Friday, August 26, 2016

Rough Drafts, Sisters, and the Creative Process

flickr /  dvortygirl   

It’s an artistic thing, plain and simple, nothing more. I know that it is an artist thing and not just me . . .  I’ve read time and time again how artists will not share their work before they feel it is complete.  But it’s a family thing, time for a little compromise, ha, not a good thing, compromise, well at least when you are talking about the creative process.

There are reasons for artists not wanting to share their work with others until the art is in a phase of completeness. Which of course the artist’s work is never done. Yes, the time eventually comes, it is a time to let go, a time where the artist’s child must be stripped bare and meet the world and either be received with great fanfare, or a toast of mediocrity. Yes, it is a painful process that is accompanied by many a doubt, and fear, accompanied with strong hopes that it won’t be rejected. And yes for most artists we hang on longer than we probably should, we are driven with a certain sense of perfection, of completeness, always the nagging questions; Is that everything I wanted to say? Is that said the way I wanted to say it? Or even better yet, is it said in the best way possible? Is it too long? Is it too short? Is it too narrow or just a bit too wide? The endless nagging persists even when the time is complete and even when it’s still in development.

The reasons for not sharing work are countless, they are endless, sometimes fabricated and sometimes justified, but the major point is that they do exist. It is as integral to the creative process as the first draft or even the initial idea that even hasn’t had time to ferment.  It comes down to a certain ability of treating new creations as a possession. One that is held close, that is heavily guarded, a possession that is so valuable that it can’t be shared, it’s like the feeling when you bring home that brand new car home and your best friend asks for the keys. It is meet with the same type of hesitation, that overly protective sense of possession, but trust me it is so much stronger for a new piece of art than it could ever be for some silly shiny new car.  If we continue with the car analogy for a moment it will be easier to enlighten the non-artist to the way the artist’s way of thinking.  We are scared to hand over the keys for that new car for several reasons, our first thought, no what if they scratch it, what if they wreck it? What if I want to look out the window at it and it not be there?

                Even more so than the fear that our piece of art might receive a scratch on it, is the fear of letting go too early, it’s the best way to jinx a project. So it becomes necessary to stay clear of the unsolicited advice in order to protect the integrity of the work of art. A partial vision that is shared is only a partial vision, which may or may not look like the masterpiece that it will finally become, only time will tell. But therein lies the biggest dilemma, to share an incomplete vision is not to share a vision at all, but more of a revealing of an idea.  That idea, once it is shared, is forced to bend and sway to more forces than if it wasn’t shared at all.

What about that killing process where a decision is made that this big portion over here just doesn’t fit the whole, an independent observer may suggest to leave it, not to slash it to pieces often as an artist does. It is then that the creative process and the art itself would become damaged, scratched, or worse yet sabotaged or tainted. The piece of art is then doomed, paralyzed, permantly placed in a state of never achieving completeness, of never being done, of never being right

And those are the reasons my dear sister that you even tho you are family you will and must wait till the child is ready to be released into the world before you or anyone else can see it. 

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