If you've been following me on Instagram, you've probably noticed that I like to share super duper close up shots of Luke's painting palettes. Truth be told, these are some of my most favorite images I share on social media. Luke and I have had many conversations around the idea of the palettes being just as beautiful (if not more) as the the final product!
One of our closest friends Kevin, who is a brilliant artist (and we miss dearly!) has a tattoo and a life motto, of sorts, that says "ART IS HARD." It's one of our reoccurring slogans we bring up jokingly when we face the plight most creators embrace... which is that the work is never done.
Once one work is out there in the world, the next three ideas keep knocking at our door. And let's not even bring up the annoying and ever present push to "keep-creating-keep-sharing-get-more-followers-show-your-work-do-it-again-make-sure-to-shmooze" that we keep shoving off to the side (which I talk more about in a post here).
And so, we get obsessed with our final product... because that's what earns us accolades and recognition, social media follows and potential buyers. And we often ignore the process that gets us there.
But one small act of documenting the work in it's glorified "ugly" state has brought me back to feeling centered about this artist's plight. Isn't it true that the process is the whole reason we turned to love art in the first place? We need to embrace the mess, in all of its unkempt, un-Instagramable glory. Instead of idolizing the accolades from a final product, we need to put a spotlight on the process we fell in love with from the get-go. Because there's something wonderfully intimate to see unfinished art in it's messy state. There's something gorgeous about seeing artists hunched over their work, intently focused on the nuanced details, carefully erasing the outlier lines and shades. It's special. It's magical. You know? Seeing something come from nothing through these special state of creation. We need to love that. We need to embrace that.
If you're feeling stuck in that plight, I challenge you to document your process.
Each day, take a photo of your workspace, or a shot of yourself in action, a close up of your resources or a play by play of your work each time you leave your studio space. You might find how beautiful your process truly is.