Do You See the Work?

This is a personal answer to a blog post from someone not related to art or the artists business.

Nonetheless, I feel its important to take the time and contemplate myself as a part of answering the following question:

If you have ten minutes unscheduled and the phone isn´t ringing, what do you do? What do you start to do?

Again a Seth Godin post, according to him, you can judge an organization or a person by what they do when they have a bad day, or the extreme opposite, when no routine or crisis is on the schedule.

What I have learned through my apprenticeship was worth a full time business, such as the one I´m running right now, and the rule is simple:

See the work!

I had filled three years of my life in an apprenticeship with just seeking the work. And unlike others who just seeked work to look busy, I learned to pick up and see what I CAN do and what seems to be the most fun to me.

OK, that wasn´t always possible, but I had asked to do the work I wanted to do, so much that others gave me the chance to do it.

This has changed my view and there is no such thing as laziness, probably my 10 minutes that I have without a ringing phone, business email or commission to work on there is a big pile of options I can chose from:

  • Writing a blog post like this one
  • Putting up new works on my web portfolios
  • Trying out a new tool or technique
  • Going through my folder with started but not finished works
  • Tidy up desktop or workplace (no kidding)
  • Reading blogs community news and see what the competition is up to
  • Backup data
  • Updating website with new works, text or searching for flaws
  • Trying out a complete new technique that I always wanted to do, but never had the time to
  • Go for a stroll with the camera and trying to find some nice textures
  • Just making a nap and take a small break
  • Tidy up mail-inbox 
  • Writing invoices
  • Doing the taxes
You see: no idle time ;)

I think its also quite important to acknowledge that as artist you have not only the big responsibility of putting the "status quo" into question, its also important to expose yourself to failure every here and then.

Its not possible to be a true artist if you are not able to make failure and experiment.
No one wants you to climb the Mount Everest unsupported, but a different perspective on the craft you have mastered can bear a crucial enlightenment.

I spoke with a so called local artist after a show / event, where I represented my work and she discussed that its only possible to define a "style" by narrowing the focus, she was very much surprised that I said that the only possibility to create a "style" is to make failure, or better said expose yourself to failure by doing experiments.

That said from a person like me who does 70% digital art, maybe comes with a surprise-tag to her in that discussion and I found it funny. But sad at the same time that people often are so shortsighted.
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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook

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