22 February 2008

A Special Time

In every art project, I experience a moment of clarity. I know if it works, or if it does not. I know if the time I've already spent is worth it.

Sometimes, I know before I begin, before the first stroke of paint, before the first sketch. Sometimes I don't know until a long time after it's finished.

In the case of one of my current projects, the moment of clarity came to me after about 30 hours of back-bending, eye-squinting detailed painting. More, if you count the sketch I did before I started the "real" thing.

It's very encouraging, that moment of clarity. I won't make any sweeping generalizations, like "it's what artists live for" or even "it's what I work for" but I do think it's a vital part of the process. It's part of the creativity high, and it's an important part. No matter how much satisfaction one gets from the actual execution, the certainty that it's going to be all right is invaluable. Hard to explain, but it's a big relief. It's more validating that anything anyone else could ever say about the piece--fundamental, intrinsic satisfaction.

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