purpose. Afterall, the real value of my opening is every day it nudged me back into the studio before my big night.
Sometimes, pressure really is a good thing.