Artists often get side tracked on projects. They start something and then once they can kind of “see” the finished product in their mind, they are done with it and move on to the next thing. I can’t tell you the times I have started something I was really excited about only to abandon it half way through the process.
One of my dearest friends and “comrades in art” was my Jr. High School art teacher. She and I used to have long, deep conversations about this very topic. About how psychologically there was something very “off” about us. We each had piles of unfinished “art” in our homes and it would drive our respective partners bonkers that we had no desire to finish said projects, but absolutely would not hear any talk about discarding them! No WAY was I throwing that project in the trash! Was there a high probability that I was going to finish any of this art…ever? Nope…We would talk about if or if not it was that we could see the finished product so there was no reason to finish it. Or if or if not it was that the art was headed in a direction contrary to where we wanted it to go and fear of failing we just abandoned the process all together…I’m still not sure of the actual answer, but we spent countless hours laughing at ourselves over this fault.
You see, I think the passion is what gets you started on a project…the follow through, however, is something completely different. As a parent I began to see things differently…I saw how my son would work on something with a bull headedness that I had just never witnessed. You see to him his idea HAD to work because he had nothing in his past to tell him it wouldn’t. He would tirelessly stack blocks in a way that gravity wouldn’t allow, but he would just keep doing it over and over and it would fail over and over…yet, he was determined. Passion had nothing to do with it. Even with all his recent failures at the process he simply refused to quit.
Now, when I build or make something when I get discouraged with it I try to step away from it and set it aside only for a short time and then come back to it refreshed with a new appreciation for that initial passion. Not every project gets completed, but I do try to approach them from the beginning thinking “ok, if this fails, or if I get bored with it what then?”. I think looking at the project differently from the beginning has helped me stay on task and focus more on the actual final product being in my hand. The passion is the initial creativity spark the determination is the wood that fuels the spark into a raging fire. It is the determination, the not giving up…the persistence that brings the passion to life.
Don’t quit…you can pause for a moment and reset, but don’t you ever quit.