There are times when I receive an opportunity that is so good that I cannot pass it up. However, this opportunity may be on a tight deadline. There are a few things I do to help myself in this situation.
Firstly, I choose a theme that I build my works around. Building a theme for an art show is like writing a story. Each work is like a paragraph that expands and fleshes out the topic. Having a theme gives me focus – a train of thought that zeroes in on a very specific path.
Know the size of the space. This will determine the number of pieces and sizes of works I’ll create. I’ll also go to see the space if I can.
Stay focused. It’s easy to get off track so I stay on course especially with the theme. I eliminate distractions and temptations that will take me away from my work. Just surfing the internet is a big distraction.
I make a list of each work that I have completed so I can see my progress and check what I have done against my target dates. This will let me know how much harder or faster I need to work. This list helps keep me motivated.
Breaks are my best friends. I take lots of them to rejuvenate myself physically and mentally.
The audience is very important, so I am mindful of their needs. I wouldn’t take my paintings to a show where they were expecting pop art. Another way to be mindful of the audience is to know my pieces so that I can have great discussions with viewers at the opening of the show.
At the end of the creation process, I take stock. Is the theme together and well thought out? Do I have enough pieces? Do I know the pieces? Am I ready?
What are some of the things that you do to meet deadlines and stay focused?
Being an artist is literally a hands on job. Using my hands to create something useful and valuable is one of the best things ever. The creative process of placing my hands on the work has taught me a few things.
It has taught me about my own power and limitlessness. If I can take a blank canvas and turn it into a product of value, then I have a certain kind of power. This reminds me that my only limit is myself. My hands are tools that engages my mind to my vast potential. The possibilities are endless.
The mastery of anything comes with practice. The repetitive motion of my hands connects with my brain and brings a synergy that nothing else can. There is power in action; in sitting down and getting the work done time and time again. After doing this for a while the process becomes intuitive. My hands know what to do; my brain tells me where to go.
Working with my hands have also taught me patience. Practice has taught me not to rush the process; to enjoy it step by step. I have waited for paint to dry, for colours to take root, and for my mind to distill an idea. Practice and patience go hand in hand and both assist in mastery.
I become close to my projects. I have touched them; and they have touched me. It is impossible to create art without becoming affected by what you are creating. In the final analysis, my work and I will be touching and connecting with someone else as well. At least, that is what I hope for.
I usually explain my artworks to interested people by telling them my thoughts and intentions when I was creating the pieces. I tend not to definitively state that this is what it is because I want room for other views. My works for the most part have been described as contemplative and interpretive. In light of this, the work is really left up to the viewer’s interpretation and that is how I like it.