Let’s Achieve Something Great Together 9 – Progress Makes Perfect

A while ago I had a conversation about the process of making art with someone who doesn’t make art themselves. They appeared overwhelmed by what they thought was a lack of inherent skill on their part, saying ‘I could never do that’. It seemed that they were focusing on the practical side of the process and were of course looking at finished outcomes. Without the experience of making, they looked at the finished artwork and in a way accurately saw a lack in their ability. But I feel this lack is not in their ability to make art practically. Most people have skills of varying degrees and so they, if they chose to would make their art, based on their skill set and preferences. When we look at the art of others and judge ourselves by the practice and outcomes of others, we lose ourselves and the vision of what we are capable of. My response at the time was ‘ideas give you the skills to be able to make the artwork’ and I still feel this to be the case, well for me at least! We all work in different ways when we make art because the art we make is an extension of ourselves and we are all obviously unique. The trick is tuning in to what makes you you and celebrating that without compare. I’m not saying that anyone can make art either, but this is too big a topic for one post!

Making progress in the process of making a piece of artwork not only brings us closer to completion, but also solidifies the belief in ourselves as an artist. We have ideas and then we make them happen. When our ideas take on physical forms, such as drawings, paintings or sculptures, we then have some direct feedback to our ideas, which propels more ideas and a refinement in the creative process. For me the outcomes can never be perfect, as this implies an arriving or ending. Whereas in practice, it’s obvious to me that the process is perfect in itself. Provided we don’t lose ourselves in comparison that is.

The next time you have a conversation or have a great idea where you say, ‘wow that’s a brilliant idea, I should do that’. Yes you should.

Here’s a few progress pictures of my latest painting.

Click on the images below to view larger.

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  • […] Altruism is the selfless concern for the welfare of others, which is both a belief and a practice. In life we are encouraged to be competitive in order to ‘get ahead’, which means that we end up putting ourselves first in order to try to make this happen. Often this way of thinking leads to the jealousy of other people’s success and the desire to suppress their achievements through derision. In this instance, the belief is that if we see talented people and actively promote them, we’ll be left behind in the competitive creative world and they’ll go from strength to strength ahead of us. The altruistic way, in terms of trying to make it as an artist, is to promote and sing the praises of other creatives as well as our own. It’s inevitable that as we become increasingly involved in the creative world and in particular the specialism that we have chosen, we’ll stumble upon others that have amazing talents. One of the pitfalls is to compare ourselves to them, which is another form of competition. This is something I touch on in my blog post Let’s Achieve Something Great Together 9 – Progress Makes Perfect. […]

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