Get Rid Of Unfinished Work Once And For All

Maybe you remember when you were at primary school and during an art session, the teacher told you to take the colour to the edge of the paper after you had drawn your subject right in the middle.  It was an important lesson and as a professional artist, the same spirit of that lesson applies.  Don’t stop, push on through until you have completed your work.

Finishing what you start helps you make more money.  The idea that a couple of shots of details from your latest work in progress will satisfy your Real Collectors enough to give you money is fantasy island.  Your Real Collectors will only buy finished paintings.  Show them that instead.

The Model relies on the premise that you will be ‘prolific’, but that does not stand if you are forever starting new work with new styles which confuse your Real Collectors who have already committed to your brand style.

All creatives have a million and one ideas which can ‘go off’ in a million and one different directions.  That energy is great!  Use it to create a continuous and logical body of work.

This is not in any way to suggest that your style will not evolve and change over time; of course, it will.  Creativity is a journey.  But giant leaps of experimentation should carry your brand forward in a way that keeps your Real Collectors involved in the journey; not alienate them.

The method of two steps forward and one step back before proceeding forward can help you achieve the balance required.

It is unfortunate that those twenty-five earth-shattering ideas you have piled up in your studio with work still to do on them will never be seen by your Real Collectors, but why not?  Just take one at a time and finish it.  Photograph it.  Then sell it.

When you look at that old half-finished project, make a judgement.  If your practice has moved on beyond the effort it will take to finish this, get rid of it.  Get these old anchors to the past out of the studio one way or the other.  Spring cleans are not only for the Spring.  You need to refresh your environment at every opportunity and be surrounded by the present, not the past.

We all know what it is like when a labour of love and light becomes a weight on your soul, so you start something fresh.  That is ok and a fine way to recharge the creative zone.  But set a limit on how many pieces can be unfinished at any one time.  For me, the answer is two.

You can dance back and forth between the unfinished projects as much as you like so long as progress is made in one way or another on each every single day.

You will be surprised how quickly you start finishing pieces of work to a point you can start the other 75 per cent of the work, placing, promoting and selling them.

In fact, unless you are planning a show or exhibition, your studio should only have your latest finished piece, maybe two pieces you are working on and whatever preparation you have to start a new piece, whether that is a new pack of clay or a newly stretched canvas.

It is always disheartening to see a studio full of pieces of work with an artist finding it hard to find space to work.




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Header Image by MireXa from Pixabay

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