No, this isn’t an article about a crack commando raid or the grand plans for foreign invasion. Not really about world domination either. No, this is about something rather different. Probably a little less exciting, but we hope you’ll still find it to be interesting. Sorry if your hopes were dashed.
Often times, I’ll find myself knee-deep in a project, working feverishly to get it completed on some crude, near non-existent time-table that was cruelly self-imposed to drive me onward. And sometimes that works, it helps keep me focused so that I can get things done that need doing. And sometimes it doesn’t work.
But it’s usually during this time, when things do need to get done that I get an idea, a new project dawns on me. The perfect way to do something, something new and interesting. Whether this is exploring a completely new medium, diving head-first into something different that I’ve never tried or thought of before or if it’s just a new technique with an old skill that has nothing to do with what is at hand. Usually, this will lead into a whole new project and sometimes with the result of putting the previous one on the back burner, left to simmer for a time.
And that is okay. That is where project monogamy comes in. If you’re like us here at Indelible Ink Workshop, you’ve probably experienced it before to. The urge to tackle something else, something fresh when you probably know full well that you need to continue the one that you’re on. Maybe you feel guilty. Maybe you feel like you’ve abandoned it. But don’t.
There are many areas in life that Monogamy is necessary, many places where it is suggested in life and highly encouraged. Marriage and relationships are but some of many.
Art however is not one on that list.
Art is about doing what you like and seeing what happens. It’s about trying new things, new techniques and new ideas. Yes, there are tried and true methods, patterns, ways of doing things and certain things that you should know. Getting those things down will go a long way in insuring you some success in your artistic path. But they aren’t necessary nor do they guarantee anything. But that is another post for another day.
Unless you have an absolute dead-line and that candle is burning pretty close, you shouldn’t feel guilty about not completing your project right this very second. If you are an artist by trade, you should probably keep on track and get things done on a suitable time-table, but sometimes it’s a good idea to take a step back and work on something else, something completely different. It’s refreshing to work on a side project, it helps invigorate you, to get your creative juices flowing again – and sometimes it just might help to inspire a new way to complete an old project. Often times, it helps us to get another view on past projects, to see a new path. We can learn things from one project that will invariably help with another. That was why I said simmer on the back burner, not to let it just go cold.
There are those times though when you’ll want to stay on task. As stated earlier, its a pretty solid idea if you’re project is a work related one. You’ll want to stay dedicated to the task at hand, devoting your time to what the customer wants. And there will also be those times when you’re working feverishly on something great, something that you’re doing for your own enjoyment and you’ll want to pour every ounce of creative energy into it, putting your heart and soul into it and staying on till its finished no matter the cost. That is okay too. For some people, that is what works best and is completely understandable. So do what works for you, art isn’t science after all.
Usually by the time one thing is off my desk and stamped “done”, I’ve already gotten the next project lined up. Actually, the next two or three things that I want to work on, which helps me get motivated to complete the one that I’m on. But that isn’t to say that I won’t work on another project for myself on the side. It helps to keep things moving in the attic, get the cogs spinning again when I think their stuck.
Art is a wonderful thing, there is always something that you can do with it. There are so many different paths, so many different options and techniques, you should never honestly get board with it. Even if you lose interest in the project you’ve got before you, there will be a multitude of others just waiting for you to try.
So get out there and open the flood gates on your creative juices. You don’t have to work on just one thing at a time, so don’t feel guilty. Things may take a little longer to complete, sometimes a lot longer, but you’ll be able to put the quality in it that your project deserves. Just roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath, smile and get ready to get your hands dirty – with another project.