Slow progress ≠ No progress

I’ve written before about how I often struggle to finish work. When I studied art at school, much of my time was spent flitting from one piece of work to another, never quite progressing anything all the way to completion. But now that I’m creating art for sale, it’s important that I finish what I start.

It’s probably typical of creative people to have a more erratic way of working, albeit one that still produces desirable outcomes (think: organised chaos – with emphasis on the chaos!) In this way, setting a rigid schedule for working with little room for spontaneity is probably not a comfortable way to produce satisfying artwork. When I launched Studio Llewellyn back in November 2017, I knew I’d need a plan to overcome the potential issue of the (dreaded) ‘unfinished work’, so I decided to set targets for producing finished work consistently and on a regular basis. I’d found my inspiration for my first series of work, and I was excited about pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

So for the first few months I felt like I was making great progress, and soon there were more ideas to examine, more inspiration to follow – and more work to finish. Suddenly, I realised that I had four or five pieces of work all ongoing, and once again I was flitting between each of them. And had I finished any? Nope. Three months had passed since I’d made any ‘real’ progress in my main pieces of work, and that was a big problem, right? Well… maybe not.

After brushing off the initial feelings of frustration and disappointment, I realised there was plenty of work that I should be pleased with. All my studies were useful, my daily challenges continued to keep me engaged and inspired, and the numerous oil paintings scattered about in various stages of progress were all part of ongoing projects that I am still committed to. So I guess the lesson for me here is that slow progress is not ‘no progress at all’. It’s ok to work erratically and spontaneously — and it’s ok not to finish things when you expect to, or even to change your mind about a project half way through.

Following your intuition is the best way to stay inspired, and keeping track of your work with photographs or small-scale studies is a great way to stay motivated. By keeping this in mind, maybe I’ll be able to strike a balance between working consistently and finishing work regularly. (Fingers crossed – I’ll keep you updated!)

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Are you an artist looking to share your work? Studio Llewellyn is proud to support emerging artists by offering this platform as a place for you to show off your creative talents free of charge. Just head over to my Submissions Page to find out more!

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