Ten Steps to Wrapping an Art Project

Here we go!

I’ve gathered ten testimonials from industry professionals to discuss the question in my last post! Hopefully they encourage you as much as they did me.

How do we let go, call our artwork done, and release it into the world?

1.)   Starting on another project helps me to let go of current projects. When I have something else waiting on the line, it really pushes me to finish up.

2.)   Having a hard deadline is a must. I’ll crunch till that very last day and then I have no choice but to wrap the project. Without a hard deadline I would work an art piece forever.

3.)   I’ve been working on the same side project– an animation short –for eleven years. The story has changed five times. It’s not even the same story anymore. I could have published several shorts by this time. I keep trying to make it perfect, but there’s no such thing. As I work on it, it just evolves into a whole other thing. Don’t dabble forever like me. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

4.)   Remember that the audience won’t even notice a lot of the things you obsess about, because they will never spend as much time with your art as you have.

5.)   Without risk, you’re not really living.

6.)   Artists set the bar for perfection and even when we reach that original goal and the artwork is perfect according to that standard, we automatically set another bar, an even higher bar for perfection. As long as the project is in front of us, we will continue to iterate. Thank goodness we have producers! They help us let go.

7.)   Set your goal. There’s two extremes to goal setting. The unobtainable goal: I want this to be the best ____ (painting, cinematic, book, song, etc.) ever!  And the opposite: I want this project to exist. The right goal: I want this project to be professional. When you reach this goal, and the project is everything you first imagined it would be, stamp it done. Seal it! Ship it! Wrap it! Publish!

8.)   You’ll only grow as an artist after you give the world your work. Negative reviews aren’t helpful. Ignore those. Negative reviews usually come from vocal minorities who have no experience or expertise in your field whatsoever. It is in the constructive criticism that propels you to the next level. Great reviews are okay, but they’re like dessert—they do nothing for you. Constructive criticism is where artists find gold. Listen to those reviews.

9.)   It’s hard to let go, but you have to eventually if you’re ever going to hold that freshly bound book in your hands!

10.)   Bottom line: Create your vision. Create what you imagined your art to be and when it becomes that, you are done. Publish it with these words in mind: “I’m not the best artist in the world, but this is the best I am now. I‘ve done the best I could do. I’ve worked tirelessly. And here it is.”

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