“Look at your work and it tells you how it is when you hold back or when you embrace. When you are lazy, your art is lazy; when you hold back, it holds back; when you hesitate, it stands there staring, hands in its pockets. But when you commit, it comes on like blazes.” by david bayles author of the book Art and Fear
I have always found it difficult to know when to stop working on a piece of art. I want to add more and do more. At some point I decided I would have to go with a gut feeling when everything clicked and seemed to say "I AM DONE". That seems to work for me, but there are times I still will ponder to add or take away...if I am not sure, I take a break and come back to it later. But the commitment is essential, is facing and overcoming self doubt and fear of failure. Art is a process, one must move through the learning steps and flow of ideas...if an idea changes or moves to another that is not a failure, it is merely a part of the artistic process that tells you where to go next. Some people stop and doubt themselves at that point...quit, sure they are a failure or not a real artist and walk away. If you go to a gallery or art show you will see artists of all kinds and all levels of talent and skill. And some people will show their work at any level, and I have come to admire that...it is because they have faith that they will grow, they will change, and their art will reach higher levels. They are committed. I have seen many a talented artist decide not to show, because in their mind, their work is not good enough...they are just not realizing it is a step of self destruction and self doubt. The seeking of perfectionism is one of the most destructive of self sabotaging inner critics. To seek perfection is to set yourself up for sure failure and paralysis. It to set up the impossible to insure failure, then you can say to yourself.....see I am not an artist, or see I do not have enough talent...it is pure self destruction.
|photo by elizabeth gordon teacher of the arts|
It is like jumping off a high diving board in a ice cold pool...you just close your eyes and do it! And amazingly you survive, and the diving board wasn't as high as you thought, and the pool wasn't so cold. I wish you all the courage to not seek perfection, to accept yourself where you are in your journey and take that jump. I can guarantee you will survive and you will grow as an artist and a person. That guarantee comes from 37 years of being an art teacher and watching people grow and a life time as an artist and having to learn to trust the process.