Oct 15, 2015

Do you or don't you?

Question for the artists that share my little world. Julia Roberts asked Brad Pitt in The Mexican: "When is enough enough?"

When do you decide whether to give up on a project, to throw it away and not allow it to eat any more of your time? Do you ever get to that point with a project? The "right" answer for Julia was "never"...but that was romance. This is art.

Do we go with our heart, or listen to our head on some things? Jus' ponderin'.

I have a lot of doll projects in mind, and yet there is a shelf full of Works In Progress...in varying degrees of completion, from just a head to all-it-needs is arms and legs and a dress.  But not all of them appeal to me.  Some of them feel like a chore that, even if completed, will offer very little reward of satisfaction.

In some cases, enough really is enough, and I'm learning (hard lesson!) that to sacrifice time and energy for those particular projects is to take away from future growth as an artist.  I'll be honest and ruthless, and once in a while a little sentimental. 

So...when is enough enough for you? 
Do you ever scrap a project and refuse to allow it more of your time?


12 comments:

  1. I'm not ashamed to admit I've actually take a few projects over the years straight to the trash barrel & lit a match to them! Never missed a single one. Sometimes they will suck the life right out of you!

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    1. Exactly what I've found. I just threw several torsos--and two dolls that were complete and painted--but that I just couldn't get excited about--in the trash. It was liberating, and once I'd done it, I was able to start working on others I haven't worked on in over a year!

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  2. Often times, we learn more from the ones that end up in the trash. I say, count them as a learning experience and move on.

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    1. Indeed. I push against my own instincts and finished a doll I wasn't happy with--I did learn from that one--but only because I'd tried a new technique that will be useful for other dolls. But I'm even considering throwing that doll away even though he's finished!

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  3. I've trashed some, but others have surprised me after sitting around for as long as a year. There comes a point, though, at which I know I will never like the doll and amnesty ends.

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    1. Heheh--'amnesty' is a good word for it. :~)

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  4. It's not just dolls, but sewing and knitting projects also. Your interests change, and something that wasn't finished when it was "in" is now "out" in my house. I do keep projects I hope to get back to. But I've thrown away a lot of cut out but not sewn garments, if I couldn't incorporate the fabric into something current. :)

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    1. Indeed! Although I have to say with those I'm more likely to either finish it or scrap it right then, depending on how it's going. I have worked on sewing projects (those that you just sort of make up as you go along, w/ no pattern? Ugh) that just went so wrong I took them right out to the trash and crowed when I threw them in. With dolls, I'm more likely to put it away and stew on it for a while. :D

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  5. It is a hard decision some times to know whether to give up on a doll or what ever you are working on and are dissatisfied with. For me, I will toil over a doll a long time, believing I can fix it, and will set it aside for a year or more and move past it, and eventually I will come back to it and finish it. Some times, even after a long time, I see it is hopeless and I will do away with the doll. I hate for the doll to beat me, but I have made lots of dolls that don't work out . You can also loose interest in certain types of dolls and it is hard then to go ahead and finish what you thought you wanted to make. You are not alone in this problem. Some times it will pay off to continue to do battle with the doll to make it become what you want. This is a good way to learn, as you said, by keeping on until you reach a solution, by learning or by accident. I have to say, that when I have finished a doll or a few dolls and I get to clean up to start something new, then I feel good. I want to start new and make something new. I don't take stock in horoscopes, but my two outstanding traits according to my horroscope are being fair, and not being able to make a decision. HaHa So when I do decide to give up and put my dolly in the garbage deciding it's no use, it is just a have to thing. I think for you, your situation is a have to thing. You have just come off a good doll show, and your energy is high and you are ready to move on and make new things. I think for you it is a good time and a good decision to do away with some of the old, so you can start on some work that you are interested in. I do believe this same problem can be said to plague artist down through the beginning of time. What to do, what to do, what to do. You always do good and I think you know what is the best way to go, if you did away with some old dolls, then they served their purpose to help you with future dolls.

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    1. Are you a Libra, Martha? :~D Well I believe you are a natural philosopher, whatever your zodiac sign. I can usually tell, when I go in the studio and get ready to work, if I'm in need of some "house cleaning". Not cleaning of the studio (although, yes, right now it needs that badly!) but cleaning out of the odd bits here and there that are clogging up the works for me creatively. Cleaning those out yesterday really helped me--I actually got started finishing a little Izzy that's been waiting a year.

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  6. Yes I am a Libra. I couldn't spell it the other day. ( How sad is that ) HaHa I love to see your Izzy's as well as all the other dolls you make. I saw Paula Walton now has Hannah. I guess Edith sold her. I do love Hannah too. I did buy some of Lynda Hampton's small kits ( couldn't resist ) but haven't done anything with them. I didn't think of this the other day either, but all great artist suffer what you are ( the need to clear out your spaces and your creative mind for a bit. If you think about it so many of the really famous artist had so much talent they moved off and on and in different directions at the same time. We all need a creative ( rest break ) once in awhile. I am not in that category, mine is more a rest break before ruining my project. HaHa. You have a super special gift and I enjoy seeing what you make, not matter what it is.

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    1. I think you're in that category...but I also know how hard it is to think of oneself as an "artist". Some of us are raised to not "show out" when we're little, and calling yourself an artist feels like saying, "I have talent" and that's just a no-no, right? :) I think you get your rest breaks by switching back and forth between the rag dolls and the izannahs.

      I confess I'm sad to hear about Hannah. She is my favorite Izzy in the world, and I am sad that now she'll have her face molded--again! She was one of the dolls used in Linda's molds. But I guess now she'll have plenty of other Izzy's to hang with.

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Thank you for taking time to comment! I love hearing your perspectives and ideas.