“Is it bad to start another piece of art before finishing another one?”
Starting a new artwork while working on another is actually a terrific strategy that many artists use. If you only work on one piece at a time, that creates unnecessary pressure on the creation of that specific work. You’re essentially putting all of your eggs in one basket, investing everything you’ve got into that one work. For many people, this situation causes them to be too precious with their artwork. This mindset makes it impossible to take creative risks and try new approaches.
There can be many advantages to working on many pieces all at once. I find that it’s important to be able to step away from your artwork and get some emotional distance from the work. Having multiple pieces in progress enables me to achieve that distance by working on a different piece every day. I’m able to make a piece, step away from it for several days and then come back to it with a fresh eye. When things aren’t going well with one piece, I can take a break from that piece and work on another. I’m less precious about each individual work because I know that if that one piece is a dud that I have many more. If you’re working in a series, working on several pieces all at once can create cohesion in the body of work.
I myself always make sure that I have not only many artworks in progress at the same time, but multiple projects as well. When something isn’t going well with one project I divert my attention to another. This keeps me from getting overly frustrated with any given project, because I know there’s always something else waiting for me. Sometimes what I’m working on is based on the time constraints of my current schedule, an opportunity that I’m pursuing, while other times it just happens to be the project I’m the most excited about. I enjoy leaping back and forth between projects. Each project is different and therefore exercises different parts of my mind.
I have projects that I keep on the back burner that I know I will return to when the time is right. Due to my change in studio space, I’ve had to put the 50 figure drawings from “Falling” aside for now. While that project rests temporarily, I’m working on illustrations for my book “Learn, Create, and Teach: A Guide to Building a Creative Life.”
“How can I tell if I’m skilled enough?”
“How do you find your own individual style?”
“How do artists manage to get their soul out into images?”
“How do you develop an idea from a sketch to a finished work?”
“How do you make an art piece more rich with details that will catch the eye?”
“How do you learn the basics?”
“How do you work in a series?”
“When and how should you use photo references to draw?”
“How do you know when to stop working?”
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