To Keep or not to Keep… My Artwork is my Life.

I was recently asked by someone I met how I dealt with letting go of my artwork once I create it. I mean, how do I deal with selling something once I make it? She asked me if I had trouble keeping and holding on to my artwork once I was finished with it.

Well, I explained that I used to have lots of trouble letting go of things and letting other people take them and display them in their own houses and such. I usually spend sooo much time working on a piece that it becomes a part of me and once I finally tear myself away and proclaim the piece finished, I can’t imagine it being displayed anywhere other than the walls of my own home.

She asked, “How did you get over that? Is it something you figured out on your own or is it something you were taught or learned in school?” Believe me, it’s something I had to figure out on my own. It was definitely not something that anyone else could have taught me. They might have tried to help me with it, but I was the only one who could make myself finally come around.

It’s just like when you’re trying to stop smoking or biting your nails, or any other habit that isn’t good for you. And creating and then hoarding your own art isn’t good for you. Friends and family can tell you until they’re blue in the face how bad biting your nails is, or how annoying it is, or how harmful it is to your hands and teeth and all that, but until YOU decide that it’s what YOU want to do, stopping is not an option.

That being said, let me give you a piece of advice- the thing that works for me (almost all the time). Spend as long as you want or need working on something- 6 months to a year on a 4′ x 3′ canvas, for example- and once it’s done, sit back and enjoy it in all its glory up above your dining room table. But then, once it’s lost its exciting “newness,” start making smaller-scale reproductions. Sure, it took you 9 months to complete that one, but now that you know the process and path you took to get to that end point, you can start streamlining the process. Get it done in a month rather than a year.

Believe me, your heart and soul will still be put into the piece, but not such a hefty chunk of them.

I’m not sure exactly who I’ve helped by writing this little blog post, it was just something that I thought I needed to share. Happy arting, kids…

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